Jamal Fogarty’s long-awaited Raiders debut failed to produce a win, but the prized recruit drew plaudits from his coach and captain after his first game in the club’s No.7 jumper.
After a knee injury wiped the former Titan from the opening 11 rounds of the season, he finally donned the lime green as the Raiders met the Eels in Canberra on Sunday – a clash Parramatta won 28-20.
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“I thought he was very comfortable. He fitted in very well,” said Canberra coach Ricky Stuart in his post-game press conference.
“Had some neat kicks.
“I was very happy to have Jamal back tonight and his game will keep growing now.”
The Raiders have a new-look spine consisting of young speedster Xavier Savage at fullback, former Dally M medallist Jack Wighton at five-eighth, Fogarty at halfback and rookie hooker Zac Woolford – the son of Canberra great Simon Woolford.
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The Raiders bagged three tries and had plenty of opportunities to crack the Eels defence in a high-octane game, but the class of halves pairing Mitchell Moses and Dylan Brown steered Parramatta to victory.
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Elliott Whitehead, Canberra’s sole captain in the absence of injured centre Jarrod Croker, said Fogarty would build on his Raiders debut.
“He brings a lot of control in his play and stuff, and as Rick said it’s only been his first game so he’s going to improve with Jacko,” Whitehead said.
“He hasn’t played a lot of rugby (league) for a while now but, you know… his kicking game is massive for us along with Jacko’s.
“The more that combination gets playing together it’s going to get better and better, especially with Xavier out the back at the moment.”
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