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Brisbane have exacted revenge on the Canberra Raiders for the record defeat suffered at their hands five weeks ago, booking in sixth spot on the ladder with a 22-10 victory at Suncorp Stadium.
As evidenced by the relatively low score, neither side was playing for a high score. It took until the 20th minute before the scoreboard ticked over, pointscoring lock Corey Parker giving Brisbane the first points. A penalty goal extended their lead not long after, and meant when the Raiders scored just before the halftime break, the Broncos would still lead at oranges.
Sam Thaiday was the first tryscorer in the second half and from there on it became slowly apparent Brisbane were there to grind it out. Jharal Yow Yeh scored to extend their lead to ten points with 20 minutes remaining, and Parker bagged a double to put his side up 22-6 going into the final ten. The Raiders clawed a try back inside the final ten and looked strong, but basic errors crept in and cruelled both sides chances of crossing the line again.
The Broncos will trot down the Pacific to face the Titans next Saturday in the 3rd v 6th qualifying final, while Canberra will look to 2010 following tonight's match.
For a full run-down of all the week one clashes in this years finals series, click here!
Match Details Brisbane Broncos 22 def Canberra Raiders 10 Round 26 - Sunday September 6th, 2009 07:00pm Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane Referee: Jason Robinson & Brett Suttor Sideline Officials: Mohamad Fajajo & Adam Devcich Video Referee: Paul Simpkins Crowd: 35,112 Halftime: Brisbane Broncos 8 Canberra Raiders 6
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Talk about the Broncos v Raiders Round 26 clash as it happens - forum discussion - click here!
BRONCOS: 1. Karmichael Hunt 2. Antonio Winterstein 3. Israel Folau 4. Justin Hodges 5. Jharal Yow Yeh 6. Darren Lockyer 7. Peter Wallace 8. Nick Kenny 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Dave Taylor 16. Ashton Sims 12. Sam Thaiday 13. Corey Parker Interchange: 11. Tonie Carroll 14. Lagi Setu 15. Joel Clinton 17. Alex Glenn RAIDERS: 1. Josh Dugan 11. Joel Thompson 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Joel Monaghan 5. Phil Graham 6. Terry Campese 7. Josh McCrone 8. Dane Tilse 9. Alan Tongue 10. David Shillington 17. Joe Picker 12. Bronson Harrison 13. Josh Miller Interchange: 14. Trevor Thurling 15. Travis Waddell 16. Troy Thompson 22. Tom Learoyd-Lahrs
The final game of the 2009 premiership takes place at the "new home" of rugby league - Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Plenty at stake in this game, a victory for the Raiders caps an indifferent season with a rare away win, while Brisbane's mission will be to rise from 7th to 6th.
Two finals series matches already are decided for next weekend - the Melbourne Storm will host Manly at Etihad Stadium on Friday night and the Sunday afternoon clash sees minor premiers St George Illawarra against eighth-placed Parramatta. The equation for the other two clashes hinges on tonights results:
If Brisbane win: Brisbane finish 6th - Gold Coast v Brisbane, Sat 6:30pm at Skilled Park, meaning we see Bulldogs v Newcastle, Sat 8:30pm at ANZ Stadium.
If Canberra win: Brisbane finish 7th - Gold Coast v Newcastle, Sat 6:30pm at Skilled Park, meaning we see Bulldogs v Brisbane, Sat 8:30pm at ANZ Stadium.
It's that easy - or not, depending how you look at it. The team changes are in the lineups listed above - an interesting one for the men in lime - Joel Thompson replacing the suspended Daniel Vidot on the wing! Joe Picker takes Thompson's second row position while the new man on the bench is none other than NSW representative Tom Learoyd-Lahrs. Brisbane have just a clean swap between Tonie Carroll and Ashton Sims, Carroll back to the bench with Sims to start.
Brisbane firm favourites going into this one. Stick around, action's not too far away.
2 min: Some eager play from Canberra as they work their way into an attacking position but Tongue can't find Croker in the right spot and it's a Broncos scrum, on their own 30 metre line.
4 min: Brisbane trying to some razzle-dazzle on the last near the Raiders' line, but it turns messy and Picker grabs it for Canberra.
6 min: Darren Lockyer trapped on the last tackle in possession, handover to Canberra.
7 min: Campese kicks early in the set for some bizarre reason, then a few tackles later Thaiday crashes through the line, before losing it forward. Corey Parker grabs the scraps and jogs away to score but the knock-on is called.
9 min: PENALTY Raiders - inside the ten. First attacking chance for the green machine.
10 min: A controversial turnover in the play-the-ball, Ashton Sims coming out with a ball after a Raiders' player was tackled. Easy metres from Brisbane in the ensuing set but again Lockyer is held on the last tackle and it's a changeover.
13 min: PENALTY Raiders - Brisbane getting nailed for offside again. Raiders to attack again.
14 min: PENALTY Raiders - Broncos players all inside the ten defending on their line.
15 min: VIDEO REFEREE - Possible Raiders try We're going upstairs for the first time today. A grubber from Campese and a series of fumbles from players in both sets of jumpers... who knows. VERDICT...
NO TRY. 20m restart for Brisbane - Canberra's many players there ruled to have knocked on.
17 min: Poor handling from the Broncos gives the Raiders a scrum. Still no score at Suncorp.
20 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos First blood comes after a quarter of the game, some beautiful link-up play from Peter Wallace, finding Corey Parker who scores under the posts. Conversion attempt by Corey Parker successful. Brisbane Broncos 6-0
22 min: The momentum is building. Wallace finds space behind Dugan from a deep kick, this time the Centre and Wing on the opposite side - Winterstein and Folau, pick up and dump Dugan into the in-goal.
