The Canberra Raiders have put on the style as the Broncos fell victims to the NRL's inconsistent foul play crackdown as the green machine took a 38-16 victory at GIO Stadium.
The two sides started evenly but the Raiders put themselves into good field position when a 1-on-1 strip helped the Green Machine mount an attack and Sebastian Kris was able to score first when the Broncos defence was caught going sideways and Kris had too much strength to score. The Raiders continued their scoring when Jack Wighton brought defenders in as he went to the line before finding Corey Harawira-Naera who scored. Sam Williams converted the second try from close range and the Raiders lead by 10-0.
The Broncos turned on the magic for their first of the night when Tyson Gamble scored a remarkable try when his kick was gathered by Herbie Farnworth who got a questionable pass away to Gamble who soccered it through to score. Jesse Arthars failed to convert and we had ourselves a Convoy as the Raiders lead 10-4.
The Raiders continued their domination of the game as Matt Tomoko used his strength to charge at the defensive line and force his way through to score. The Canberrans weren't done dominating as Emre Guler charged at the soft middle of the Broncos as he got over under the sticks. Sam Williams added his third and fourth conversions of the night to extend the Raiders lead to 22-6.
Some individual brilliance from Tesi Niu from the Broncos pushed them within two converted tries when his footwork left the Canberra defence grasping at thin air before putting in a grubber for himself which he got to and scored. Jesse Arthars added the conversion and the Broncos trailed 22-10 at the break.
The Broncos started the second half the better of the sides but it was the Raiders who scored first after Sebastian Kris charged down a Broncos kick to put the Canberrans in good field position before Josh Papali'i scored for the Raiders. The green wave was continuing in the capital when the Raiders turned on the razzle-dazzle down their left edge and Semi Valemei scored in the corner. Sam Williams nailed the sideline conversion to push the margin out to 22.
Yet again, the NRL's crackdown on high contact came under the spotlight when Kobe Hetherington was sent from the field by referee Chris Sutton after collecting a falling Corey Harawira-Naera high although replays showed it was a very tough decision from the officials given CHN had already been ankle-tapped and fell into Hetherington rather than Hetherington initiating contact.
Despite going down a man, and being dominated through the middle, the Broncos only conceded the one try when Jack Wighton ran straight at the Broncos defence and went straight through to score under the posts.
The Broncos picked up a late consolation when Selwyn Cobbo scored his maiden NRL try after some good work by Jesse Arthars. The home-side were denied an effort in the final minutes after Jordan Rapana was ruled to have pushed Herbie Farnworth on his way to the line trying to get to a lose ball.
The first home victory for the Raiders since Round 1 will give them confidence as they head to Wollongong to take on the Dragons whilst the Broncos will have to go to the drawing board yet again as they have to host the Broncos.