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Canberra have withstood a last chance surge from Brisbane to seal their spot in the finals series 18-16.
Both sides came out, looking like they came to play and gave the footy some air early in the contest. After the inital softening up period though, Canberra would post first points, using Brisbanes pet play of the crossfield kick and Daniel Vidot would pounce to score. Croker from the sideline had no troubles of giving it the maximum six points.
Canberra would go back to the crossfield kick again, this time to boom youngster Josh Dugan and Croker kept his perfect record for the night going booting this one from the sideline again. Brisbane were faced with a monumental task, needing a victory by 15 before the game, now became 27 points after the back to back tries to the Raiders.
Andrew McCullough would help the Broncos shave some points off that when he went himself from dummyhalf, slicing through and dived over making it an eight point game. Corey Parker failed to convert, giving Brisbane a glimmer of hope going into halftime 12-4.
Brisbane looked the more likely side to claw back the scoreline in the opening twenty minutes of the second half but paniced whenever they found themselves in some space. Canberra though didn't make any mistakes when Josh McCrone took on the line and threw a cut-out to Vidot to score his second. Croker kicked his third for the night making it 18-4.
It took some individual brilliance but Josh Hoffman brought Brisbane back into the game with twelve left. He recovered a chip from Campese to almost streak away but he was caught and later in the count, Corey Parker threw the ball between his legs to Yow Yeh who scored. Parker converted and it was game on.
They would go back to back, when a penalty got Brisbane close to the tryline, a nice pass out to Gillett who powered his way over and another sideline conversion from Parker set up a tense final eight minutes. Brisbane threw everything at the Raiders but they stuck solid and held out for an 18-16 win and will play finals footy in 2010.
Brisbane Broncos 16 were defeated by Canberra Raiders 18
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 26 - Friday September 3, 2010 7:35pm
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Referee: Jared Maxwell and Gerard Sutton
Video Referee: Tim Mander
Touch Judges: Russell Turner and Phil Haines
Halftime: Brisbane Broncos 4 Canberra Raiders 12
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to Suncorp Stadium, for what is a sudden death match. Whoever wins tonight between Brisbane and Canberra will made the top eight, while the other will start planning for their mad monday. Earlier in the u20's Brisbane won a high scoring game 40-36.
Only one change for Brisbane with Peter Wallace risking his shoulder and returning, pushing Corey Norman out of the side and Nick Kenny will start instead of Gillet who goes to the bench. Canberra only have a single change, Travis Waddell in for Trevor Thurling.
1 min: Canberra have made their way onto the field and the roar following can only be for the home team, the Brisbane Broncos. Parker has kicked off and here we go.
4 min: Both sides have spread it wide early, Ben Hunt made the first break and Brisbane almost score but the ball beats all the players out.
8 min: Josh McCrone tries to do too much with the ball at the line and drops it. Brisbane will have a full set in the Raiders half.
Brisbane could have the first try of the game here.
9 min: Ben Te'o is deemed to have knocked the ball on and it will be a no try. 20 metre tap Canberra.
12 min: Brisbane go for the high bomb again but it's unsuccessful again, knocked on by Yow Yeh.
15 min: Brisbane have it all over Canberra atm, Canberra forced to kick early but not getting much space. Canberra will have a reprieve though Brisbane have knocked the ball on.
16 min: Canberra have a penalty, Brisbane were never onside.
18 min: Daniel Vidot could have a try, checking if it's knocked on.
19 min: TRY
It's a try! Vidot and Monaghan leap high, with the latter knocking it back for Vidot to pounce on and score. Croker has no troubles out wide with the conversion.
Canberra Raiders 6-0
21 min: Brisbane try to play some football before the line but Ben Te'o floats the pass forward.
22 min: Josh Dugan might have a try again through the bomb but checking it again.
23 min: TRY
Again up goes the bomb and it's batted back again for Josh Dugan this time to just plant it down easily. Croker again slots it over from the sideline.
Canberra Raiders 12-0
25 min: This will help, an offside penalty against Canberra heps Brisbane into their thirty metre line.
26 min: Not good for Ben Te'o he knocks the ball on in a good position and has dislocated his finger.
