Jamal Fogarty’s long-awaited Raiders debut failed to win, but the award-winning team praised his coach and captain after his first game in the club’s No. 7 jumper.
After a knee injury knocked the former Titan out of the starting 11 rounds of the season, he finally donated Lime Green as the Raiders faced Iles in Canberra on Sunday – a clash Paramatman won 28-20.
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Canberra coach Ricky Stewart told his post-game press conference, “I thought he was very comfortable. He fit in very well.”
“There were some neat kicks.
“I was very happy to have Jamal back tonight and his game will continue to grow now.”
The Riders have a new-look backbone, including young speedster Javier Savage at fullback, former Daley M medalist Jack Whitton in fifth-eighth place, Fogarty at halfback and rookie hooker Jack Wolford – son of the great Simon Wolford of Canberra.
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The Raiders made three attempts and had plenty of chances to crack the Ellis defense in a high-octane game, but Mitchell Moses and Dylan Brown teamed up to lead the half-class Paramatman to victory.
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Elliott Whitehead, Canberra’s only captain in the absence of injured center Jared Crocker, said Fogarty would build his Riders debut.
“He brought a lot of control to his game and stuff, and as Rick said it was his first game so he’s going to improve with Jaco,” Whitehead said.
“He hasn’t played much rugby (league) now but, you know … his kicking game with Jaco is huge for us.
“The more this combination starts to play together, the better and better it is going to be, especially with Xavier’s back at the moment.”
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