From the Viking Vault

All the news on the Canberra Raiders NRL team, all in one place

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From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » November 17, 2018, 9:54 am

Through the off season, we'll be bringing out some gems from Canberra Raiders history... from the Viking Vault.

Dean Lance and John Ferguson retire



Dean Lance and John "Chicka" Ferguson were two of the most loved crowd favourites in Canberra Raiders history. Both retired after Canberra's 1990 Grand Final victory over the Penrith Panthers with two premierships to their name.

Dean Lance joined the Raiders in 1984 after the demise of the Newtown Jets. He was not a big man, but he was tough as teak in defence. One of the most memorable moments of the 1989 Grand Final - a match littered with memorable moments - was his inspirational tackle on Steve Roach. He took the huge Balmain and Australian prop head on, and smashed him. Roach leaped to his feet after the hit, but you could see how he'd been shaken. Lance played most of his matches at the Raiders at lock, but moved to the second row in the final two years of his career, after the emergence of a young bloke called Brad Clyde.

Lance was honoured with the captaincy in 1986, leading the club to its first Grand Final in 1987. He continued in that role until late in the 1989 season - when Mal Meninga was given the (c) beside his name in the Round 18 match against the Roosters. The Raiders went on that year to win the greatest grand final of all time. Brad Clyde, when awarded the Clive Churchill Medal, made an amusing slip up, thanking Lance, lauding him as "a great captain". But even if he was no longer officially the captain, he was a great leader of the team. Fittingly, Lance was invited by Meninga to lift the premiership trophy jointly, after it was presented.

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John Ferguson joined the Raiders in 1986, after playing with the Jets, Roosters and Wigan. He was officially already 31 years of age when he donned the lime green. There was a common myth that he was older than he claimed... with team mates and fans often wondering about his "real age". The winger was an excitement machine, scoring 50 tries in 94 games for the Green Machine. He was a small player by the standards of today's wingers, but he was very nippy and could step every which way. When he took the ball, he always seemed to beat the opposition's first tackler. And it seemed like the crowd would stand every time he took the ball as well. The crowd would regularly chant his nick name... Chicka... Chicka... Chicka. They just loved him.

When he retired, he was 36 years of age, but he was still playing like a 26 year old and one of the fastest players at the club. He could have easily played on, but he finally decided to hang up the boots.

The pair played their final home game in the Round 21 victory over the Gold Coast Seagulls... and with Mal Meninga missing, Dean Lance captained the team for one last time.

1990 Round 21 - Canberra Raiders 30 (P. Carey 2, P. Beath, R. Stuart, S. Walters tries; M. Wood 5 goals) defeated Gold Coast Seagulls 6 (T. McCarthy try; T. McCarthy goal) at Bruce Stadium

Canberra Raiders: 1. Paul Beath 2. Paul Martin 3. Phil Carey 4. Matthew Wood 5. John Ferguson 6. Chris O'Sullivan 7. Ricky Stuart 8. Gary Coyne 9. Steve Walters 10. Dave Woods 11. Dean Lance (C) 12. Nigel Gaffey 13. Craig Bellamy

14. Mark Bell 15. David Barnhill 16. Wayne Collins 17 Craig Breen

Crowd: 8,382


1990 Grand Final – Canberra Raiders 18 (John Ferguson, Laurie Daley, Matthew Wood tries, Mal Meninga 3 goals) defeated Penrith Panthers (Greg Alexander, Brad Fittler, Paul Smith tries, Greg Alexander 1 goal) 14

Canberra Raiders: 1. Gary Belcher 2. Paul Martin 3. Mal Meninga 4. Laurie Daley 5. John Ferguson 6. Chris O'Sullivan 7. Ricky Stuart 8. Brent Todd 9. Steve Walters 10. Glenn Lazarus 11. Nigel Gaffey 12. Gary Coyne 13. Dean Lance

14. Matthew Wood 15. Phil Carey 16. David Barnhill 17. Craig Bellamy

Coach Tim Sheens

Crowd: 41,535
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by -PJ- » November 17, 2018, 10:07 am

Deano was a champion..
3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment..Old Faithful
#emptythetank :shock:
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by Seiffert82 » November 17, 2018, 11:33 am

Yep, both were fantastic for this club. Deano will forever be remembered as our first grand final captain in 1987. In among all the great names we had through that era, he shone as the backbone of our defence. Loved watching him play.

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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by dubby » November 17, 2018, 3:35 pm

Honestly got a tear to my eye reading this.

Legendary players. Both considered too small, yet they were among the first picked every week.

Lance was a tough, uncompromising player. Matt would cry because his stats weren't exemplary, but damn, this was a guy that did more than any one else. And got belted for it.

Chicka. Oh, Chicka. We owe our first premiership to you. What a player. Small. Fast. Elusive. And smoking a cigarette before a game and at half-time.

The modern era has no place for men like him. Instead we have Anthony Don.

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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » November 18, 2018, 10:07 am

First taste of victory

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The worst point of the Raiders debut season came in Round 7 at Belmore Oval - a 54-3 thrashing from the Eels. But something better was to come on the Sunday at Seiffert Oval in the round eight clash against Newtown – the team that met premier Parramatta in the 1981 Grand Final.

It turned into a tense and gripping contest. Canberra trailed 8-2 at the break, but a barnstorming try from John McLeod after a David Grant bust shortly after half time brought the Raiders back into the match. Late in the game, the Raiders trailed the Jets 11-7, but a young replacement, Chris O’Sullivan proved the difference. He ran past two Newtown defenders, leapt over some more, and lunged over the try line. It produced a 12-11 lead for the home side, which the Raiders held until the hooter sounded.

It’s a cliché to say “the crowd went wild”, but it certainly did. There seemed to be many more in attendance than 9,982. The seven game losing streak was over, the local team had won its first ever match and the roar was as loud as if Canberra had won the premiership. After the match captain David Grant simply said: “We are on top of the world”.

Goal kicker Steve O’Callaghan was the other hero of the first win. The Raiders scored just two tries to Newtown’s three. O’Callaghan was a reluctant kicker that day, with coach Furner revealing: “O’Callaghan had to be press ganged into it. I called for volunteers to take the goal kicks at training during the week, but O’Callaghan is such a quiet type that he didn’t say anything. Fortunately I had seen him kick before and knew he was up to it”. O’Callaghan kicked three from three, while normally reliable Newtown goal kicker, Ken Wilson, landed only one from five attempts.

Second rower Ashley Gilbert recalled the match later: “It was like winning a grand final. Like batting in your first Test match and finally getting off the duck”. Hooker Jay Hoffman said: “I’d injured my neck towards the end of the game and had to go to the hospital for some x-rays. All I wanted to do was to get back for the celebrations. To carry that losing streak for so long, it was a momentous occasion.” Others were thinking about more than just the win. “I remember walking into the sheds after our first win against Newtown and David Reid said ‘You beauty, 500 bucks.’ Most of the other clubs were paying $200 a win, but we were on $500. That was a lot of money back then,” winger Steve O’Callaghan said.

The Jets had been grand finalists the year before and in the midst of Seiffert celebrations, it must have felt like they had lost another decider. Four future Raiders were amongst their midst - Allan McMahon, Ray Blacklock, Dean Lance and John Ferguson. Some of them would see much better days in the national capital.

The day after the Newtown victory, Sydney commentator Ron Casey sent a telegram to Canberra Raiders headquarters at Queanbeyan. He had predicted the Raiders would not win a match in their first year. All it said was: “Sincere congratulations – JC is infallible. RC is not.” It would not be the last time that the so-called Sydney experts would be proven wrong by the team from the national capital.

