The Canberra Raiders defeated the Brisbane Broncos on Saturday night at GIO Stadium to return to winning ways in style.
Starting in fullback for the first time since 2019, Bailey Simonsson was phenomenal for the men in green in their win on Saturday night.
It was a strong start to the evening for the Raiders, opening with a powerful first set from the kick-off which saw them charge 80 metres down the field.
Bailey Simonsson was quick to prove he’s fit for the fullback role when he created space on the left edge for Sebastian Kris to dive over to secure the Raiders first try of the night just five minutes into the game. The Raiders opened the scoring 4-0.
The Raiders defence looked sharp early on, holding the Broncos out from the line after conceding a couple of repeat sets and were able to force an error.
After showing signs of some sharp defence, and a string of momentum in attack led by Sam Williams, Corey Harawira-Naera was the next to get points for the men in green running straight through a defensive gap diving under the black dot in the 15th minute. Sam Williams successfully converted extending the lead to 10-0.
The Broncos hit back with a try in the 23rd minute in what looked like a confusion of play, it was halfback Tyson Gamble who was able to gather the ball and score. The conversion was unsuccessful holding the Raiders 10-4 lead.
Finding himself back in the Raiders side this week, powerful centre Mattew Timoko broke through the defence of three men on the right edge, finding Sam Williams on the inside to score. Converting his own try, Williams extended the lead 16-4 with 13 minutes remaining in the first half.
Jordan Rapana looked to be the next to score, but it was disallowed after the video referee found a double knock on by the Raiders in play, but they were giving another chance with a scrum just 15 metres out.
It didn’t take long for the green machine to cross the line again,
The Raiders quickly took their chance to secure more points, this time it was prop Emre Guler who crashed through men to score between the posts. Another successful conversion saw the Raiders lead 22-4.
With just minutes to go in the first half, the Broncos were on the front foot, receiving three repeat sets on the line.
Broncos fullback Tesi Niu danced at the defence, stepping back on his inside, a grubber for himself saw him get their second try of the night. The Broncos slightly closed the gap 22-10 heading into half time.
The Raiders started the second half just as strong as the first with some great defensive plays occurring all over the park.
A successful charge-down play from Elliott Whitehead saw Sebastian Kris run down the field, but the cover defence was too good from the Broncos stopping Kris just 10 metres from the line.
The Broncos struggled with discipline in the next set, conceding a six-again penalty which set the Raiders up for more points.
In his first game back from suspension, Josh Papalii used the momentum to score his second try of the season. An unsuccessful conversion saw the Raiders hold a 26-10 lead.
Bailey Simonsson once again put on a show, getting his arm free in a tackle to find Semi Valemei on the wing to score in the 55th minute.
A high tackle on Corey Harawira-Naera saw Broncos interchange player Kobe Hetherington sent off for the remaining 20 minutes of the game, making it 12 v 13 men.
Taking full advantage of the tired Broncos defence, and backing up from Wednesday nights Origin I performance, Jack Wighton stepped through the middle and got the Raiders seventh try of the night.
But the evening wasn’t over for the Broncos, winger Selwyn Cobbo was able to dive over in the corner, and with a successful conversion the score line read 38-16 with just over four minutes remaining.
Another try looked to be certain for the Raiders in the last minutes of the game, but the decision was overturned, with the Raiders pushing the Broncos off the ball.
The game finished with the Raiders defeating the Broncos 38-16 securing another two points.
Canberra Raiders 38 (Tries: S Kris, C Harawira-Naera, S Williams, E Guler, J Papalii, S Valemei, J Wighton; Goals: S Williams 5) d Brisbane Broncos 16 (Tries: T Gamble, T Niu, S Cobbo; Goals: J Arthars 2)