The Canberra Raiders have suffered consecutive losses going down to the Brisbane Broncos 28-4 in front of 8,094 on a chilly night at GIO Stadium.
Canberra came into the game needing a confidence boosting win after some disappointing off-field results with none of the four high profile players the club looked at signing deciding to join the club.
It was also an opportunity for fullback Anthony Milford to showcase his talents against his future club. However for Milford it wasn’t the night he would’ve hoped for despite being named in a Queensland Marron’s extended squad with Josh Papalii.
It was a tough night for the Raiders who completed just 28 of 39 sets failing to get any sort of attack going with just two line breaks the entire night. Between the sides they combined for 25 errors (Raiders 14, Brisbane 11).
Canberra were under pressure early in the game after Jack Wighton was unable to diffuse a bomb. It led to the Broncos getting consecutive sets at the Raider’s line.
Andrew McCullough tested the Raiders early with a scoot from dummy half but Josh Papalii was able to get under the ball to force enough doubt in the video referee’s mind.
The game became an arm wrestle after that with neither side able to gain metres with ease with the game predominantly being played between the side’s 20 metre lines. This was highlighted by just one line break occurring inside the first 21 minutes courtesy of Milford.
However it was the Broncos who then dominated the match to half time, with two tries to Dale Copley breaking the deadlock.
Alex Glenn sparked the Brisbane attack when he was able to find an unmarked Copley on the wing for the first try of the night. Parker converted from the sidelines to give the Broncos a 6-0 lead after 24 minutes.
Copley scored again after Milford lost the ball forward and it rebounded off Copley’s head towards the Raider’s try line. Copley gathered the loose ball and was able to score under pressure from both Milford and Croker.
Ben Hunt converted the try to give the Broncos a 12-0 lead. The Raiders had a chance to score just before half time but a sloppy play led to Wighton losing the ball within 10 metres of the try line.
Jarrad Kennedy was terrific for the Raiders in the first half churning through 95 metres from just nine runs, while Glen Buttriss had 29 tackles and Shaun Fensom had six runs for 50m and 23 tackles in his usual workman like performance.
There was no penalties in the first half but in the opening three minutes of the second half there was three as tensions started to surface between the two sides. Josh McGuire was also placed on report for a lifting tackle on Paul Vaughan.
The Broncos opened the scoring in the second half following another bomb this time through McGuire. The try was a contentious one with Terry Campese looking to have been impeded with here only moments before a Raider’s line break was pulled up for the exact same incident.
Hunt converted the try to give the Broncos an 18-0 lead.
Mitch Cornish looked to get the Raiders going once he was injected into the game, but the young halfback was unable to get much traction going in attack being caught running the ball three times on the last tackle inside the 20.
It was a game of what ifs for the Raiders where there was a number of times the Raiders looked like they were going to score only for a desperate tackle or dropped ball letting them down.
McGuire was showing no love for his future team mate in Milford when he was placed on report for the second time for a swinging arm.
Fensom finally got some points on the board for the Raiders, scoring his first try for the season. Croker missed the conversion leaving the Broncos with an 18-4 lead with ten minutes to go.
An offload from Cornish was intercepted by the Broncos and later in the set Ben Barba scored the match sealing try. Parker missed the conversion giving the Broncos a 22-4 lead.
The last few minutes of the match was riddled with errors. However the Broncos extended their lead through Glenn who was able to score a soft try under the posts. Hunt converted the try to give the Broncos a commanding 28-4 lead to finish the game.
In a tough night for the Raiders Shaun Fensom was his usual self with 48 tackles and running for 109 metres, while also scoring the Raider’s solo try. The Raiders will have a week off with the bye before returning to GIO Stadium for Friday Night Football against the Canterbury Bulldogs.
Brisbane Broncos 28
Tries: Copley 2, McGuire, Barba, Glenn; Parker 1, Hunt 3 Goals
Canberra Raiders 4