Jarrod Croker of the Raiders is tackled by the Titans.
Jarrod Croker of the Raiders is tackled by the Titans. ALBERT PEREZ

Injury-hit Titans no match for Rapana and Raiders

THE Titans were on the end of a good old fashioned spanking from the Raiders on Saturday night.

Coach Neil Henry isn't one for making excuses for his team's performance on the field. So we'll make one for him.

The Gold Coast casualty ward has - by our reckoning - upwards of $3.5 million of prime rugby league beef sitting idly in it. Give or take a couple hundred thousand dollars.

That's half the club's salary cap.

Close to a third of that monstrous total is taken up by Jarryd Hayne - the cross-code star getting paid north of a million bucks for this season.

While his form at the start of the season wasn't anything outstanding, his inclusion in an injury-riddled backline will be a wave of relief for Henry and the Titans.

Rapana's big night out: Titans v Raiders
Rapana's big night out: Titans v Raiders

Fingers are crossed he returns from an ankle injury next week.

Then there's John Olive, Dan Sarginson, and Will Zillman who can bolster the backline stocks when they recover from their respective ailments.

The forward pack is missing Kevin Proctor, Agnatius Paasi, Nathaniel Peteru, Chris McQueen, and Joe Greenwood.

Nathan Peats hasn't played a game this season thanks to a shoulder injury.

Just for good measure, Tyrone Roberts sustained a suspected broken toe on Saturday night.


Josh Papalii of the Raiders takes on the defence during the Round 6 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Canberra Raiders at Cbus Super Stadium in Robina on the Gold Coast, Saturday, April 8, 2017. (AAP Image/Albert Perez) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Josh Papalii of the Raiders takes on the Titans defence. ALBERT PEREZ

Jordan Rapana was the star in the first half on Saturday night as the Raiders notched up a 35-10 win.

It was one of the best halves of football played by a winger in some time.

The Raiders flyer scored three tries and set up another in the 40 minutes before the break, taking the game away from the Titans.

His assist was stunning. He ran down the sideline, grubbered and recollected the ball himself, then threw it to teammate Elliot Whitehead who gave it to Joey Leilua to walk over the tryline.

Where there's a star, there's a dunce on the other side. And unfortunately Titans Tyronne Roberts-Davis rookie was it.

Roberts-Davis was wearing the No.1 jumper but defended on the wing opposite Rapana.

The more experienced Canberra winger gave his young opponent a bath in the first half.