Dapto victory comes at a cost

STAR TURN: Dapto fullback Jason Raper scored a try and had a hand in three others in the Canaries 54-10 win over Helensburgh. Picture: Adam McLean
STAR TURN: Dapto fullback Jason Raper scored a try and had a hand in three others in the Canaries 54-10 win over Helensburgh. Picture: Adam McLean

DAPTO produced a stunning return to form, but it may yet come at a major cost with star halfback Beau Henry injured in the Canaries 54-10 win over Helensburgh on Saturday.

Henry kicked a perfect five from five goals before he was left writhing in pain clutching at his right knee midway through the second half.

He came from the field with Dapto adding four more tries in his absence but it could prove a key moment in the Canaries title defence.

Captain-coach Michael Henderson, who made his return from injury against the Tigers, was hopeful the injury wasn’t serious but was resigned to playing a stretch of the season without his star half.

“Its not good for Beauy,” Henderson said.

“He’s done his ACL in the other knee so hopefully it’s not that.

“He’s definitely done something so all we can do is hope for the best. He’d be a big loss.

“Whatever it is he’s going to miss a bit of footy but hopefully we’ll get him back at some stage.”

Fullback Jason Raper was the star for the Canaries before and after Henry’s mishap, scoring a try and having a hand in three others to go with four goals.

Winger Rob Buaserau also had a day out with four tries on the right flank as the Canaries re-found their attacking groove.

It came after a month without football to stew on a 12-10 loss to Thirroul in their previous outing.

“Even though we’ve only played four games we’re midway through the season now so we had a good chat about where we’re at and where we’re going,” Henderson said.

“We put in a couple of good weeks at training to get ready for this game we showed real positive signs to start the game.

“We showed a lot of push around the footy, which we’ve lacked, and, apart from a 10-minute period there, we didn’t overplay things which we’ve been guilty of. 

“We’ve got a run now of seven games in a row so hopefully we can get a bit of momentum and get better each week, which is the goal.

“We’ve got a tough game next week against Wests. They’ve had a couple of losses so they’re going to be really hungry and come out firing so we’ve got to be ready.”

Buaserau opened the scoring early on and had a double in quick time. The Tigers hit back through John Tohi, who scooped up a well-weighted Eamon Hillen grubber while Liam O’Toole also scored a determined individual try to keep his side in it at 12-10.

From there the rout began with Troy Pieper stepping across from close range and Lulia Lulia seizing on a Tigers fumble to take a 24-10 lead into the break.

Raper got things going after the resumption, splitting the Tigers up the middle and racing 50 metres to score under the posts.

Buaserau completed his hat-trick when he burrowed over from dummy-half and the lead swelled beyond four converted tries when Mick Murphy finished off a break from Tyson Tamakaha.

Raper set Bauserau’s fourth try in motion with a deft off-load before Josh Bryant crossed next to the posts to round out the scoring.

Earlier at Berkeley Sports Ground, the Eagles went within a whisker of their first win of the season against Thirroul with the Butchers good enough to edge them out 28-24 in a thriller.