Canberra have recorded their biggest ever comeback victory, fighting back from 22-0 to beat Wests Tigers 30-22 at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday.
The Tigers totally dominated the opening 25 minutes to run in four tries, before the match began to turn.
Five-eighth Blake Austin and back-up rake Kurt Baptiste led the way for the visitors as the Tigers surrendered their second biggest lead since falling to Penrith in 2000 after being 23 points up.
A late Luke Brooks try was disallowed for obstruction and Canberra held firm for the final four minutes to claim a deserved win.
The comeback eclipsed the Raiders’ previous best when they fought back from 20-2 against Manly in 1998, in coach Ricky Stuart’s final game playing for the club.
The match started horribly for the visitors when Jordan Rapana dropped the ball at dummy half 10m out from their own line on their first set.
The Tigers took advantage immediately when Tim Simona crossed from the ensuing set and they led 6-0 after four minutes.
That set the tone early, with the Raiders unable to control possession. Their poor handling coupled with a number of defensive errors allowed the Tigers to take a big early lead.
Keith Galloway crashed over in the seventh minute, Luke Brooks scored after backing up a James Tedesco linebreak and then Pat Richards helped himself out wide for the Tigers to race out to a 22-0 lead after 25 minutes.
The Tigers were enjoying the benefits of a blustery wind at their backs, but from there the game shifted in momentum.
Shannon Boyd brushed aside Aaron Woods to open the Raiders’ account in the 28th minute to get them back into the contest.
Jarrod Croker then leapt high to catch a Blake Austin cross kick in the 35th minute, and with Croker landing both conversions, the Raiders had fought their way back to 22-12 at halftime.
Frank Paul Nuuausala’s 45th minute try gave the Raiders further belief, before Jack Wighton raced onto a Sam Williams pass to level the scores in the 67th minute.
Croker missed the conversion, but landed a 42m penalty goal two minutes later.
Rapana’s 79th minute try was the icing on the cake for the Raiders.