23 min: PENALTY Broncos - Alan Tongue strips the ball in a two man tackle. Brisbane drop it on tackle one. Raiders scrum.
25 min: PENALTY GOAL Brisbane Broncos Brisbane with a penalty goal although Canberra with a harsh advantage call against them which allowed Brisbane the field position in the first place. Corey Parker grabs another two points. Brisbane Broncos 8-0
30 min: Completion rates sitting at 11/17 and 12/17 respectively - the team trailing has completed more sets. A Bronco break now but a forward pass called. Another incomplete set.
36 min: TRY Canberra Raiders Josh McCrone puts Bronson Harrison into a yawning gap and backs up in support. Harrison gets it back to him, McCrone turns Karmichael Hunt inside out and it's try-time for Canberra! Conversion attempt by Terry Campese successful. Brisbane Broncos 8-6
38 min: Brisbane work it wide but a stray pass finds a Raider and they'll start a set on halfway.
39 min: A high kick on the last from McCrone is fielding very easily by Winterstein in-goal. 20m restart for Brisbane with sixty seconds remaining til the break.
40 min: Some excitement on the break, Lockyer grubbers through and Dugan drops it, Sam Thaiday then takes hold of the ball, they offload and eventually Folau puts a bomb up... and Dugan allows it to bounce! Wallace is steaming through but a number of Raiders pitch in to ensure it's going dead. Halftime!
The second half has kicked off. Brisbane have possession.
43 min: Brisbane make the first attacking raid of the second half, Lockyer's bomb is defused by Joel Monaghan. Now Josh Dugan makes a big break... Hunt with a massive shoulder charge stops him in his tracks just short of halfway.
44 min: Canberra force repeat sets for the first time today.
46 min: Campese's fifth tackle bomb is easily fielded by Yow Yeh and young Jharal makes 20 metres off the mark. Now it's a PENALTY to the Broncos as the pressure continues to ease.
48 min: The last tackle for Brisbane now, Winterstein is forced into touch though. Fifth tackle options haven't been the best from either side tonight.
50 min: A line drop-out goes wide and short, Wallace gives it to Taylor who barges his way down the touchline. As he barrels toward the corner and is eventually found to collect the corner post and Josh Dugan, but Brisbane have a PENALTY as one of their players was taken out by a green jersey in back-play.
52 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos And the first points from someone other than Corey Parker come after 50 minutes - Sam Thaiday taking a Lagi Setu offload and powering over the tryline from ten metres out. Conversion attempt by Corey Parker unsuccessful. Brisbane Broncos 12-6
55 min: Darren Lockyer not with the perfect kicking game Wallace has displayed, his fifth tackle punt trickling dead.
57 min: McCrone chip & chase... he knocks it in what appears to be a backward direction, but it's called a knock-on.
60 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos Jharal Yow Yeh books the Broncos' a date at Skilled Park next Saturday evening, Peter Wallace gets it to Hodges in a gap, who finds Yow Yeh out wide. Classy performance in this second half from Brisbane thus far. Conversion attempt by Corey Parker unsuccessful. Brisbane Broncos 16-6
61 min: Nick Kenny fumbles the ball trying to play it, the Raiders to attack now.
63 min: PENALTY Broncos - the Raiders almost sleeping on the tackled player. Brisbane with a chance to put this one beyond doubt here...
64 min: Terrible dummy-half pass from Darren Lockyer goes 15 metres along the ground backwards and into touch.
65 min: Another Raiders error. Brisbane with the ball inside Canberra's 40.
66 min: VIDEO REFEREE - Possible Broncos try Corey Parker's carried two defenders to the line, just checking the grounding. VERDICT...
TRY Brisbane Broncos Parker grabs a double to boost his pointscoring tally for 2009, and converts it to boot. That's the ball game now. Brisbane Broncos 22-6
69 min: Josh Dugan and Dave Taylor come together again, but Taylor's knocked on. Raiders scrum. The Raiders go wide from the scrum... and a forward pass is ruled as they surge up toward halfway. Brisbane could run away with this.
70 min: TRY Canberra Raiders Lockyer is promoting it to the left and Winterstein comes up with a fumble, and the Raiders have the ball... McCrone's away! Winterstein won't catch him! Try for the Raiders with ten remaining. Conversion attempt by Terry Campese unsuccessful. Brisbane Broncos 22-10
73 min: Canberra spend a set pressuring the Broncos line but they fail to crack it.
74 min: Lagi Setu drops it on his own 30m line. Raiders scrum.
75 min: No pressure on Yow Yeh on the last, Campese putting a cross-field kick in, but Jharal's got it on the fly and it'll go to the 20 for a restart.
78 min: A mistake from the Broncos in the ruck and it's a Canberra scrum 40m out. They'll chance their hand here the Raiders...
79 min: A grubber through finds Wallace's arms and he's away, making it to the 30m before submitting to the tackle. The ball finds it's way to the other side of the field and Winterstein drops it. Another Raiders scrum with barely more than 60 seconds.
80 min: PENALTY Broncos - accidental offside from the Raiders. Brisbane with a final attacking chance with 30 seconds to go.
80 min: VIDEO REFEREE - Possible Broncos try. Another penalty against the Raiders with the siren sounding in the background, Brisbane push themselves to the left, Dave Taylor getting in the corner but taking out the corner post first. NO TRY.
FULLTIME: Brisbane Broncos 22 Canberra Raiders 10 A grinding, sometimes messy for Brisbane to take them into finals footy. They'll head to the Titans' Skilled Park fortress next Saturday evening at 6:30pm. For Canberra, Mad Monday awaits.