1982 Round 8 - Canberra Raiders 12 (Jon McLeod, Chris O'Sullivan tries, Steve O'Callaghan 3 goals) defeated Newtown Jets 11 (Ray Blacklock, Steve Bowden, Allan McMahon tries, Ken Wilson 1 goal).

Canberra Raiders: 1. Rowan Brennan 2. Steve O'Callaghan 3. Craig Bellamy 4. Frank Roddy 5. David Reid 6. Lloyd Martin 7. Terry Wickey 8. Carl Frommel 9. John McLeod 10. Jon Hardy 11. David Grant (c) 12. Jay Hoffman 13. Jeff Simons

14. Gary Britt 15. Graham Waugh 16. Chris O'Sullivan 17. Peter Elliott

Coach: Don Furner

Crowd: 9,982
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by dubby » November 18, 2018, 2:45 pm

Go you Raiders!

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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » November 19, 2018, 11:09 am

Croker scores four!

1999 was a season of ups and downs for the Raiders. There were huge wins over some of the "have nots" in the competition - the biggest a 64-16 win over the Magpies at Campbelltown in in Round 22. The Magpies conceded 944 points in 1999, their final year as a separate entity. But for Canberra there were more "downs", with the team finishing ninth, failing to qualify for the finals.



A real highlight, however, was the Raiders last ever match against the North Sydney Bears. North Sydney were struggling in their final season. But the match was marked by an incredible effort from Jason Croker, scoring four tries by the end of the game. Time after time the lock sliced through the Bears' right side, ensuring the Raiders ran away with the match, 46-16.

1999 Round 23 - Canberra Raiders 46 (Jason Croker 4, Andrew McFadden 2, Luke Davico, Brett Mullins, Luke Williamson tries, Luke Williamson 4, David Furner 1 goals) defeated North Sydney Bears 16 (Michael Buettner, Gary Larson, Scott Pethybridge, Matt Seers tries) at Bruce Stadium

Canberra Raiders: 1. Brett Mullins 2. Rod Jensen 3. Luke Williamson 4. Mark McLinden 5. Lesley Vainikolo 6. Laurie Daley 7. Andrew McFadden 8. Luke Davico 9. Simon Woolford 10. Mark Corvo 11. Damian Kennedy 12. David Furner 13. Jason Croker

14. Jason Burnham 15. Ruben Wiki 16. Todd Payten 17. Brad Kelly

Coach Mal Meninga

Crowd: 10,018
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » November 20, 2018, 11:59 am

Meninga scores five



It was Easter of 1990. The scene was Canberra Stadium... or Bruce Stadium as it was then known. The opposition was the Sydney Roosters... or Eastern Suburbs as they were then known.

It was a smash up, with the Raiders defeating the Sydney outfit 66-4. Mal Meninga posted five tries, nine goals and 38 points himself. He'd come close to the all time record set by Easts player Dave Brown, who scored five tries and 15 goals for a total 45 points. At the time it was Canberra’s biggest win in club history. It is still the Roosters biggest ever loss.

"You have those days. I’ve scored 20 odd points in games before, but that was something special," Meninga said later. "Everything I did turned to gold. I was chipping, passing running, things just happened for me. The majority of the tries were scored under the posts, so that was easy for me with nine goals. It was a good day."

Roosters forward Craid Salvitori later recalled: "I was walking back and Fatty [Vautin] was yelling 'Has Meninga got spiders on him or something?'"

"None of our blokes were willing to touch him. Canberra was just awesome on the day. We trooped on to the team bus for the three hour trip back to Sydney with our tails between our legs. To make matters worse, coach Russell Fairfax banned grog on the bus and made us sit through the video of the game. It was like a horror show."





1990 Round 5 – Canberra Raiders 66 (M. Meninga 5, J. Ferguson 3, G. Belcher, M. Bell, L. Daley, R. Stuart tries; M. Meninga 9 goals) defeated Eastern Suburbs Roosters 4 (T. Dwyer try) at Bruce Stadium

Canberra Raiders: 1. Gary Belcher 2. Paul Martin 3. Mal Meninga (C) 4. Laurie Daley 5. John Ferguson 6. Chris O'Sullivan 7. Ricky Stuart 8. Brent Todd 9. Steve Walters 10. Glenn Lazarus 11. Dean Lance 12. Gary Coyne 13. Brad Clyde

14. Mark Bell 15. Dave Woods 16. Ashley Gilbert

Coach Tim Sheens

Crowd: 12,675
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » November 21, 2018, 8:49 am

Raiders go West

Canberra travelled to Perth to take on the Sea Eagles in an historic clash at the WACA in Round 9 of 1990, the second time Canberra had played in Western Australia. Canberra was on a roll after their stunning premiership win in 1989, racking up some huge scores in the opening rounds. And Manly was the next to fall victim to the attacking brilliance of the Green Machine.

1990 Round 9 – Canberra Raiders 29 (G. Belcher 2, B. Clyde, P. Martin, M. Meninga tries; G. Belcher 4 goals; C. O'Sullivan field goal) defeated Manly Sea Eagles 12 (J. Jones, D. Liddiard tries; M. Cochrane 2 goals) at the WACA

Canberra: 1. Gary Belcher 2. Paul Martin 3. Mal Meninga (C) 4. Laurie Daley 5. Mark Bell 6. Chris O'Sullivan 7. Ricky Stuart 8. Brent Todd 9. Steve Walters 10. Glenn Lazarus 11. Dean Lance 12. Gary Coyne 13. Brad Clyde

14. Phil Carey 15. Dave Woods 16. Stuart Stanton 17. Wayne Collins

Coach Tim Sheens

Crowd: 23,566
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by dubby » November 21, 2018, 12:02 pm

Gee there was some spectacular footy played there.

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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » November 22, 2018, 10:15 am

Raiders defeat three time premiers



In the early 1980s, clashes against the reigning premiers, the Parramatta Eels attracted huge crowds to Seiffert Oval for their clashes with the Raiders. The struggling Raiders famously upset the Eels eight-nothing in 1983. But by 1984, instead of being referred to as the “Faders”, the media started to refer to Canberra as the “Green Machine”.

The three time premier visited Seiffert Oval in round 19. It was the match of the round on a Sunday afternoon and the Eels fielded a team littered with big names... Sterling, Kenny, Cronin, Grothe, Price. A record crowd of 17,407 turned up to see if this new Green Machine could repeat the defeat of the previous season.

They could. It was a battle in the first half, the battle between the forwards underlined when a clash between David Grant and Parramatta forward Chris Phelan resulted in 15 stiches between them.

Canberra then played Parramatta at their own game in the second half, and came out on top. The Raiders trailed 10-8 with less than 15 minutes remaining. But a repeat set on Parramatta’s line gave David Grant his chance. He crashed over for a try and Giteau’s conversion delivered a 14-10 lead. The Eels challenged strongly in the final minutes, but could not score.

Don Furner’s reaction after the match would be often repeated during the rest of the season. "Not bad for a bush team, are they?" he said. "It was a team effort but the forwards played a big part in our win today. The big men took it up and the rest worked hard on defence without stopping. We knew if we let them run they’d do it all day. We tackled, tackled and then attacked. Most importantly we kept possession and it was a good win."

Parramatta would again go on to make the Grand Final in 1984, but their coach John Monie admitted: "The Raiders broke us up the middle – that has not happened to us before and it must not happen again. Canberra’s defence was excellent and their big men hit us hard with a result we dropped a lot of ball that they were able to make good use of."

Something had started to brew in the national capital.

1984 Round 19 – Canberra Raiders 14 (Matthew Corkery, David Grant tries; Ron Giteau 3 goals) defeated Parramatta 10 at Seiffert Oval.

