Mitch Prest helps Raiders to SG Ball grand final glory

The Raiders celebrate their third
SG Ball premiership. Picture: Bryden Sharp/NSW Rugby League
The Raiders celebrate their third SG Ball premiership. Picture: Bryden Sharp/NSW Rugby League

Young's Mitch Prest has helped lift Canberra to a dramatic SG Ball title on Saturday.

The guts and determination of the Raiders last-ditch defence was just enough to take a 18-14 win over Illawarra Steelers.

It was typified by a Connor Williams try-saving tackle in the final seconds to help the Raiders to their third SG Ball premiership at Leichhardt Oval. Prest is one of three Group Nine products in the under 19s outfit which features Gundagai's Clay Webb, who captained the side, and Wagga's Wilson Hamblin.

Mitch Prest.

Mitch Prest.

The Raiders never trailed in the clash but eight points was the biggest margin.

However SG Ball Cup Player of the Series Junior Amone threatened to turn the tide in the closing stages with a strong run down the right-hand side of the field, beating several defenders until the ball eventually was lost, along with any chance of a Steelers comeback. Prest played about 30 minutes from the interchange bench.

Raiders coach Ashley Barnes paid tribute to Raiders' recruitment guru Peter Mulholland, who's in hospital following chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant in his ongoing battle against blood cancer.

"The boys really put in a good effort for Pete. We wish he could've been here, but he's someone who's put a lot of time and effort into these young men and he can take a lot of credit for the result," Barnes said.

Canberra lock Trey Mooney was named man of the match for his 80-minute effort - despite carrying a shoulder injury - while fellow middle Caleb Esera scored a try in a dominant display and fullback Jack Sandford crossed for what proved to be the winner.

Raiders halfback Sione Moala was the other try scorer for the victors, who added their names in the history books alongside the 1995 and 2005 SG Ball premiership teams.

Wagga Brothers product Bryce Magnone and Albury's Travis Barrett-Hancock were on the wrong side of the result.

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