Through injury and poor form, the Canberra Raiders have had a season they would rather forget. But one journeyman has made every post a winner in 2012.
Reece Robinson continued his impressive form on Monday night with a hat trick of tries to help sink the St George Illawarra Dragons.
He has been a Brisbane Bronco, a North Sydney Bear and has even represented Lebanon at international level. But with a bag of tries against the Dragons on Monday Night Football, Robinson may just have found himself a permanent spot in the nations capital.
There wasn’t much between the Raiders and the Dragons on Monday night. If it wasn’t for Robinson, the Saints would have stolen victory and broken the hoodoo.
Edrik Lee opened the scoring in the 9th minute before the Dragons hit back with a slashing try to Bronx Goodwin in the 23rd.
With the scores locked at 6 deep into the first half, Jarrod Croker produced a vital one-on-one steal from former Raider Daniel Vidot. Moments later, Robinson beat three defenders to muscle his way over the line and hand the home side the lead.
Then on the back of a strong Joel Thompson charge, Robinson took the offload and outpaced the covering Dragons to score in the corner. With the click of the fingers, Robinson had stretched Canberra’s lead to ten.
But the Dragons dragged themselves back into the slugfest and took the lead.
In the 51st minute, young St George Illawarra hooker Mitch Rein took the ball close to the line and fooled everyone when he dummied and went himself.
The cheeky rake had pulled Canberra’s pants down. He would do it again on 67 minutes when he went himself on the last tackle.
Without their superstars and on the wrong end of the scoreboard, Canberra were on the canvas. Someone needed to stand up and punch back.
Little wonder Robinson is a relative of Australian boxing champion Anthony Mundine.
With minutes left on the clock, Canberra shifted the ball left and found Robinson out the back. The fullback sliced through the Dragons defensive line with consummate ease to score the winner.
He may not have the skill of Billy Slater or the speed of Ben Barba, but Robinson is making himself a vital cog of this green machine.
“I just thought if we got to a certain position where we’d worked hard on, that we’d get an opportunity to score some points” Raiders coach David Furner said post match.
“It was very clever.”