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Raiders roll Titans to open with NRL win

Jack Wighton has answered a challenge from Canberra NRL coach Ricky Stuart in style, scoring two tries to set up the Raiders' thumping 24-6 home win over Gold Coast

The five-eighth burst out of the blocks at GIO Stadium, scoring two tries in the opening 13 minutes in front of a crowd of 10,610 who defied the coronavirus threat.

Stuart said he talked to Wighton, the Clive Churchill Medallist from last year's grand final loss, about taking his game up another notch this season.

"I spoke to Jack a bit in the off-season about going to another level," Stuart said.

"Personally, I think Jack will become, and is ready to become, a representative five-eighth so that's a little goal we've got and it's something he's most definitely taken on board after that performance."

While the Raiders are looking to go one better than their grand final defeat of 2019, the Titans are desperate to climb off the bottom of the NRL under new coach Justin Holbrook.

In a disappointing first half, they trailed 18-0 at halftime with a 5-1 penalty count and 24 missed tackles not helping their cause.

Holbrook felt his side were their own worst enemy.

"We made some very dumb errors," he said.

"We threw three forward passes and there were things that you'd be upset at at any level of NRL let alone against a grand finalist from last year.

"We at least created a few chances in the second half but we've got to be better than that."

The Titans rallied after the break to make a contest of it, looking more dangerous after shifting centre Tyrone Peachy closer to the action at lock.

The hard-running Wighton exposed some flimsy Titans' defence, running through halfback Ash Taylor, who appeared to be carrying a shoulder injury, for both of his early scores.

Canberra interchange forward Emre Guler crashed over for his first NRL try in the 29th minute to extend the margin.

The Raiders almost had at least one more try when their new No.7, Englishman George Williams, ignored men outside as he tried to score himself.

Taylor made amends for his earlier defensive woes when he helped set up a 44th-minute try for Gold Coast, getting a neat ball away to winger Anthony Don, who made his way through plenty of traffic to score.

The Titans surge stalled in the 65th minute when Raiders second-rower Elliott Whitehead ran on to a Guler pass to complete the scoring at 24-6.

Fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and co-captain Jarrod Croker both had head knocks for Canberra, while Joseph Tapine was put on report for a shoulder charge but Stuart was confident all would be available for round two.

Exciting Titans reserve back Brian Kelly was also a late casualty with a head injury but Holbrook reported after the game that he was in good health.