Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles ended their NSW Cup season with a 24-12 loss to the Canberra Raiders at GIO Stadium today.
With Blacktown Workers already securing the dreaded wooden spoon and the Raiders’ finals campaign ending on Friday night following victory to the fifth placed Parramatta, the match was effectively a dead rubber. The Raiders finished one point out of the finals in sixth place.
Blacktown Workers fought hard throughout the match and really pushed the Raiders with the close scoreline forcing plenty of errors from both sides.
Hard running Blacktown Workers centre Alfred Smalley opened the scoring in the eighth minute when he used his strength to beat three defenders to score out wide. Half-back Ben Stevanovic converted for a 6-0 lead.
The Raiders hit back in the 15th minute when winger Elijah Anderson crossed after full-back Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad jinked and weaved his way past the defence to send his winger over. Half-back Brad Schneider converted for a 6-all scoreline.
Nicoll-Klokstad grabbed his second three minutes later when he beat four defenders with his pace and strength to score. Schneider converted for a 12-6 lead after 20 minutes.
Blacktown Workers full-back Jake Toby continued his fine season with a superb individual try after he used his speed to put a kick through to score next to the posts. Stevanovic converted for a 12-all scoreline after 25 minutes. The score remained that way to half-time.
The opening 20 minutes of the second half produced more errors from both sides as they looked to break the deadlock.
The Raiders went close with 17 minutes remaining with a desperate run and dive to the corner post by centre Brad Morkos but to no avail.
Some desperate defence two minutes later by Blacktown Workers again stopped the Raiders from scoring.
The pressure finally told on Blacktown Workers when Canberra prop Peter Hola crashed over next to the posts in the 72nd minute. Schneider converted for an 18-12 lead.
Nicoll-Klokstad finished the match with a double in his last appearance for the Raiders in the 78th minute. Schneider converted for a 24-12 victory.
Blacktown Workers finished the season with 10 straight losses and just two wins to be five points behind the 11th placed Western Suburbs Magpies.