Five Key Points: Raiders v Broncos
The key talking points to come from Brisbane's narrow one-point win over Canberra at a soggy Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.
Broncos find a way to kick a field goal
They have had their hearts broken plenty of times in recent years but the Broncos finally found a way to win a one-pointer courtesy of winger Jordan Kahu.
After the Raiders had fought back against a horrible error rate to level the scores with nine minutes to play Kahu got into position with six minutes to play to secure his side's first win by a point in exactly 12 months when Anthony Milford iced the Round 4 thriller against the Cowboys.
Much has been made of Ben Hunt's unwillingness to take shots at field goal – and he again turned down a golden opportunity when his side could have gone seven points ahead – but the shock tactic seemed to catch the Raiders by surprise.
McCullough's 200th creates history
He came into his 200th game in the top grade in typically under-stated fashion but Broncos hooker Andrew McCullough marked his major milestone in uncustomary fashion by scoring the first try of the game.
The 29,000 fans in attendance had to wait until the 44th minute before the first four-pointer was registered and it was McCullough who broke the stalemate with a strong charge from dummy half that finished underneath the posts.
Becoming the youngest forward in the history of the game to reach 200 games, the 27-year-old produced another typically workmanlike performance, racking up 61 tackles, the second week in succession he has made more than 60 in a game.
Raiders architects of own demise
They showed the better of discipline with ball in hand in the first 40 minutes but the Raiders continually cruelled their chances of mounting a comeback with basic errors with ball in hand.
The visitors struggled to make any headway into Brisbane's half without making an error and at one point failed to complete three sets in succession and were completing at less than 50 per cent as the Broncos turned a two-all deadlock into a comfortable 12-2 advantage.
They finished the second half completing at just 47 per cent and will wonder how different the scoreline could have looked if their hands hadn't let them down so often.
Confident Ben Hunt a welcome sight
After a nervy start to the season when he appeared to be carrying the weight of his impending big-money move to the Dragons, Ben Hunt has looked with each game this season more and more like the player who took the competition by storm in 2015.
Testing the Raiders with his running game from the outset, Hunt connected well with his outside men with some judicious passes, produced a wonderful tackle to earn his side a repeat set and was rock solid himself in defence.
His pass to Darius Boyd midway through the second half gave his skipper the time and space needed to slice through the Raiders' left edge defence and he continued to engineer his side's attack as the match wore on.
He's been good, and he looks as though he's about to get even better.
Skills come, skills go
Watching Jordan Rapana leap into the air, have his entire body pushed outside the field of play only to stretch out one-handed and score his side's first try of the night, all you can do is marvel at the skill of our modern athletes.
And then he goes and drops the ensuing kick-off.
Kevin Walters said in commentary that he would catch them blind-folded every other day of the week yet it's one of the great mysteries of sport that your skills can often fail you just when you need them the most.
On what was an otherwise industrious night for Rapana that produced 192 metres, nine tackle busts and two line breaks it handed the Broncos momentum just as the Raiders were mounting a comeback.
This article first appeared on NRL.com
POST MATCH COVERAGE