The Raiders will play the Broncos this weekend for the 51st time in NRL history. With both the Broncos and the Raiders being at just about full strength, it is going to be a tightly contested match. So today here are the top 10 closest matches between the Raiders and the Broncos.
10. Raiders vs. Broncos – Lang Park (September 2nd, 1995)
When the Raiders visited Lang Park in the spring of 1995 they were ready for a competitive game, but it’s fair to say both teams got a little more than they bargained for. A dream match with the likes of Ricky Stuart, Laurie Daley, Allan Langer, Darren Lockyer, Kevin Walters and Steve Walters all competing, it was an exciting clash on paper. The game certainly lived up to the hype with the Raiders only leading by 1 point at half time. The second half was tight as well and at the end of the day the Raiders prevailed by 6 points winning (14-8).
9. Raiders vs. Broncos – Canberra Stadium (May 31st 1998)
The Broncos came to town in the May of 1998 to a nice crowd of 14,728 at Canberra Stadium. Another great game on paper with some star players and the contest lived up to the expectations. An even game with nothing to impact either as there was an even penalty count. But at the end of the match the Raiders left with a six point victory winning (24-18).
8. Raiders vs. Broncos – Pioneer Oval (March 1st 1989)
In this 1998 clash between the Raiders and Broncos they took the game to Pioneer Oval in the rural town of Parkes, New South Wales. A game apart of the National Panasonic Cup the Canberra Raiders fought hard but went down by a narrow 5 point margin as the Broncos won the game (18-13).
7. Raiders vs. Broncos – Lang Park (July 1st, 1990)
The Raiders once again visited Lang Park in 1990 looking to seek a win against the Broncos. With a very healthy looking squad featuring some of the greatest Canberra Raiders players of all time they went to battle in Brisbane. The game was nothing short of a battle and the Raiders were unlucky as they narrowly lost by 2 points to the Broncos (22-20).
6. Raiders vs. Broncos – QEII Stadium (April 4th, 1993)
The Raiders in 1993 visited Brisbane’s QEII Stadium to play the Broncos in front of an incredible 46,001 people. The game was one of many highlights. Some great tries and the Raiders even found themselves down to 12 players at one point when Ricky Stuart got sin binned. The Raiders who were looking better on paper once again came up short, going down to the Broncos by 2 points (12-10).
5. Raiders vs. Broncos – Canberra Stadium (May 8th, 2000)
The Broncos came to town in a new millennium hoping to find some new millennium success. Both sides had squads built up of some familiar and new faces to the Rugby League scene. The match was a hard fought contest by both sides despite the Raiders being gifted 4 more penalties than the Broncos. However at the end of the day the Raiders came over the top and got a two point victory over the Broncos winning (16-14).
4. Raiders vs. Broncos – Suncorp Stadium (April 29th, 2006)
Some stars of today competed as the Raiders took on the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium in 2006. It was a great start to the game for Canberra as they headed to the sheds leading 18-0 at half time. However unfortunately Matthew Elliot’s half time speech to keep their foot on the accelerator didn’t work. The Raiders would blow a three try lead and go onto narrowly lose by two points (30-28).
3. Raiders vs. Broncos – Suncorp Stadium (June 12th, 2011)
When the Raiders headed to Suncorp in 2011 there was déjà vu in the air as the Broncos got out to a three try lead and headed to the locker rooms 18-0 up against the Raiders. However you can never get too comfortable in the NRL and the Raiders made a second half surge looking to make a comeback. The Raiders came very close to pulling off an impressive comeback but the Broncos were very lucky to escape with the win and 2 points as a Peter Wallace field goal got them across the line (25-24).
2. Raiders vs. Broncos – Suncorp Stadium (March 24th, 2017)
If anything is an indicator as to how close this Saturday’s game will be, earlier in the 2017 NRL season the Raiders visited the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium. With both teams at full strength it was a great game which went down to the wire. The Broncos and the Raiders battled it out with a Jordan Kahu field goal sealing victory for the Broncos (13-12).
1. Raiders vs. Broncos – Canberra Stadium (May 13th, 2001)
When the Broncos came to Canberra in 2001 both teams were searching for a needed two points. What neither expected was it to be a nail biting affair where neither team would leave victorious. The Raiders lead 14-0 at the half time but neither team would go down and the Raiders and Broncos recorded the first and only draw against each other in NRL history (26-26).
If one thing is clear from this top 10 it’s that both teams always produce their best against one another when they play and Saturday’s clash at GIO Stadium will be no different.