Canberra prop Joseph Tapine won’t forget his 150th NRL game in a hurry. The former New Zealand international helped the Raiders pull off a stunning 30-10 upset win over the Sharks in Magic Round, before performing an impromptu haka to mark his milestone.
Footage posted on Twitter by News Corp reporter Brent Reade shows Tapine and fellow Kiwi teammates Corey Harawira-Naera and Jordan Rapana performing the haka in front of the stands at Suncorp Stadium.
Tapine appeared to be addressing the haka to a small group of fans stood close to the touchline just behind the interchange benches, who soon joined in as did Sharks prop Royce Hunt.
Canberra prop Joseph Tapine marked his 150th NRL game in style in Magic Round
It made for a fitting end to a day to remember for Tapine, who racked up 114 metres over 13 runs as Canberra overcame playing with 12 men for close to half an hour to dominate an out-of-sorts Cronulla.
In front of 30,453 fans at the NRL’s Magic Round at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium, the Raiders secured their biggest victory of the season and grabbed back-to-back wins for the first time this year.
It was an ugly performance from the high-flying Sharks, but the biggest concern for coach Craig Fitzgibbon will be a concussion sustained by skipper Dale Finucane.
Josh Papalii greeted Finucane with a powerful hit and the Sharks No. 13 rode the collision, only to be met by Elliot Whitehead’s shoulder.
Tapine (left) performed an impromptu haka in front of the stands after the game and he was joined by Sharks’ Royce Hunt (No 17) and teammate Jordan Rapana (right)
By beating Cronulla, the Raiders secured their biggest victory of the season and grabbed back-to-back wins for the first time this year
Hudson Young scored Canberra’s fifth and final try on Sunday in their dominant win
Finucane, unsteady on his feet, was in no condition to carry on as referee Liam Kennedy sent Whitehead to the sin bin.
Finucane failed his HIA for the fourth time in the last two seasons and the latest concussion will undoubtedly worry Cronulla.
Canberra were at one point reduced to 11 men after Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and Corey Horsburgh were both sent for 10 either side of the half-time break.
Cronulla, who shifted Nicho Hynes to fullback to cover for Will Kennedy’s suspension, never got going. They had 60 per cent of possession in the second half but could only score when Canberra were a man down.
Elliott Whitehead was one of three Raiders players to be sin-binned against Cronulla
Hynes played most of his football at fullback for Melbourne last year but he had a moment to forget when he dropped a Brad Schneider bomb with Papalii crashing over on the next set for the Raiders.
The Raiders also capitalised on a series of backline blunders from Cronulla’s Sione Katoa.
The winger was a target for halfback Matt Frawley’s kicking with Sebastian Kris and Corey Harawira-Naera scoring tries on the back of his errors.
Sharks halfback Nicho Hynes struggled to replicate the brilliant form he had shown this season
While Cronulla wrecking-ball Siosifa Talakai had little service and struggled to be involved
Canberra lost Nicoll-Klokstad for a professional foul just before half-time but it wasn’t until the 54th minute when Horsburgh was this time in the bin that Katoa opened the scoring for the Sharks.
The only other Cronulla try was a crash ball from Royce Hunt in the final minute that Whitehead was off the field.
Schneider, who had scored a first-half penalty, bagged a try late on to ensure the Raiders secured a second-straight win. Hudson Young crossed for a breakaway try for the Raiders.