Tapine leads Raiders to important NRL win

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Canberra coach Ricky Stuart has hailed Joseph Tapine as the best front-rower in rugby league after the prop delivered another dominant display in the Raiders' 36-24 NRL win over Gold Coast.

Tapine scored a second-half try despite having four Titans draped over him in a match at CBUS Super Stadium where he also picked up 173 running metres, 13 tackle breaks and four offloads.

Saturday's seven-tries-to-four win over the struggling Titans is the Raiders' fourth from their past five games and lifts them to ninth on the ladder as they continue a late charge towards the finals.

Nick Cotric and Sebastien Kris scored try doubles for the visitors, with only Jayden Campbell's second-half double providing some joy for the home fans as the Titans slumped to a ninth-straight loss.

Tapine's all-action display also included spending 10 minutes in the sin-bin for throwing a punch at Titans forward David Fifita following an off-the-ball scuffle with Aaron Booth.

Stuart said that with Tapine leading the way, and fellow forwards Adam Elliott and Josh Papalii playing key supporting roles, he was confident the Raiders' quest to reach the top eight wouldn't falter in the final weeks of the campaign.

"He's the best front-rower in the game and backed up by a wonderful forward pack and Papa (Papalii)," Stuart said of Tapine.

"For the life of me I don't know why Pap didn't play more time in Origin, but I tell you he's supporting Taps as well as any frontrower in the game.

"These blokes ... I love coaching them because they're such a resilient bunch of blokes.

"Not always the easiest blokes to coach but I love coaching them because they're good blokes and they're just resilient and they want to win at all costs and I love people who just compete."

Elliott picked up 126 running metres before limping off early in the second half with what Stuart confirmed was a hip flexor niggle.

"They had him ready to go again if I needed him but I didn't want to risk him," Stuart said of his No.13.

Adding sting to a ninth-straight defeat for the Titans, Raiders halfback Jamal Fogarty came back to haunt his former club, setting up a second-half try for Hudson Young and scoring eight points off the boot.

Young turned provider twice, delivering pinpoint flick passes to Cotric and Kris in either half as the Raiders racked up their highest score of the season.

The Titans, who were down by just four points at the main break, were their own worst enemy at times, committing several simple errors as they threatened to build pressure.

"We fought hard in the first half and obviously let too many soft tries in and chased the game at the end but same sort of issues, inexperience in key positions is hurting us and that's what's costing us," Titans coach Justin Holbrook said.

"That's what we've got and we can't change that now.

"We'll change it for next year but we can't change that now. So we've got to get on with it and get ready for next week, but yeah, not good enough today."

The Raiders will look to continue their charge against premiers Penrith in Canberra next Saturday while the Titans face a daunting trip to Melbourne to play the Storm on Friday.

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