Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
22 hours ago
The Brisbane Broncos have broken their Canberra Stadium drought with a dominant 20-4 victory over a disappointing Raiders outfit tonight.
The game started off disastrously for the Broncos after starting front rower Scott Anderson was injured during their pre-game warm up. As the Broncos are one of the few NRL teams who don't travel with an 18th man, young NYC center Dale Copley was forced to back up and play first grade.
It was a great start by Brisbane after fullback Josh Hoffman took advantage of some lazy Canberra defense and opened the scoring for the night with a try in the 6th minute.
The Raiders hit back in the 23rd minute with a try to Blake Ferguson. A great cross-field kick from Josh McCrone saw Ferguson snatch the ball out of rookie Dane Gagai's hands and plant the ball down for a much needed four pointer. Unfortunately for Canberra fans, that would be the last score for the Green Machine for the rest of the game.
The remainder of the first half was error riddled, and a number of penalties being committed by both sides. Both teams looked relieved to hear the half time siren.
The Broncos were clinical in the second half, with inspirational skipper Darren Lockyer controlling the game beautifully. Canberra, however dropped their intensity and didn't look like the same team that thrashed the Sharks 40-12 last week.
At the 59 minute mark the Broncos were in again after some great play from Peter Wallace. Wallace had the ball with plenty of time and he held the pass as late as he could before getting it to a bulldozing Matt Gillett. David Milne had no chance of stopping Gillett from that range, and the Broncos extended their lead to 12-4.
Four minutes later the Broncos were in again with an early contender for try of the season. Corey Parker somehow managed to pop an offload with 4 defenders on him, creating some space on his outside. Jack Reed managed to draw the winger before passing the ball to Jharal Yow Yow, who showed some individual brilliance to grubbed the ball down the field and beat a scrambling David Milne to the ball.
The Broncos closed out the game with a late penalty goal to Corey Parker after David Shillington was caught in an offside position after an error from Blake Ferguson.
In what ended up being a bit of a scrappy game, the Broncos looked to have improved drastically from their disappointing performance last week against the Cowboys. I'm sure quite a bit of pressure has been taken off Broncos Coach Anthony Griffin's shoulder now that his team has recorded it's first win of the season.
The Raiders will have to go back to the drawing board and try and find positives out of that performance. They looked like a different team in the second half, with no one wanting to stand up and force the Raiders back into the game.
Next week the Broncos face the Titans at Skilled Park, whilst the Raiders will travel to Campbelltown to face the Tigers.
Canberra Raiders 4 were defeated by Brisbane Broncos 20
National Rugby League - Round 2 - Friday March 18, 2011 8:45pm
Venue: Canberra Stadium
Referee: Matt Cecchin and Steve Lyons
Video Referee: Steve Clark
Touch Judges: Steve Chiddy and Grant Atkins
Halftime: Canberra Raiders 4 Brisbane Broncos 6
CANBERRA RAIDERS (4)
Tries: Blake Ferguson
Conversions: Jarrod Croker (0/1)
BRISBANE BRONCOS (20)
Tries: Matt Gillett, Josh Hoffman, Jharal Yow Yeh
Conversions: Corey Parker (3/3)
Penalty Goals: Corey Parker (1/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Good evening and welcome to League Unlimited's live coverage of the Canberra Raiders v Brisbane Broncos. The performance of these two teams last week couldn't have been more different. The Raiders comprehensively beat a lacklustre Sharks outfit, whilst the Broncos were disappointing against arch rivals North Queensland.
The Raiders were clinical despite missing several key players, and with the return of Matt Orford things can only get better for the Green Machine. In direct contrast, the Broncos were impatient and lazy in just about everything they did. Like the Raiders, they are missing a couple of key players in Justin Hodges and Ben Hannant, but they will need to lift their game substantially if they are any hope of containing the Raiders tonight.
The Raiders took out the curtain raiser 38-22, with young halfback Sam Williams starring and scoring 2 tries.
No late changes for either team tonight. Both are 1-17.
Late, late mail. Scott Anderson has done his hammy in the warm up. As Brisbane don't travel with an 18th man, a player from the Toyota Cup will join the bench for the Broncos.
1 min: Game on. Broncos kick off. Canberra first posession.
1 min: Vidot knocks on from the kick off! Early field position for the Broncos. Not a good start by the Raiders.
2 min: Pressure amounts to nothing as Lockyer's kick is easily taken by Ferguson.
4 min: Penalty to Brisbane. Learoyd-Lahrs pulls the leg in the tackle.
6 min: TRY!
6 min: TRY
Josh Hoffman creates something out of nothing after some lazy defense from Joel Thompson. Broncos take an early lead.
Brisbane Broncos 6-0
8 min: Dale Copley has just arrived at the stadium. He is wearing #10, but for the Broncos sake, I hope they don't play him there.
9 min: Total mess by the Broncos as Gagai and Hoffman don't communicate. Very lucky not to be called offside there.
10 min: Shillington looking for an offload, but a quick reaction from Andrew McCullough gets Brisbane the ball back.
12 min: Scrum to the Broncos on their own 40 after Thompson throws a ball into touch.
14 min: A dangerous chip from Lockyer is defused by Matt Orford, but he was ruled to have jumped from the field of play. Line Drop out.
