DRAGONS BLOG: Why I hate the Raiders

Okay, maybe that’s a bit extreme. I mean, I can’t totally hate the place – my wife came from the city. And the in-laws still live there.It’s probably more accurate to say I hate part of the city. The part that wears awful lime green jerseys and hangs around in the vicinity of Bruce Stadium.I hate them because we’ve only beaten them once in roughly 712 games. I hate them because we haven’t won in Canberra since dinosaurs roamed the earth. I hate them because, even when their season is over or they’ve exhibited very ordinary form and it seems like a win over them should be the easiest thing in the world, it turns out to be anything but.Yesterday afternoon was supposed to be different. Yesterday afternoon was supposed to be the time we ended the hoodoo. We were in the ascendency on the back of two very good games while the Raiders were supposed to be feeling the pressure of having to beat the Dragons to keep their finals hopes alive.And, of course, we were supposed to inflict an enormous defeat that would see the Raiders fans leaving at half-time. Okay, to be honest, I’d have been happy if we only inflicted a small defeat. Even by a field goal in golden point. And I hate golden point. But I hate the Raiders more.All that was supposed to happen. In fact, I was so sure of things that I was really excited about watching the game. That lasted for half the game, where while we could only score a single try, we denied the Raiders 74 of them (yes, that’s correct. I counted each one). But then the second half came along and a different Dragons team came out.Actually, I reckon if you made the teams swap jerseys for the second half, their performances would fit what everyone expects of both teams. Everyone expects the Dragons to dominate the completion rate, starve the opposition of good field position and run in some tries. And everyone (except those who live in Canberra) expect the Raiders to perhaps score a try or two in the back 40 but generally get overwhelmed and lose.Yet the two sides reversed their roles in the second 40 – the Raiders came out ready to smash and score while our players seemed to have the hoodoo in our heads more than they might admit. And we got beaten by a scoreline I decline to mention here (but I think it was the most amount of points we’ve had scored on us this season. Which would be one more reason to hate the Raiders).While I am certainly incredibly irritated at the loss, it’s not the end of the world. Coming into the last three rounds, I would have loved to win them all but would settle for two out of three.And it’d also be nice if the Raiders didn’t make the semis. Because, if they do they’ll most likely finish in eighth spot and, with us most likely in first, that means we’d play them in the first week of the finals.And we all know how the Dragons go against Canberra.
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