Canberra Raiders: 1. Steve O'Callaghan 2. Bill Walker 3. Ron Giteau 4. Craig Bellamy 5. Ian Hamilton 6. Ivan Henjak 7. Chris O'Sullivan 8. Dean Lance 9. Paul Elliott 10. Sam Backo 11. Grant Ellis 12. John McLeod 13. David Grant

14. Matthew Corkery

Coach Don Furner

Crowd: 17,407
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » November 23, 2018, 10:36 am

Snow game!

One of the most fondly remembered matches in Raiders history took place in Round 17 2000 - the only NRL match to be played in a genuine snow storm. There were 7384 people there, but if you count the number of people who later claimed to be there, it was a crowd of 27384! The Raiders allowed anyone sitting in the inner bowl to shift into the grandstand and a free coffee and pie were given to the crowd. When players slid in for a try, they left a channel of green in the white snow. Eventually, the Raiders out pointed the Wests Tigers 24-22.



Brett Mullins said later: "I remember Wests scored the first try. They put a kick through into our in goal and from memory there were about six of us standing around watching it. They dived on it and I think we all thought, 'Good luck to him'. As you ran around ice would build up under your boots, just hunks of ice. Runners were bringing out hot water because our joints were just going numb."

Laurie Daley - covering at lock on the day - recalled: "I remember Lesley Vainikolo scoring a try and sliding over and they had to pour the warm water down the front of his pants because that was all cold down there. It was very funny."

2000 Round 17: Canberra Raiders 24 (M. McLinden, B. Mullins, S. Rutgerson, L. Vainikolo, G. Wolfgramm tries; L. Williamson 2 goals) defeated Wests Tigers 22 (C. Field, K. McGuinness, L. Milford, T. Smith tries; J. Caine 3 goals) at Bruce Stadium

Canberra: 1. Brett Mullins 2. Greg Wolfgramm 3. Luke Williamson 4. Anthony Swann 5. Leslie Vainikolo 6. Mark McLinden 7. Andrew McFadden 8. Todd Payten 9. Simon Woolford 10. Luke Davico 11. Brandon Costin 12. David Furner 13. Laurie Daley (C)

14. Alan Tongue 15. Ruben Wiki 16. Justin Morgan 17 Sean Rutgerson

Coach Mal Meninga

Crowd: 7,384
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » November 24, 2018, 9:22 am

Classic fiery clash with Dragons



It was expected to be a routine day at the office for the St George Illawarra Dragons, who were cruising to the minor premiership in 2009. Easily the best defensive unit all season, they came to Canberra Stadium and faced a hostile crowd of over 19,000 - and once again proved impenetrable. There were hostilities on the field as well, with Terry Campese in the thick of it.



A try either side of half time had the joint venture club up 12-0 and it was expected that the Dragons would simply suffocate the Raiders out of the game. Inconsistent all season, the Raiders then turned on undoubtedly their best thirty minutes of the season. An amazing try from a scrum by Jarrod Croker got the Raiders on the board, and only one set later boom winger Daniel Vidot had crossed in the corner. Immaculate kicking by five-eighth Terry Campese levelled the scores, and when Dane Tilse collected a grubber only minutes later, the Raiders were somehow in the lead.

Providing the blueprint to rattle the Dragons, ill-discipline gave the Raiders the chance to seal the victory with a string of penalty goals. It was an exceptional victory, one that the Dragons never recovered from in 2009.

2009, Round 23 – Canberra Raiders 24 (Jarrod Croker, Daniel Vidot, Dane Tilse tries, Terry Campese 6 goals) defeated St George Illawarra Dragons 12 (Darius Boyd, Brett Morris tries, Jamie Soward 2 goals) at Canberra Stadium

Sin bin: Terry Campese (Raiders), Jeremy Smith (Dragons), Dean Young (Dragons)

Canberra Raiders: 1. Josh Dugan 2. Daniel Vidot 3. Jarrod Croker 11. Joel Thompson 5. Phil Graham 6. Terry Campese 7. Josh McCrone 8. Dane Tilse 9. Alan Tongue 10. Scott Logan 14. Tom Learoyd Lahrs 12. Bronson Harrison 13. Josh Miller

15. Travis Waddell 16. Troy Thompson 17. Joe Picker 18. Trevor Thurling

Coach David Furner

Crowd: 19,350
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by dubby » November 24, 2018, 10:13 am

I'll always remember that dragons game. A very special night

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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » November 25, 2018, 11:24 am

They knocked down the fence to get to the team!

Week 1 of the 2010 finals saw the Canberra Raiders travel to Penrith and a huge contingent of Raiders fans congregated in the corner of the ground and behind the posts. Terry Campese scored after just five minutes, and at half time, the Raiders led 18-12. When Reece Robinson scored in the 42nd minute off a Dugan pass, Canberra went to what looked like a comfortable 12 point lead over the Panthers. The opposition put on a huge comeback, but the Raiders held on in a thrilling finish, 24-22. When the Raiders went to the corner after the match, the fans surged and the fence could not contain them. It was six wins in a row, something no other team had done all season.



2010 Qualifying Final - Canberra Raiders 24 (Terry Campese, Bronson Harrison, Reece Robinson, Dane Tilse tries, Jarrod Croker 4 goals) defeated Penrith Panthers 22 (Sandor Earl 2, Michael Gordon 2 tries, Michael Gordon 3 goals) at Penrith Park

Canberra Raiders: 1. Josh Dugan 2. Reece Robinson 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Joel Monaghan 5. Daniel Vidot 6. Terry Campese 7. Josh McCrone 8. Tom Learoyd-Lahrs 9. Glen Buttriss 10. David Shillington 11. Joe Picker 12. Bronson Harrison 13. Shaun Fensom

14. Travis Waddell 15. Dane Tilse 16. Scott Logan 17. Trevor Thurling

Coach David Furner

Crowd: 16,668
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » November 26, 2018, 6:31 am

Mal Meninga joins the Canberra Raiders

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Mal Meninga on the cover of Rugby League Week on his signing with the Raiders. At the time, there was not a single sports shop in Brisbane that had Raiders jerseys in stock, and one had to be flown especially from Sydney for the photo shoot.

On 1 August 1985, the news broke that the Canberra Raiders were chasing Australian and Queensland centre Mal Meninga. Meninga was playing with Brisbane Souths and was contracted to the Queensland Rugby League, under an arrangement that kept their star players in the local competition. Meninga had decided it was time to test himself in the NSWRL, and the QRL granted permission for Canberra and Manly to negotiate with him. Easts joined the race soon after. On 7 August, Don Furner and John McIntyre went to Brisbane for discussions with Meninga and fullback Gary Belcher, who was also playing with Brisbane Souths. Both players were on the plane to Canberra to have a look around within a week. “We are hopeful of getting Meninga and feel if he signs with us, Belcher will probably come here as well” John McIntyre said.

The pursuit of Meninga’s signature turned into something of a saga. Figures for a contract value of $130,000 and $150,000 floated about. Reports that a decision was imminent proved repeatedly incorrect, as Meninga wavered over his choice or determined to hold more talks. Manly publicly scoffed that the Raiders led the race for Meninga, but by early September that had turned around. Don Furner made another trip to Brisbane in a bid to convince him. Manly’s interest had suddenly “dropped off”. Then on 4 September, a press conference was called in Brisbane. Meninga confirmed he would join the Raiders on a two year deal. Reports he’d receive $70,000 a season were denied – “grossly exaggerated” – but the package did include a promotional job with a Canberra building firm and the standard $500 match winning bonuses.

