Memories from the 1994 Grand Final: Ruben Wiki

The Raiders 1994 Grand Final triumph over the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs, in which the Green Machine defeated the Minor Premiers 36-12 to send legendary captain Mal Meninga out a winner, will go down as one of the proudest moments in the club’s rich history.

To help celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Grand Final, the Raiders have invited all members of both sides to a dinner this Friday for the Round 15 match against the Bulldogs at GIO Stadium Canberra.

In the lead up the clash, Raiders media caught up with players, members and historians from that era to re-tell their memories from that fine day.

Ruben Wiki made his debut the previous year in 1993 and went onto partner Captain Mal Meninga in the centres in 1994.

Wiki went onto play in 224 matches for the Raiders scoring 60 tries and registering several memorable bone crunching tackles along the way before returning to his native New Zealand to play for the Warriors.

A Kiwi legend, Wiki retired having played 55 Tests for New Zealand, which at the time was the most Tests played by any rugby league player in the world.

Despite a host of esteemed memories at both club and international level, the 1994 Grand Final will always remain close to Wiki’s heart…

“The fondest memory for me about 1994 was that not only was I playing first grade for the Raiders in just my second season at the club, but that I was playing with so many legends of the game, which was a dream come true for a young kid from New Zealand.

The Grand Final in itself is still an incredible feeling for me; I still get goosebumps thinking about it.

The highlight for me was seeing Big Mal score that intercept try in his last game to go out on top.

He was so respected by many and he was my idol growing up so I feel very blessed to be a part of something special like that.

I’m currently still involved in the game with the New Zealand Warriors as the Assistant Strength & Conditioning Trainer but the Raiders will always be close to my heart.

I am very fortunate to have had the privilege of wearing The Green Machine Jersey and so blessed to be mentored by so many greats of our games including Tim Sheens, Craig Bellamy, Dean Lance as coaches.

Then there is the support staff of Brian Hyder, Shaun McCrae, Bob Griffin, Alan Kelly, Mick Mackell and as for the players, well they will be my mates for life and it will be fantastic to see them all on Friday night.

As far as the fans, I just want to say thank you Canberra for accepting me into your hearts.”