Smith double in vain as Bulldogs let lead slip


Teenager Reimis Smith scored two tries on debut for Canterbury Bulldogs, but still ended up on the losing side as Canberra Raiders came from behind to earn a 32-20 victory at GIO Stadium.

Smith was drafted into the Bulldogs line-up on Sunday as a late replacement following Josh Morris' State of Origin call-up and made an instant impact by crossing twice in the first half.

Canterbury led by 10 on three occasions, but the Raiders - who wiped out a 26-point deficit in this fixture last season only to be beaten 41-34 - came on strong in the second half to claim a deserved win, Joseph Tapine scoring two tries.

"We've got to learn to play for 80 minutes and not 40 or 50 minutes, but it was a wonderful second half," Ricky Stuart, whose Canberra side consolidate their place in the top eight, told Channel 9 at full-time.

Smith had been the star of the opening 40 minutes, while Aiden Tolman also went over as the Bulldogs claimed three of the game's first four tries, Jordan Rapana grabbing the other.

A converted Joseph Leilua score brought Canberra back within four points, only for Moses Mbye to respond for Canterbury early in the second half.

However, that was to be as good as it got for the visitors, who were guilty of some slack defending as Tapine twice scored either side of tries for Edrick Lee and Sia Soliola.