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Raiders top Cows, move in on top four

NZN 11/07/2016

Canberra have moved to within one point of the NRL top four after putting away a depleted North Queensland outfit 26-12 on Monday night.

In front of a crowd of just 8,328 at GIO Stadium, Raiders fullback Jack Wighton starred with tries either side of halftime, as well as a second-half bellringer on a runaway Jake Granville.

Halfback Aidan Sezer also kicked with aplomb, while forwards Junior Paulo, Shannon Boyd and Elliot Whitehead all cracked the 100-metre mark in attack with ease.

But coach Ricky Stuart would've been most impressed with a steady 89 per cent completion rate.

Minus five State of Origin stars, as well as injured five-eighth Michael Morgan, the Cowboys were led by strong efforts from Lachlan Coote, Coen Hess and Ben Hannant.

They also competed valiantly off the back of a 84 per cent completion rate.

But it wasn't enough to deny the Raiders from stretching their winning streak to three, moving to within one point of the third-placed Cowboys with seven regular season games remaining.

Down 14-6 at halftime, Cowboys rookie Josh Chudleigh reduced the gap on an individual 30-metre dash from dummy-half to score the first try of his NRL career.

However the Raiders held firm, Wighton completing his double when he stretched over in the 52nd minute before Sezer sealed the victory five minutes from fulltime.

Earlier, Wighton made easy work of a flat-footed Cowboys defence to open the scoring in just the third minute before Hess responded with a soaring take of a Coote kick six minutes later.

But a Sezer kick into the uprights bounced perfectly for Josh Hodgson, allowing the home side to take a critical eight-point lead into the break.

Hannant failed to finish the match after picking up a shoulder injury in the second half.

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