An ecstatic Don Furner said: “It’s a credit to Mal Meninga that he has decided to come to a club such as Canberra and help it grow. He’s the right type of fellow for us and the money part was not the over-riding thing”. Meninga was handing compliments to the coach: “I’ve been very impressed by his attitude to coaching. The club is in its infant years and Furner has indicated some big names might be signing up. Hopefully my signing will help with any future deals”. It did. Easts winger John Ferguson signed for two years one week later. By the end of September, Gary Belcher had signed and discussions had opened with Queensland back rower Gary Coyne. The signing would prove to be a critical turning point in the history of the club.

The inside story

When Mal Meninga decided he wanted to play in the NSWRL, he first needed permission from the Queensland Rugby League. Meninga later said: “I saw Senator McAuliffe [QRL supremo]. He said there was a clause for good service after five years and my case would be looked on in a favourable light. The QRL were fine. The only thing was McAuliffe tried to persuade me to join Manly, I think because of his friendship with Ken Arthurson [Australian Rugby League executive chairman and former Manly chief executive].”

Meninga had dinner with Manly coach Bob Fulton and Manly and Queensland player, Paul Vautin. “I wouldn’t have minded going to Manly,” Meninga recalled. "I like the Manly lifestyle and there were a lot of Queensland players there. I like the sea and the surf. I had long talks with Wayne [Bennett, his coach at Brisbane Souths]. We wondered why they weren’t successful. They were a team of individual brilliance, but you can’t really function as a team when you rely on individuals.”

Canberra was the only other real option for Meninga. “I never really considered going to Easts” he said. On Canberra, Meninga recalled: “I discussed Don Furner’s prowess as a coach with Wayne. He said Furner’s ideas and tactics favoured my style of play. I didn’t want to go to a different sort of coach. The money Canberra and Manly offered was the same, but Canberra was really where I wanted to be – in the country”.

Meninga was undecided between the two, but Manly’s approach to the negotiations settled it. “Doug Daley, Manly’s chief executive rang me one night” Meninga said. “He said, ‘I want you to make up your mind now or we’ll call the whole thing off’. I said ‘I can’t make up my mind now’. When he kept the same attitude, I said ‘I’ll go to Canberra’.”

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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » November 27, 2018, 10:13 am

Raiders golden point NYC premiership

The Raiders ran out winners over the Brisbane Broncos in the inagural National Youth Competition in 2008, with a spectacular golden point try in extra time. The match was deadlocked 24 all, before Michael Picker kicked ahead on the fifth tackle, sending Jarrod Croker away, with Jarrad Kennedy backing up for the try.





Kennedy revealed later that the play had been devised by the players themselves two weeks earlier - and was rehearsed in secret.

"We called a move we've been practising for a while, not one the coaches taught us, we thought we'd call it anyway," Kennedy said. "We thought it was the money ball. Surprise surprise, it came off."

"I just looked up and saw Jarrod Croker had caught the ball so I followed him," Kennedy said. "I didn't think I had the legs to get there but I just kept going and then fell over. I couldn't see in front of me [after scoring], all the boys just jumped on me."

Goulburn juniors, Michael Picker and Jarrod Croker, dubbed the secret move "The G-Town".

''It's something that Croke and me came up with and we call it The G-Town because of when we played with Goulburn growing up'' Picker said. ''I reckon you get this out around Goulburn and we will never have to buy another beer there again.''

The Raiders took an early 6-0 lead after Picker dove over next to the posts in the 10th minute. Picker was again in the action later in the first half, when he capitalised on a Broncos error - giving the Raiders a 12-6 lead. However, the Broncos scored twice late in the first half, with the Brisbane outfit taking a 16-12 lead into the break.

The Broncos took a 20-12 lead early in the second half courtesy of a try to winger Jharal Yow Yeh, but a brilliant Raiders four pointer got the minor premiers back into the match. After some desperate attack, Josh Dugan put in a grubber from 25 metres out, with flying winger Drury Low scooping it up, and scoring in the corner. The Raiders were again next to score, when Dugan then backed up Travis Waddell to cross under the posts - giving Canberra a 24-20 lead.

Yow Yeh produced another try as the match headed towards full time, stripping the ball from Travis Waddell and scoring out wide. Ben Hunt missed the conversion and ultimately the game went into golden point, with the score tied 24-24.

Hunt, and Raiders Matt Smith and Mick Picker all missed field goals in multiple attempts to break the deadlock. But in the end, it was a Mick Picker chip kick - The G-Town - that delivered premiership glory to the Green Machine.

Raiders fullback Josh Dugan won the Jack Gibson Medal for man of the match.

2008 NYC Grand Final - Canberra Raiders 28 (Michael Picker 2, Drury Low, Josh Dugan, Jarrad Kennedy tries; Josh Dugan 4 goals) d. Brisbane Broncos 24 (Jharal Yow Yeh 2, Ben Hunt, Michael Spence, Brendon Gibb tries; Ben Hunt 2 goals) at Stadium Australia.

Canberra Raiders: 1. Josh Dugan 2. Drury Low 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Daniel Vidot 5. Michael Brophy 6. Michael Picker 7. Matt Smith 8. Matt Britt 9. Travis Waddell 10. Nick Skinner 11. Jarrad Kennedy 12. Zac Merritt 13. Shaun Fensom (C)

14. Brock Dunn 15. Andrew Edwards 16. Justin Carney 17. Todd Rheinberger 18. Levi Freeman 19. Dan Scanlan 20. Zac Russ

Coach Tony Adam

Brisbane Broncos: 1. Josh Hoffman 2. Mitch Rivett 3. Will Tupou 4. Brendon Gibb 5. Jharal Yow Yeh 6. Jared Kahu 7. Ben Hunt 8. Josh McGuire 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Mitchell Dodds 11. Matt Handcock 12. Troyden Watene 13. Alex Glenn (C)

14. Michael Spence 15. Dunamis Lui 16. Guy Ford 17. Tom Butterfield

Coach Anthony Griffin
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » November 28, 2018, 12:04 pm

Do you believe in hoodoos? Do you believe in miracles?

The St George Illawarra Dragons visited Canberra Stadium, winless in the national capital since 2000, in Round 20 of 2011. The Dragons led 18-6 at half time, and Jamie Soward surely thought he had won his team the match when he landed a 40 metre field goal with just a minute left - giving the Dragons a 19-18 lead. But the Raiders famous "hoodoo" was still to play its part.

Canberra regained the ball from the kick off and Josh Dugan scored an incredible last ditch try, chasing a Josh McCrone kick. The moment will live on through the classic call: "Do you believe in hoodoos? Do you believe in miracles?!" It gave Canberra the 24-19 victory.

"Duges called for the ball. All credit goes to him," Josh McCrone said after the match. "We'd seen Ben Creagh rush up outside, we thought there was an opportunity, we had the numbers on them, he shouted for it, I kicked it, he flew through and put it down. As soon as he got there I knew it was down."



"To be 18-6 down at halftime, and then get back in the arm-wrestle and keep them to one point in the second half... They are one of the best attacking teams, and one of the best defensive teams, so to score three tries in the second half to their none, it was a great feeling," Josh Dugan said later.

"As soon as Jamie kicked his field goal, I knew it was going over. I ran to the ball boy on the sideline and grabbed the ball so we could kick off. I saw a bit of space behind, Josh's first couple of kicks in the first half went a bit long, but he was pin-pointing them in the second half and that's when they counted."

