Despite four tries from winger Lachlan Hurst the Canberra Raiders NYC team has gone down 34-28 in a hard fought encounter with the Brisbane Broncos at GIO Stadium.
Ricky Garard continued where he left off from last week when he pounced on a Broncos error close to the Raider’s try line, Garard then raced down the sideline before he was claimed 20 metres from the Broncos line.
The Raiders were then able to spin the ball wide and Cleveland McGhie was able to score close to the corner. Mago who returned to the NYC side this week missed the conversion leaving the Raiders with a 4-0 lead after nine minutes.
Garard had a hand in the Raiders next when he was able to find Jared McIlwrick in space before he in turn passed to Hurst who was able to score unmarked in the corner. Mago missed another tough conversion giving the Raiders an 8-0 lead after 13 minutes.
Lachlan Croker then broke the line on the next set and rather than passing to his support players he opted to grubber. Bronco’s fullback Kodi Nikorima managed to mop up the kick for a Broncos line drop out.
Brisbane then gained the ascendancy off the back off consecutive sets, with centre Jordan Drew able to score close to the corner, Bronco’s halfback Ashley Taylor missed the conversion.
They then muscled up in defence with a four man tackle forcing Hurst back into goals. A cross field kick on the next set was grabbed by Jack Tuttle and he managed to work his way to the line.
Nikorima took over the kicking duties, managing to convert the try to give the Broncos a 10-8 lead with 16 minutes to go in the half.
Nikorima then grabbed the Broncos next on the back of a penalty, he then converted his own try to give the 16-8 lead after 28 minutes.
Mago managed to hit back for the Raiders before half time off a good short ball from Garard. He couldn’t convert his own try leaving the Raiders trailing 16-12 with three minutes to go in the first half.
However it was the Broncos though who took the momentum into the break with a try to Taylor close to the posts. Nikorima converted the try and despite the Raiders scoring one try less, the Bronco’s superior goal kicking saw them take a 22-12 lead into half time.
The Raiders continued their tremendous start to 2nd halves when a clever grubber off a scrum was collected by Hurst who scored his second just over a minute into the 2nd half. Croker took over the kicking duties and converting from the sideline.
Tensions frayed a little following a Broncos forward pass with forwards Mitchell Barnett and Jai Arrow having a little to say to one another.
After some good defence from both sides the Broncos were able to open the game up. They scored the next try of the match through Duncan Paia’Aua. Nikorima converted the try to give the Broncos back their half time lead of 10 points after 58 minutes.
Barnett went close to closing the gap moments later but he lost the ball as he got up to play the ball metres from the try line.
A high ball was then unable to be gathered in by Garard, the Raiders were made to pay for the error through quick hands from the Broncos leading to a try in the corner to Tom Opacic. Nikorima was flawless with the boot as he converted the try giving the Broncos a commanding 34-18 lead with 13 minutes to go.
Garard then ignited the Raiders with a line break before offloading to Croker who was gathered 10 metres from the line. A grubber was then put through for Hurst who managed to grab his hat-trick in the corner. Croker missed the conversion giving the Broncos a 34-22 lead with seven minutes to go.
A Bronco’s error close to the line forced a line drop out with 3:30 remaining on the clock giving the Raiders slim hope of making a comeback.
A great backline move from the Raiders gave Hurst his fourth try for the game with two minutes to go, Croker converted the try bringing the Broncos lead back to six with a minute to go.
Canberra knocked the ball on with 10 seconds to go sealing the game. Some bad news as well for the Raiders with fullback Garard assisted from the field with what looked to be a mild concussion.
In the end the Broncos took out the game 34-28 with Raiders brave in defeat. Barnett was named man of the match in another terrific display in the forwards. But it was eye catching winger Hurst who stole the show with a terrific four try display.
Ultimately it was the Bronco’s superior goal kicking that made the difference in the game. The NYC team will now have a week off before they return to GIO Stadium to take on the Bulldogs for a Friday afternoon game.
Brisbane Broncos 34
Tries: Drew, Tuttle, Nikorima, Taylor, Paia’Aua, Opacic; Nikorima 5 Goals
Canberra Raiders 28
Tries: Hurst 4, McGhie, Mago; Croker 2 Goals