The Canberra Raiders have defeated the Brisbane Broncos in cold conditions in the nations capital tonight in front of 10, 419 faithful fans.
In a game that started out as an arm wrestle, it soon turned into a whitewash as the Raiders put on 24 unanswered points in the first half. The Broncos were able to mount several quick come backs at the end of the first half and throughout the second half but were unable to overcome the high flying Raiders in a fast paced, yet scrappy match.
It was a back and forth affair to start the game tonight, with the Broncos and Raiders trading kicks to the fullbacks and wingers until the 11th minute, when a bomb by Terry Campese was put up for collection by Blake Ferguson, fresh from Origin. He flicked the ball back to a flying Josh McCrone to score next to the posts. Jarrod Croker kicked the goal from in front and the Raiders were on the scoreboard.
It took only 4 more minutes for the Raiders to cross the line for their second of the evening, with Joel Thompson charging over the line in the first set from the kick off. The pass was a short one from Campese to put Thompson in and Croker never looked like missing the conversion.
The arm wrestle was well and truly alive again with the Broncos and Raiders trading blows, before Reece Robinson threw a long ball out to Edrick Lee, who beat defenders to sprint up the left edge sideline. He got a pass back on the inside to Jarrod Croker in support, who sprinted the rest of the way to score under the posts. Croker converted his own try to extend the lead.
Another try followed soon after on the back of a Reece Robinson play, which saw him go down the short side and get the ball off to Edrick Lee who crashed through several defenders to post the 4th try for the Raiders on the night. Croker nailed the conversion from the sideline to extend the lead to 4 converted tries.
A minute before the half time break, a brilliant individual effort from Scott Prince saw the Broncos post their first points of the night. A dummy pass from close to the line saw Prince pass through the defensive line and dive over the line for a quick 4 pointer. He converted his own try and the Broncos were back in the hunt.
The Broncos had to be the next team to score to have any hope of winning, and they did so through a great run by Matt Gillett. He gather the ball from the air off of a kick from Peter Wallace and strolled over the line in the 53rd minute to reduce the gap. Prince converted and the Broncos were on the right page in the second half.
The grind set in after the Broncos try and was broken with only 15 minutes left to play in the second half. Campese took the ball to the line before passing off to Joel Edwards, who used his footwork to pass through the Broncos defense to score next to the posts. Croker again nailed the conversion and the try all but put the Broncos out of the contest.
The last try of the game through Mitchell Dodds, who ran onto a short ball from Parker, and saw the big man cross over the line for another Broncos try. Prince kicked the conversion but unfortunately it was too little, too late for the visitors as they went down heavily in tonight’s game.
Next week, it's the Raiders at home to Penrith on Saturday, and the Broncos will have another Monday night game against the Tigers, this time at home in Brisbane.