2011 Round 20 - Canberra Raiders 24 (Josh Dugan 2, Blake Ferguson, Josh McCrone tries, Jarrod Croker 4 goals) defeated St George Illawarra Dragons 19 (Matt Cooper, Ben Creagh, Mark Gasnier, Brett Morris tries, Jamie Soward 1 goal, 1 field goal) at Canberra Stadium

Canberra Raiders: 1. Josh Dugan 2. Blake Ferguson 19. Jarrod Croker 4. Joel Thompson 5. Daniel Vidot 6. Josh McCrone 7. Sam Williams 8. Brett White 9. Alan Tongue 10. Dane Tilse 18. Josh Papalii 12. Bronson Harrison 13. Shaun Fensom

3. Danny Galea 14. Glen Buttriss 16. Trevor Thurling 17. Sam Mataora

Coach David Furner

Crowd: 10,425
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » November 29, 2018, 7:37 am

Stop it, it’s starting to hurt!

It was a perfect, blue skied afternoon. A clash with the Sharks, Week 1 of the finals. Canberra Stadium was sold out, a sea of green. And the Raiders put on a spectacle for the crowd of 24,450 - playing breath taking, attacking football. The Sharks were the first to score, after six minutes. But then Canberra turned it on.





In the 19th minute, Josh McCrone set up a try for Sandor Earl in the corner. Then just minutes later, Canberra scored a try for the ages. Sam Williams made a break down the left side, before passing to a flying Jarrod Croker. The Sharks circled him, but he was able to put in a kick to the corner for Sandor Earl. It was perfection, falling into the hands of the winger, to score his second try. "Stop it, it's starting to hurt!" came the classic commentary from Ray Warren. "Rugby league! Rugby league!" It was simply scintilating.

Another highlight was how Josh Papalii took on Paul Gallen. A memorable hit just before half time rocked the Sharks captain - and led to a war of words after the match. After the match, Gallen claimed: "I don't really care about Papalii. He hit me with a dog shot with a swinging arm and once in the back without the ball. Other than that, I don't think there was too much to it."

But Papalii had his measure and had got under Gallen's skin as well.

"'Pappa' was matched up on 'Gal' and Furner gave him a few words of encouragement to get it over him early in the game," David Shillington explained. "'Pappa' really stood up. He got under him a few times and Gal didn't handle it very well."

Canberra led 16-6 at half time, but the Sharks fought back. A Sharks try from a blatant forward pass in the 60th minute saw Canberra's lead cut to two points, 18-16. But then Canberra opened up again - scoring four magic tries in the final 15 minutes. The only down-side was that Jarrod Croker suffered a cheek bone fracture, after Jason Bukuya led with his knee in a tackle. The Raiders only scored three goals from eight attempts - with Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson missing four after Croker left the field. The Raiders could have put on 44 points.

2012 Finals Week 1 - Canberra Raiders 34 (Sandor Earl 2, Blake Ferguson 2, Glen Buttriss, Josh Papalii, Sam Williams tries, Jarrod Croker 3 goals) defeated Cronulla Sharks 16

Canberra Raiders: 1. Josh Dugan 2. Sandor Earl 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Blake Ferguson 5. Reece Robinson 6. Josh McCrone 7. Sam Williams 8. David Shillington 9. Glen Buttriss 10. Dane Tilse 11. Josh Papalii 12. Joel Thompson 13. Shaun Fensom

14. Shaun Berrigan 15. Joe Picker 16. Mark Nicholls 17. Tom Learoyd Lahrs

Coach David Furner
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » November 30, 2018, 8:37 am

Raiders go back to back





The Canberra Raiders were looking for back-to-back premierships in 1990, after their fairytale first grand final victory in 1989. Penrith were looking for their first title. The Raiders had a remarkable season, finishing minor premiers... and featuring in all three grades on grand final day. The Raiders won the President's Cup match... and were controversially defeated in reserves in extra time.

It meant that the Grand Final started a half an hour late, and it probably favoured the now more experienced Raiders.

Penrith started the match strongly, but Canberra quickly took control. A break to Gary Belcher and a long cut out pass by Ricky Stuart set up the first try for John Ferguson, and then an incisive run from Ricky Stuart set up a Laurie Daley try under the posts.

"Canberra – they’re too hot, they’re too strong" came the famous call from the commentary box. It was 12-0 and it appeared as if the Raiders could overwhelm Penrith.

However, the Panthers fought back. A try to Brad Fittler just before half time, was followed by another to Paul Smith just after the break, and Penrith trailed by just two.

The match hung in the balance for much of the second half, with Ricky Stuart’s masterful kicking game critical to the Raiders maintaining their hold on the lead.

Then just five minutes from the end, the Raiders scored a spectacular try – Meninga and Daley barnstorming in attack, and Matthew Wood finishing with the four points.

The match belonged to Canberra, despite a last minute try from Greg Alexander through a tap close to the line.

And as the hooter sounded, the Canberra Times posters emerged: "WE DID IT! AGAIN!" It was a different feeling to the ecstasy of 1989. It was almost a sense of relief, of all the expectations being met. It was how it was meant to be.

The backs had shone in the match, but the victory had been just as much about the forwards and the defence.

"There is going to be a lot said about the way we attacked out there today," coach Tim Sheens said after the match. "But I was just as happy with the way we defended. Both last week when we beat Brisbane, and this week, the defence blotted out the opposition's key players."

"It was much tougher than last year," prop Brent Todd reflected. "You only have to look at the blokes in the pack to see the scars, everybody had shed blood. A lot of people may not appreciate our forwards - but our backs do."

It was the last match for club legends, Dean Lance and John Ferguson. It was fitting that the sprightly 36 year old winger, known as "Chicka", scored in the match. Ricky Stuart was Clive Churchill medalist for his towering performance.

Meninga, Belcher, Daley, Lazarus - and Stuart, were named for Australia for the Kangaroo Tour after the match. "It is the fulfilment of a goal. I went out there to play the game of my life today because it was the grand final and we were after the premiership. But being named in the squad is certainly a huge thrill" Stuart said.

The greatness of this Green Machine team – minor premiers and premiers – was now firmly written in the record books.

1990 Grand Final – Canberra Raiders 18 (John Ferguson, Laurie Daley, Matthew Wood tries, Mal Meninga 3 goals) defeated Penrith Panthers (Greg Alexander, Brad Fittler, Paul Smith tries, Greg Alexander 1 goal) 14

Canberra Raiders: 1. Gary Belcher 2. Paul Martin 3. Mal Meninga 4. Laurie Daley 5. John Ferguson 6. Chris O'Sullivan 7. Ricky Stuart 8. Brent Todd 9. Steve Walters 10. Glenn Lazarus 11. Nigel Gaffey 12. Gary Coyne 13. Dean Lance

14. Matthew Wood 15. Phil Carey 16. David Barnhill 17. Craig Bellamy

Coach Tim Sheens

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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » December 1, 2018, 12:59 pm

Wayne Bennett climbs on board the Green Machine

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Wayne Bennett, co-coach with Don Furner for the 1987 season, at Seiffert Oval.

The 1986 season was full of promise for the Canberra Raiders, with the arrival of Mal Meninga, Gary Belcher and John "Chicka" Ferguson. But performances on the field were not as expected - and for much of the season, there were reports of discontent with head coach Don Furner. After 12 rounds, the Raiders had posted a 2 and 9 record, and the hopes of making the top five were gone.

The club's major backer, Jim Woodger, attempted to poach Warren Ryan from Canterbury as head coach for 1987 - and when that was unsuccessful, there was a push from some inside the club for reserve grade coach Allan McMahon to take over the reins. In late June, two days after Warren Ryan rejected the offer to join the Raiders, it was announced that Don Furner would again coach the club in 1987.

