Welcome back, sports fans.

I hope you had a happy Easter spent with friends, family, and chocolate. Another religious holiday goes by without a single team adopting an Easter jersey. How on earth can Josh Aloiai look at himself in the mirror, knowing no-one bought the obvious clumsy lie he told after Des Hasler got sacked?

This week was the real litmus test for Canberra. Two cheap wins against sides going through growing pains, and a loss to a real team arguably in the opening stages of their premiership window.

The Sharks have neither been here nor there in recent years. Since the pinnacle in 2016, the rugby league world has largely moved off of them. It's been a long time since the likes of James Maloney, Ben Barba (before the coke and domestic violence came for him) and Andrew Fifita graced their halls.

In their stead, a crop of serviceable, but not outstanding, Cronulla talent has made its way to the top of the pile. But not to the top of the ladder. Still very dangerous on their day, and spending more time in the top eight than out of it, the Shorks were to be the Green Machine's test on Easter Sunday.

A test they would fail miserably.

It wasn't all doom and gloom - Canberra started positively, making the best of a glut of possession and an unsuspecting Cronulla side. They raced away to an 18-0 lead and looked to be cruising.

But unfortunately, cruising doesn't win you many games of football. The Raider errors piled up like so much garbage in someone's front lawn, and Nicho's boys are too good to be kept out of a game where they're being force fed possession.

Canberra drifted as the Shadks smelt blood in the water. Braydon Trindall walked through the front door for a very soft try, before Ronaldo (no, not that one) punished a clumsy knock-on. In the space of four minutes the lead went from eighteen, to six.


The last try of the first half seemed to seal the deal, mentally. A slow moving bomb found the grass between a jogging Xavier Savage and Jordan Rapana, allowing Cronulla to sneak past, take it, pass it into the middle of the field, and score under the posts.

The momentum of the game had well and truly shifted, and Xavier Savage had a face liked a smacked arse in the sheds.

I'm not sure if Canberra should've exited the dressing rooms at half time, as the full-throated shire crowd fired up their side, who spent the next forty minutes running rampant. The Raiders continued to cough up easy possession, struggle in attack, and though there was a slender chance of a comeback, it was snuffed out with a final, fatal flourish on the full time siren, as Ronaldo (no, still not that one) put the game beyond doubt with a try.

Apparently Ricky had a "dummy spit" in the presser, but he was just mad at his side's capitulation. And he had every right to be. Blowing an 18-0 lead is bad enough, but it's another thing entirely to have completely given up on the game at the fifty minute mark.

Compounding matters was a severe concussion and head injury to Zac Hosking. Canberra seemed to be totally gassed as a result, leaving them easy targets for an energized and animated Shark side. Which is a shame, as the Raider faithful had such hopes for Zac, given his performance in the first two games of the season.

There's a long way to go yet, and Sticky will not settle for mediocrity, but there's definitely warning signs early.

Next week is another big test - this time at home - in the form of Parramatta. I'll hope to see you there! In green.

Catch you next time,

Did you like this article? Did you hate it? Go over and keep the discussion going on the official Vulkan's Corner facebook page! - whilst you're at it, leave a like!