27 min: Canberra have invited Brisbane back into their territory after Croker spills an easy ball.
28 min: TRY
Andrew McCullough sprints out of the dummy half and the Raiders forward fall for the fake and he slices through the line. Parker from besides the post, misses!
Canberra Raiders 12-4
29 min: Piggyback from their own line for Brisbane, after a lazy effort from Scott Logan with a high tackle.
30 min: Corey Parker puts too much on the ball for his chasers and it thunders into touch.
34 min: Terry Campese tries to run it on last but he cant find any way through, offloads to Tilse who punts it straight into the post but Hoffman is caught in goal.
35 min: Brisbane have withheld the onslaught from Canberra and have been rewarded with a penalty from their own end.
36 min: Brisbane attempt the kick for their winger Yow Yeh again, he recovers it but tries a kick for himself again and it dribbles over the dead ball line.
39 min: Peter Wallace has gone through a gap but he has tried to kick it for his winger but defused easily by Vidot. Wallace is worse for wear though.
40 min: Brisbane have a lucky break there, Canberra have been sloppy from their own end. It'll give them one more set before the halftime break.
40 min: Wallace tries the grubber through for Thaiday but he drops the ball and Josh Dugan is there to recover. That will be halftime.
41 min: Both sides have made their way back onto the field, can Brisbane score the needed points? i don't know but Campese gets the game back underway.
43 min: Antonion Winterstein has been knocked out here and is being helped by the trainer.
47 min: A silly leg pull by Terry Campese has given Brisbane a whole set within the Raiders twenty metres.
50 min: Some panic football by Brisbane has just coughed the ball up straight to Canberra again.
51 min: Canberra had Brisbane trapped right on their own line but they give away a stupid penalty trying to drag a player back into the in-goal.
52 min: Ben Hunt splits the markers but can't find someone to offload it too and it's spilled again.
55 min: Ben Te'o has been penalised for taking Campese out in the air, stupid penalty which may cost Brisbane the game and ultimately that great finals record.
56 min: Jharal Yow Yeh has come up with a nice hit to dislodge the ball from Dugan and give his side some breathing space.
57 min: Yow Yeh has spilt it right on his ten metre line and Canberra could seal the game here.
60 min: TRY
Josh McCrone takes it to the line and throws a long ball to Vidot who scores untouched. That should be the final nail in Brisbane's 2010 coffin. Croker from the touchline again, slots it.
Canberra Raiders 18-4
61 min: Brisbane try the short kick-off and Folau leaps high and takes it. Brisbane get a piggyback with a penalty and could they get back into the game? no they knock on. Canberra have the feed.
63 min: Bad error there, Josh McCrone had too many weatbix today and kicks it out on the full.
64 min: Brisbane spread it wide and almost crack Canberra but Dugan holds on and some teammates help him to send the winger over the sideline.
Jharal Yow Yeh might have scored from a surprise Parker pass.
Jharal Yow Yeh might have scored from a surprise Parker pass.
69 min: TRY
It all started from a chip, which Hoffman recovered and almost went the length of the field. Brisbane try to go left to right but it was a pass through the legs from Parker to Yow Yeh which got the try. Parker from the sideline, converts it easily.
Canberra Raiders 18-10
71 min: 5th tackle penalty, trying to strip the ball off Thaiday, Brisbane could reduce this back to two the difference.
Matt Gillet might have a try here.
72 min: TRY
Brisbane have gone back to back! A nice cut-out pass to Gillet who forces his way over. Parker slots it from the sideline, two the difference.
Canberra Raiders 18-16
74 min: Silly there, Brisbane tucked themselves on the sideline and ran it on the last tackle, with no reward.
75 min: Some good defence from Brisbane there, first Thaidays cover tackle on Fensom and then they bundle Vidot into touch.
76 min: Danny Galea puts some pressure on Thaiday and hits the ball out. Brisbane ball, forty metres out.
77 min: Anderson is through the line and looks for Thaiday but Campese bats the ball dead.
78 min: Matt Gillett goes himself but he gets tossed over the sideline. Canberra in prime position to win this game.
80 min: Brisbane have one more set, but Corey Parker tries a kick which doesn't come off. Canberra will be playing finals footy and will win this game.