NSW State of Origin discard Josh Reynolds was the hero for Canterbury on Sunday as they held on to beat Canberra 41-34 in a 13-try NRL thriller.
Reynolds had a busy afternoon scoring two tries and was placed on report before slotting a crucial field goal in the 80th minute to break a 34-all deadlock and ensure Canterbury escaped with the points after leading 26-0 in the first half.
Halfback Moses Mbye scored a try after the restart and converted on fulltime to punctuate the victory.
A second try to Canberra’s Sisa Waqa with five minutes remaining, converted beautifully from the sideline by Canberra captain Jarrod Croker, levelled scores at 34-34.
Raiders five-eighth Blake Austin missed a field goal attempt in the 76th minute and Canberra were left to rue a Josh Hodgson kick that handed over possession.
Canterbury were able to maintain possession inside Canberra territory before Reynolds potted the field goal in the final minute.
Strong performances from Austin and Josh Papalii, both unlucky to have missed State of Origin selection for NSW and Queensland respectively, propelled Canberra back into a game that threatened to produce a cricket score after an extraordinary opening quarter.
Canterbury had got out to a 26-0 lead after 18 minutes, with two tries to Reynolds following up tries to hooker Michael Lichaa and centre Curtis Rona, and four conversions and a penalty from Mbye.
Canberra then scored three tries leading into halftime, with tries to Waqa, Shaun Fensom, and Papalii who swooped on a loose ball right on the stroke of halftime.
Croker’s conversion added some respectability to the 26-16 scoreline as the home side finished what had been a lopsided first half.