Raiders beat Penrith, Furner impressed
Canberra coach David Furner says his side might have finally discovered the type of football that can take them to the NRL finals, having ground out a 20-10 win over Penrith.
A solid first-half defensive effort paved the way and Raiders sit just two wins outside the top eight with three rounds to play.
Canberra trailed 6-0 at halftime but, with a blustery wind at their backs in the second half, the visitors finished over the top of the Panthers.
"I thought our defence was pretty gutsy. Whilst it is ugly, I am happy with the two points," Furner said.
"We wanted to get into the grind straight away. To hold them to 6-0 after not being able to build pressure on their scoreline was a good result at halftime.
"It was a pretty committed effort in building pressure and completions last week and we need to just keep rolling off the back of that. Although our first half wasn't the best, certainly in the second, we completed in the high 80s which gave us some energy there and we got some points."
Penrith opened the scoring in just the fourth minute through a converted try to winger Josh Mansour but they were the only points in the first half as the teams went to the break with the Panthers leading 6-0.
A controversial benefit-of-the-doubt try in the 46th minute to centre Jarrod Croker was Canberra's first points. After halfback Josh McCrone raced 70 metres to score in the 54th minute and Joe Picker crashed over in the 60th minute, the Raiders had built an 18-6 lead.
A 73rd-minute penalty goal extended the Raiders' lead to 20-6 before Michael Gordon scored a 75th-minute consolation try for the Panthers for the final 10-point margin.
The win followed three weeks of highly-inconsistent performances and captain David Shillington said he was proud of the fight as they secured back-to-back wins for only the second time this year.
"It's nice to still be in the race for the finals, that is where we want to be and the belief is still there so this win moves us up and, if we can win week-to-week, it would be great to be there in September," he said.