But the internal discontent continued. News of a "player revolt" leaked out, with 12 players reportedly signing a petition indicating they wanted Furner removed. The players wanted more modern coaching methods - more focused on skills and training for match conditions. The sort of methods Mal Meninga and Gary Belcher had seen in action under their former coach Wayne Bennett.

And it was to Bennett that the club turned next. In early August, it was announced by club secretary John McIntyre that Queensland coach Wayne Bennett would join Furner in a co-coaching role. “We’re looking at Don and Wayne as co-coaches next season, but that’s something we’ll have to discuss with them and they’ll have to talk over between themselves,” McIntyre said. An appointment was set for Bennett to come to Canberra on 21 August for “official talks”. Days later a report emerged that a Brisbane consortium wanted Bennett as their inaugural coach for a new team from the Queensland capital in the NSWRL – but he’d rejected the offer, given his commitment to Canberra. After that report, McIntyre quickly further clarified: “Don will assume the mantle of coaching director for the club, which will leave Wayne with a virtual free hand with the first grade side.”

Bennett came to Canberra as scheduled on 21 August. Peter Jackson, a Queensland three quarter from Souths, came too for contract negotiations with the Green Machine. Bennett asked for two weeks to decide, but Jackson was happy with the Canberra offer and just needed a release from the Queensland Rugby League.

Bennett's answer came the day after the season had ended for the Green Machine. He agreed to a four year term with Canberra, assisting Don Furner in 1987, and taking over as head coach for three years from 1988.

“I’ve signed and I’m confident it’s the right move to make,” Bennett said. “Going into the job with Don’s full approval is a big plus. Usually there can be a bit of drama attached but I have no reservations about working with someone I regard so highly.”

Wayne Bennett's signing - The inside story

Wayne Bennett would later tell the story of his signing with the Canberra Raiders in the book "Man in the Mirror": “I’m good at selling what I believe in but I’m not good at selling myself. So I’m sitting in the Canberra Raiders waiting room. Coach Don Furner and club boss Les McIntyre have the door shut in the main office and big Peter Jackson is sitting beside me. Jacko had long been wanted by a stack of Sydney clubs but until now had stayed at Brisbane Souths.

I said, ‘Pete, what are you going to do today? What are you going to ask for?’

‘Seventy thousand dollars, Wayne.’

‘Are you serious?’

‘Bloody oath I am.’ He said, ‘I know I can get that. What are you going to ask for?’

I said, ‘I don’t know, I was going to ask for about $40,000.’

He said, ‘You’re kidding me. You get in there, you’re worth as much as I’m worth.’

So he talked me up, started pumping me up. I went in there and asked for $65,000, and they said, ‘That’s fine, mate’.

I came out and gave Jacko a big hug. I said, ‘Seriously Jacko, thanks – I would have gone for $40,000.’

There was no debate, no argument and it probably wasn’t an over the top price, but Jacko had given me the courage I needed. So the deal was done. I was the co-coach of the Canberra Raiders.”
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » December 2, 2018, 9:04 am

Ricky Stuart magic



Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart was admitted to the Rugby League Hall of Fame this year. It was a great recognition for the Raiders' greatest ever halfback. But is difficult to believe it took so long. His name was a serious omission from the initial list of the top 100 players of all time in 2008. His organisational, passing and kicking game was certainly amongst the top few players I've ever seen. He played 203 games for the Canberra Raiders, scoring 39 tries, 195 points and winning three premierships. I doubt there'd be three premierships in the Raiders trophy cabinet without him.

Stuart won the Clive Churchill Medal for best on ground in the 1990 Grand Final. He was the Raiders' Player of the Year three times, in 1988, 1992 and 1993 - and won the Rothman's Medal and Dally M Medal in 1993. The Raiders were right in contention for a premiership in 1993, but Stuart broke his leg in the second last game of the season - the record breaking 68-0 win over the Eels - and the Raiders never recovered.

Stuart played 14 matches for New South Wales and 11 for Australia - and he was probably short changed in the selection room. His Test career will be best remembered for the second Test against Great Britain in 1990 at Old Trafford. Stuart threw an intercept pass for Great Britain centre Paul O'Loughlin to score and level the match - and Great Britain were on the brink of winning the series. But as the full time hooter approached, he set up a sensational, winning try for Mal Meninga.

"From an individual point of view, the second Test at Old Trafford is something I will never ever forget because we kept the series alive but I also nearly lost the series with the intercept pass I threw," Stuart said later. "I went from nearly ruining history to keeping us alive so that was a big moment in my Australian career."
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » December 3, 2018, 2:10 pm

Wayne Bennett jumps off the Green Machine

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Queensland coach Wayne Bennett was brought on board the Green Machine on a four year deal in 1987 - in a co-coaching role with Don Furner in the first season, before taking over as head coach in 1988. He had a virtual free rein with coaching the first grade team in 1987, with Furner taking a "coaching director" role. The unique arrangement resulted in a magical charge through the 1987 finals and Canberra's first ever Grand Final appearance.

However, it was bitter-sweet for Raiders fans, with Bennett deciding to walk out on Canberra before he'd spent one year in the national capital. The Brisbane Broncos were to enter the NSWRL in 1988 and they came calling on both an off contract Mal Meninga and Wayne Bennett.

Bennett did not have a formal contract with Canberra. He had signed a piece of paper with several points on it... and the Raiders management had never signed this hand written document. But Wayne Bennett certainly regarded it as a binding contract with Canberra. The Raiders too believed they had a binding deal.

Porky Morgan of the new Brisbane Broncos franchise didn't care. He decided very early on that he wanted Bennett as inaugural coach of Brisbane, on the advice of Jack Gibson. After an approach from Steve Williams, Bennett flew to Brisbane for a secret meeting with Morgan, Williams, Barry Maranta and Gary Balkin at the Bonaparte Hotel.

The foursome was shocked that Bennett was being paid $40,000 a season, but they pushed ahead. Bennett recalls what happened in the book, "The Man in the Mirror".

"I said, 'I've got a four year contract with Canberra'. They said, 'Have you got it written down?'. I said, 'No, I haven't got an official contract, just a piece of paper I wrote myself. A foolscap piece of paper with three or four points on it and signed by me.' Les McIntyre was supposed to sign it but hadn't got around to it."

"'Regardless,' I said, 'whatever they told me they were going to do for me they've done, and there've been no dramas... they've been totally spot on with everything. I know what I've committed to. So I'm going to need some legal advice. I'm going to need you to pay my legals because we're going to have a fight here. But if you're prepared to back me... well, you know, I'll go and go to [partner] Trish.'"

Bennett was attracted to setting up the first Queensland team in the NSWRL and his family has not fully settled in Canberra. But when the Broncos didn't follow up on the legal advice, Bennett back flipped and he told them he'd changed his mind.

Mal Meninga was re-signed by the Raiders in late May on a five year deal, ending speculation he'd join the new Brisbane team or St Helens. Knowing that Wayne Bennett would be his coach in Canberra was a key attraction for Meninga. When announcing Meninga's deal, Raiders secretary John McIntrye dismissed reports that the Raiders might release Bennett to Brisbane.

"Under no circumstances would the club be prepared to release Wayne for any other than compassionate grounds, and certainly not to allow him to coach a rival club," McIntyre said.

Porky Morgan kept up the pursuit, regardless, and the Brisbane franchise organised a meeting with Bennett after the first State of Origin match on June 2 at Lang Park. But Bennett was adamant, he wasn't joining Brisbane, as they had not done what they said they'd do.

Morgan was not taking no for an answer. Two days later, Morgan and Bruce Hatcher turned up in Canberra for further talks. Bennett recalled: "I opened the door and there was Bruce and there was Porky, and Porky was carrying a suitcase. A big suitcase. A bloody big suitcase. I said, 'What have you got that for?' He said, 'I'm going to stay here until you sign'."

