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Hammering blindsides Raiders' Furner

Canberra coach David Furner knew his side's unbeaten run at home would eventually come to an end, but not in his worst nightmare did he envision an embarrassment like this.
Hammering blindsides Raiders' Furner
by AAP

By Steve Jancetic

CANBERRA, August 4 AAP - Canberra coach David Furner knew his side's unbeaten run at home would eventually come to an end, but not in his worst nightmare did he envision an embarrassment like this.

Fighting to stay in the hunt for a finals berth, the Raiders were thumped 68-4 by premiers Melbourne at Canberra Stadium on Sunday, the 12 tries to one flogging making for a number of entries into the record books.

Amazingly the only damage it did to Canberra's standing on the ladder was a nasty hit to their points differential, the Raiders still seventh but with a host of sides breathing down their neck ahead of Saturday's clash with ladder-leaders Sydney Roosters.

Furner claimed he didn't see the hammering coming, and for the first 20 minutes the Raiders were right in the contest, trailing 10-4 with Anthony Milford having had a second try disallowed by the video referee.

But the Storm hit him and the Raiders like a b-double semi, ten tries in the final hour for 12 four-pointers in total - the game as good as over at the break with the Storm up 32-4.

And this was a Raiders side that had won 12 straight games at home.

Instead they recorded the eighth biggest loss in NRL history, the 64-point margin the second largest ever conceded by a home side.

"When you are going to let go of a home fortress, we did it pretty bad," Furner said.

"I don't know what the players are feeling because I don't know what to say to be honest.

"I certainly didn't see any signs (before the game) ... I did see some signs on the field though."

Those signs were all over the scoreboard, wingers Mahe Fonua and Sisa Waqa scoring hat-tricks and Billy Slater and Will Chambers scoring doubles - Slater's first taking him past 150 career tries.

Fonua provided the highlight when he set up Chambers for his first, an acrobatic tap back of a Ryan Hoffman grubber that evoked memories of Greg Inglis' stunning effort to set up mark Gasnier in Australia's Centenary Test win over New Zealand in 2008.

Furner claimed the play was symbolic of the 'one-percenters' his side failed to come up with, but it would have taken plenty of one-percenters to stop the rampant Storm.

"I don't know what to say to be honest, it's quite embarrassing," said skipper Terry Campese, on what was a very unhappy 29th birthday.

"Not good enough I guess, and next week we've got the Roosters.

"(They're a) scary side if we turn up like that."

Not even Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy could believe what he witnessed from his side, which equalled their biggest ever-winning margin.

"We came here expecting a real tough game," Bellamy said.

"It's a stunning scoreline obviously, a big surprise to everyone.

"I think I'm still a little bit stunned as well."

Asked about erasing the tape of the game, Furner said:

"Certainly it's crossed my mind already.

"I think everyone's a bit burnt at the moment."




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