15 min: Josh Hoffman passes the ball to the bloke in the first row. Scrum to Raiders on their own 10m line.
16 min: Penalty to the Raiders. Alex Glenn held on too long there.
17 min: Orford's dangerous kick is knocked on by Daniel Vidot. Looks like Ox hasn't lost anything after his Super League holiday.
19 min: Another great kick from Matt Orford forces Yow Yeh to ground the ball in the in goal with Vidot bearing down on him. Line drop out for the Raiders.
22 min: Interchange forwards starting to come on now. Josh Miller, Dane Tilse and Josh McGuire now all on the field.
23 min: TRY!
23 min: TRY
McCrone puts in a great kick for Blake Ferguson, who snatches the ball out of Dane Gagai's hands. It's clear the Raiders are going to put some pressure on the young Broncos winger tonight.
Brisbane Broncos 6-4
26 min: Poor pass from Ben Te'o puts Josh McGuire under a lot of pressure and he fumbled the ball. Raiders on the attack.
28 min: Raiders waste an opportunity there with Bronson Harrison being caught on the 6th.
30 min: Penalty to the Broncos after an accidental offside by the Raiders.
30 min: Broncos don't find touch with the kick. Raiders back in Broncos' territory.
32 min: Raiders 5m out from Broncos line. Plenty of pressure here.
32 min: Pressure off as Harrison fumbles a dangerous pass from Orford.
34 min: Broncos fail to get the kick away as Te'o is tackled on the 6th. To add salt to the wounds, the Broncos are penalised after Te'o throws the ball away.
35 min: Canberra fail to get their kick away for the second time tonight as Croker is monstered by Jack Reed.
36 min: Hoffman drops a spiraling Orford kick. Canberra will get a scrum 20m out from Broncos line.
37 min: Vidot knocks on the kick from Orford. The Raider wingers are looking very dangerous in the air.
40 min: That's half time folks. Plenty of errors so far, but both teams are looking dangerous running the ball.
40 min: Some stats for those fantasy football players out there.
Joe Picker leads the tackle count for the Raiders with 19, closely followed by Shaun Fensom on 18. For the Broncos McCullough, Glenn & Parker are all on 20.
McCrone has a try assist, and Josh Hoffman has the only line break so far.
41 min: Game back underway. Broncos have the first possession of the second half.
43 min: Gagai jumps too early and fails to catch a relatively simple kick from McCrone. Raiders on the attack deep in Broncos' territory.
44 min: Joel Thompson gets caught on the 6th after some attacking play. If he had have been able to get the ball to Ferguson it was try time for the Raiders.
44 min: Bad news for Raiders fans. Shillington just limped up the tunnel for examination.
45 min: A head clash between Travis Waddell and Ben Te'o leaves both players down.
45 min: Loose carry from McGuire there. Raiders scrum on their 40.
47 min: Great try saving tackle from Yow Yeh cuts Vidot in half.
50 min: Big Lockyer bomb is fumbled backwards by Milne. Luckily he got to it before Ben Te'o.
52 min: Penalty to Broncos 10 out from the Raiders line. They have chosen to take the tap.
54 min: Raiders lacking a bit of organisation at the moment with Fensom kicking a ball down field.
55 min: Penalty to the Raiders after Lockyer puts Picker in a dangerous position.
56 min: Penalty to Broncos after Ferguson hits Copley in the air whilst trying to catch a bomb.
57 min: TRY!
57 min: TRY
Some great work from Peter Wallace there as he holds the pass as long as he can before a great short pass to a bulldozing Matt Gillett. Milne had no chance of stopping him there.
Brisbane Broncos 12-4
60 min: Very back and forth at the moment. Both teams not creating much.
63 min: TRY!
63 min: TRY
Simply amazing try here by the Broncos. Corey Parker somehow manages to offload with 4 men on him. Jack Reed draws the winger before passing it to Jharal Yow Yeh, who puts in a freakish grubber for himself then beats Milne to the line.
Parker nails the conversion from the sideline.
Brisbane Broncos 18-4
66 min: A relatively simple play goes wrong for Canberra after a poor pass from Matt Orford forces Croker to fumble the ball.
67 min: Vidot out-leaps Yow Yeh to prevent another Broncos try, but is quickly taken into touch by the Broncos. More pressure for the Raiders.
69 min: Raiders take a quick tap after taking the ball in goal. Good to see the quick tap back in the game.
70 min: Alex Glenn chips over the defense for Jharal Yow Yeh, who goes on a swerving run about 40m down before putting in another kick for Jack Reed. Vidot takes it dead. Great play there.
73 min: Another line drop out for the Broncos here and the Raiders go short, but fail.
76 min: PENALTY GOAL
Shillington offside after a Ferguson error. Broncos take the two.
Brisbane Broncos 20-4
79 min: Penalty to the Broncos in their own half as Milne tries to take Beale over the sideline after held is called.
80 min: That's full time here at Canberra Stadium. The Broncos have defeated the Raiders 20-4 in a much improved performance from last week. The Raiders were disappointing in the second half and lacked the spark they had last week.
The Broncos were the better team tonight and deserved to get the 2 points.