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Ferguson awesome in NRL comeback

Fallen NSW State of Origin star Blake Ferguson has made an explosive return to the NRL with a powerhouse two-try performance in Canberra's 28-22 loss to the Sydney Roosters.
Ferguson awesome in NRL comeback
by AAP

By Darren Walton

SYDNEY, Aug 10 AAP - Fallen NSW State of Origin star Blake Ferguson has made an explosive return to the NRL with a powerhouse two-try performance in Canberra's 28-22 loss to the Sydney Roosters.

The seventh-placed Raiders face the prospect of tumbling out of the top eight after their gallant defeat to the new outright competition leaders, but Ferguson's awesome comeback was a major plus.

The 23-year-old was playing for the first time since being de-registered by the NRL and ordered to undergo alcohol counselling and rehabilitation following a nightclub incident during the Origin series.

He made an immediate impact, scoring two tries from nothing, including one where he carried four Roosters defenders over the line with him to set up a grandstand finish at Allianz Stadium.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson admitted he was almost impossible to contain one-on-one.

"What Ferguson did tonight, coming back in for his first game, just shows why after a few games he walked back into the NSW team there for a crack," Robinson said.

Test prop David Shillington said the Raiders remained confident of making the finals and said Ferguson's presence could only help.

"We've said all week, we can't knock his on-field performances. He's a really special player," Shillington said.

"He served his time off the field. The NRL stood him down for four or five weeks, and then he worked his way back through reserve grade, trained hard and he's playing well.

"That's all we can ask from him and I thought he was great tonight so it was good to have him back."

Ferguson's eye-catching return was compensation for Canberra's likely loss for some time of captain and playmaker Terry Campese with a suspected fractured eye socket.

Campese clashed with Shillington and was sent straight to hospital for x-rays.

"He's not in a good way," said Raiders coach David Furner.


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