According to press reports at the time, the Brisbane franchise was dangling $225,000 over three years in front of Bennett. He back flipped again that day. Morgan then pressed Bennett to tell the Raiders management of the decision immediately and they visit Raiders supremo Les McIntyre.

"I get in the car and in we go", Bennett said. "Les is in his office. It was about lunchtime. Les McIntyre is one of the finest men I've met, a very passionate guy. He loves his Raiders and he was wonderful to me during my time at the club. Porky introduces himself and just says to Les, quite openly and bluntly 'I'm taking your coach off you. He said he's going to come back to Brisbane.'

"Les said 'Is that true Wayne?' I said 'Yes Les, that's true. I've got an opportunity, Les and I know I've got a deal here, I appreciate all you've done for me, but I would like to be released. I'd like to go back to Brisbane.'

"As I'm finishing Porky says 'And I'll tell you something Les, I've interviewed a lot of coaches lately. I've got a couple of good ones for you.' I couldn't believe it. I was so embarrassed. I said 'Jesus Porky don't do this to me.'

Les handled it beautifully. He said 'Paul, I can tell you one thing. I do not need you to tell me who we need as a coach at the Canberra Raiders.'"

When Bennnett told the Raiders players of his departure, he announced that if they wanted him to leave immediately, tell him, and he would do that. They players met separately in the sheds, and when Peter Jackson finally emerged by himself, he said: "Mate we want you to leave, and now." He then burst into laughter. "It's a wind up mate, just lead us through the season."

Prior to the second Origin match, the dispute between Canberra and Brisbane went to mediation with the NSWRL in Sydney. Bennett accepted he had a contract with Canberra, but still wanted to head north. The Raiders demanded $100,000 compensation from the Broncos, and Morgan promptly paid. It was the biggest transfer fee the Broncos would pay in their recruitment drive.

While Les McIntyre considered sacking Bennett, the co-coach saw out the rest of the season. It nearly ended in glory, but on Grand Final day, the Sea Eagles were too experienced, too strong.

Mal Meninga would later tell the story that he committed to stay with the Green Machine, if the Raiders would grant Bennett the release. Bennett would however, go on to poach both Peter Jackson and Sam Backo from the Green Machine for the Broncos for the 1989 season.
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » December 4, 2018, 5:42 am

Twice Challenge Cup victors

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The mid-week knockout Cup was replaced with a pre-season Challenge Cup in 1990, and after victories over the Steelers at Parkes, the Tigers at Goulburn, and the Bears at Parramatta, Canberra faced off against Penrith - their ultimate challenger on Grand Final day. The Raiders collected the $200,000 prize at Parramatta Stadium, with a 12-2 victory - dominating the play and the ruthless defence not conceding a try. Brilliant tries to Paul Martin and Laurie Daley capped off the night for the Green Machine.

The Raiders followed that up with a second Challenge Cup victory in 1993, after a comprehensive rebuild of the club caused by the salary cap drama of the early 1990s.



The Raiders defeated the Dragons and the Steelers before meeting the Western Suburbs Magpies in the Challenge final at Dubbo in front of a crowd of 11,917. Canberra was in brilliant form, and raced to an 18-2 margin after 26 minutes. But with Ricky Stuart leaving the field injured at the 25 minute mark, the Magpies made a huge comeback - and levelled the match at 18 all early in the second half. A penalty goal to David Furner and a late field goal to Laurie Daley sealed the 21-18 win.
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » December 5, 2018, 8:06 am

Laurie Daley's "final" home game

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Round 23 2000. It was the final home game for veteran players, Brett Mullins, David Furner and Laurie Daley - but really, the day belonged to Daley. The captain led his team to a wonderful 40-12 victory over the Roosters - one of the grand finalists of 2000 - on a wet Sunday afternoon in front of nearly 24,000.

Daley said after the match: "I felt invincible out there today and I just felt like I could do nothing wrong. Without no word of a lie, this is one of the best moments I've had in my career. I'd put it right up there. For the people to stay around in the terrible weather, it means a lot and is very touching."

Looking back later, Daley still felt it was one of the most special days of his footballing life.

"I think I was more emotional in that game than any other. I was very passionate and used to get extremely excited and keyed up for big games. People said to try and stay relaxed but I found I played better when I was keyed up. I remember running onto the field with all these little kids lining up in a guard of honour and that brought a tear to the eye and the chest was beating really quick. It was also David Furner's and Brett Mullins' last home game. We wanted to make sure it was a good one."

And so they did.

The Roosters led 8-0 after scoring the first two tries. It looked a bit grim. But Canberra fought back and led by 14-8 at half time. And then Canberra opened up some magical attack in the second half, with four tries giving Canberra a 36-8 lead. The departing Mullins scored a double. A try on full time to Lesley Vainikolo gave Daley an opportunity for a final kick at goal at home - but he missed from the sideline. It didn't matter. It didn't halt the magic. The sun started to shine and a rainbow appeared over Bruce Stadium. It was the perfect goodbye.

The trio would play one more match at Canberra Stadium - the Week 1 Finals victory over the Panthers. But it could not match the emotion of that Sunday in July.

2000 Round 23 - Canberra Raiders 40 (Jason Croker 2, Brett Mullins 2, Jamaal Lolesi, Andrew McFadden, Lesley Vainikolo tries, David Furner 6 goals) defeated Sydney Roosters 12 (Anthony Minichiello 2, Robert Miles tries) at Canberra Stadium

Canberra Raiders: 1. Brett Mullins 2. Jamaal Lolesi 3. Brad Kelly 4. Ken Nagas 5. Lesley Vainikolo 6. Laurie Daley 7. Andrew McFadden 8. Todd Payten 9. Simon Woolford 10. Luke Davico 11. Ruben Wiki 12. David Furner 13. Jason Croker

14. Mark McLinden 15. Alan Tongue 16. Adam Peters 17. Justin Morgan

Coach Mal Meninga

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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » December 6, 2018, 8:28 am

Magic pass



2016. It was the best season for the Canberra Raiders since 1995, more than 20 years. 1995 was the last time the Raiders had finished in second position on the ladder and made a Preliminary Final in a full competition. Unfortunately, the Raiders did not make it to the Grand Final in 1995 or 2016. But 2016 was an outstanding season for the Green Machine, one in which all expectations were exceeded. In the end, Canberra just missed a Grand Final appearance. They were only beaten by two points in each of the finals contests against the eventual Grand Finalists, the Sharks and Storm. Along the way, the Raiders won 10 matches in a row, the most in club history during a single season.

Canberra was number one in the league for points scored, scoring nearly 100 points more than the second placed team. No Canberra team had ever scored more points in a season, breaking the record of the 1994 outfit. All sorts of other records were broken too. Jarrod Croker became the club's highest point scorer of all time, breaking David Furner's record. He also broke the record for most points scored in single season for the club. Jordan Rapana broke the club record for most tries scored in a season, at 23.

Joey Leilua was recognised as the Dally M Centre of the Year, while Jarrod Croker was named Dally M Captain of the Year, Provan-Summons Medalist - and was the top point scorer in the NRL. Ricky Stuart was named Coach of the Year. Players like Jordan Rapana and Josh Papalii were unlucky not to win their positional awards at the Dally Ms as well. Josh Hodgson was named one of the best five players in the competition in the NRL's Official Annual.

The reaction of the fans and the city of Canberra was remarkable. The Viking Clap was first revealed in the home match against the Parramatta Eels and it was a sensation in the world of rugby league - and much more broadly. The city was engulfed in green fever when Canberra Stadium staged two home finals. It showed that no team can grip the national capital like the Raiders can.

