NRL 2019: Canberra Raiders shutout Parramatta Eels to secure top four spot

Canberra have equalled their best start to an NRL season in 14 years after defeating Parramatta 19-0 at Canberra Stadium on Sunday.        

The Raiders improved their record to 4-1 and remain third on the ladder after overcoming a frustrating start and keeping a team scoreless at home for the first time since 2013.     

The Eels' defeat was compounded with the loss of star recruit Blake Ferguson who left the field early in the second half with suspected broken ribs.       

Ferguson had been averaging more than 200 run metres per game this season.

Canberra didn't survive the match unscathed either with lock Joe Tapine going off with syndesmosis and will have further scans on Monday.          

Parramatta hadn't won in the capital since 2006 and were their own worst enemies in the first half, completing just eight sets, missing 27 tackles and making nine errors.

The Raiders had all possession and territory in the opening 40 minutes but only scored one try through Josh Papalii, while Jarrod Croker added a penalty for an 8-0 lead at the break.         

The home side clicked into gear in the second half with English internationals Josh Hodgson and Elliott Whitehead combining, the latter scoring from a grubber on 49 minutes.       

Raiders fullback turned five-eighth Jack Wighton then flew high to collect a Sam Williams bomb to bag their third try in the 61st minute.      

Williams sealed the result with a field goal four minutes from time and will likely keep Aidan Sezer out of the starting side for another week.

It was the first time the Raiders had kept a team scoreless in Canberra since they did it to the Eels six years ago.               

They'll host Brisbane next Sunday.          

The Raiders enjoyed a 4-1 season start in 2005 but clopped from there to finish second last on the ladder that season.  

AAP