If one moment could sum up the 2016 season - the audaciousness of the attack - it came in Round 26 at Leichhardt Oval. A top two finish was on the line for the Raiders, a top eight position on the line for the Wests Tigers. And the Raiders unleashed. It was a nine tries and a 52-10 victory. The moment? It came in the 18th minute, from a lethal right edge combinaton known as "Leipana". Joey Leilua ran backwards towards the try line... and then threw the most magical pass you'll ever see... around his back to set up Rapana for a try.



2016 Round 26 - Canberra Raiders 52 (J. Papalii 2, J. Rapana 2, J. Croker, J. Hodgson, J. Leilua Kelemete, J. Tapine, S. Williams tries; J. Croker 6, A. Sezer 2 goals) defeated Wests Tigers 10 (J. Aloiai, T. Grant tries; J. Rankin goal) at Leichhardt Oval

Canberra Raiders: 1. Jack Wighton 2. Edrick Lee 3. Jason Croker (C) 4. Joey Leilua 5. Jorda Rapana 6. Sam Williams 7. Aidan Sezer 8. Paul Vaughan 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Shannon Boyd 11. Josh Papalii 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Sia Soliola

14. Kurt Baptiste 15. Luke Bateman 16. Clay Priest 17. Joe Tapine

Coach Ricky Stuart

Crowd: 18,634
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From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » December 7, 2018, 9:46 am

Canberra Raiders open new Bruce Stadium with a win over the Dragons

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The Raiders moved to the redeveloped Bruce Stadium the year after the miracle 1989 Grand Final victory. The farewell match at Seiffert Oval in 1989 produced a 16-6 win, but few expected Canberra could go on to take the title. The new premiers returned to Canberra in 1990, playing St George in the opening game of the season on a Friday night in front of a then record crowd of 22,527.



Ricky Walford scored early for Saints, but the Green Machine subsequently swamped the men in red and white. The match was notable for an innovation from Tim Sheens - where numbered cards were held up on the sideline to signal the set moves he wanted run at crucial stages. NSW general manager John Quayle intervened at half time and banned the cards, claiming Canberra was "coaching from the sidelines", though they were later allowed outside the playing area. The system worked, with two tries from set moves from penalty taps. As fireworks blazed on full time, the Raiders had run out victors 26-10. Brad Clyde was the man of the match. Ricky Stuart's kicking was superb, and the Raiders whole backline was electric.

Round 1 1990 - Canberra 26 (B. Clyde, L. Daley, M. Meninga, R. Stuart, M. Wood tries; M. Meninga 3 goals) defeated St George Dragons 10 (R. Walford 2 tries; R. Walford goal) at Bruce Stadium

Canberra: 1. Gary Belcher, 2. Paul Martin, 3. Mal Meninga (C), 4. Matthew Wood, 5. John Ferguson, 6. Laurie Daley 7. Ricky Stuart 8. Brent Todd 9. Steve Walters 10. Glenn Lazarus 11. Gary Coyne 12. Dean Lance 13. Brad Clyde

14. Phil Carey 15. David Barnhill

Coach Tim Sheens

Crowd: 22,257


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Memorabilia from the match
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » December 8, 2018, 6:53 am

Home farewell for Croker, Woolford and Schifcofske

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Round 25 2006. The end of an era. 2006 saw the departure of a host of experienced players from the Canberra Raiders, not least of all Jason Croker. Croker left the Raiders for France, as the most capped Raider ever (318 games) and the most career tries (120). He still holds both records. He started his career on the wing, but was best known as a backrower and sometime five eighth. Croker was the Raiders' Rookie of the Year in 1991, Most Consistent in 1992 and 1994, the Players' Player in 1993 and 1999 and took the Coaches' Award in 2004. He played five games for Australia and five for New South Wales - but probably should have played more. He was very unlucky to miss the 1994 Kangaroos tour after scoring his 22nd try for the season in the Grand Final.

Clinton Schifcofske, Simon Woolford - both captains of the club - Adam Mogg, Jason Smith and Michael Hodgson also played their final home game alongside Croker in Round 25. The Melbourne Storm spoiled the party, running out winners 22-18 in front of more than 21,000. The Raiders had two further matches in the season, but lost in Week 1 of the finals to the Bulldogs at Stadium Australia.

Round 25 2006 - Melbourne Storm 22 (R. Hoffman, G. Inglis, D. Johnson, M. King tries; C. Smith 3 goals) defeated Canberra Raiders 18 (A. Tongue 2, L. Withers tries; C. Schifcofske 3 goals) at Canberra Stadium

Canberra: 1. Clinton Schifcofske (C) 2. Adrian Purtell 3. Phil Graham 4. Adam Mogg 5. Craig Frawley 6. Jason Smith 14. Todd Carney 8. Michael Hodgson 9. Simon Woolford 10. Troy Thompson 11. Kris Kahler 12. Jason Croker 13. Alan Tongue

7. Lincoln Withers 15. Marshall Chalk 16. Dane Tilse 17. Michael Weyman

Coach Matt Elliott

Crowd: 21,255
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » December 9, 2018, 8:44 am

Mullins scores four



Brett Mullins scored four tries in Newcastle in Round 18 of 1994, in a 52-16 win for the Raiders over the Knights. At the end of the match, he'd scored 11 tries in 14 days, with three against the Sharks and four against the Rabbitohs in the previous two rounds. The first two tries against the Knights were memorable length of the field efforts.

1994 Round 18 - Canberra Raiders 52 (B. Mullins 4, R. Wiki 2, N. Nadruku, R. Stuart, S. Walters tries; D. Furner 8 goals) defeated Newcastle 16 (A. Johns 2, J. Ainscough tries; A. Johns 2 goals) at Newcastle

Canberra: 1. Brett Mullins 2. Albert Fulivai 3. Mal Meninga 4. Ruben Wiki 5. Noa Nadruku 6. Jason Croker 7. Ricky Stuart 8. Quentin Pongia 9. Steve Walters 10. John Lomax 11. Brett Hetherington 12. David Furner 13. Brad Clyde

14. David Westley 15. Jason Death 16. David Boyle

Coach Tim Sheens

Crowd: 22, 945
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by edwahu » December 9, 2018, 4:43 pm

1991 Raiders vs Manly is on Fox Sports now. It's halftime but you can start over or record the whole game if on IQ.

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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » December 9, 2018, 6:51 pm

edwahu wrote:
December 9, 2018, 4:43 pm
1991 Raiders vs Manly is on Fox Sports now. It's halftime but you can start over or record the whole game if on IQ.
Available for download on IQ3. Brutal start. Some of those tackles from Ian Roberts were huge.
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From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » December 10, 2018, 8:00 am

The Mac Attack

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The Raiders produced a then record come from behind win in Round 5 1998, in the most trying circumstances. Ricky Stuart had been left out of the team, suffering recurring migraines. Captain Laurie Daley left the field early with a hamstring strain. Brad Clyde left the field for a period after a head knock. The Sea Eagles went to a 20-2 lead after 25 minutes, but the Raiders gradually ground their way back into the game. In the absence of Stuart and Daley, a young halves pairing of Andrew McFadden and Mark McLinden took control. It was McLinden’s third first grade match, McFadden’s fifth. With just a minute remaining, the scores we’re locked at 20-20. A kick from Manly forward Nik Kosef deflected off Brad Clyde, and the 18 year old McLinden scooped up the ball and produced a thrilling 50 metre run down the sideline for the winning try in the dying moments. The “Mac Attack” was born.

Round 5 1998 - Canberra Raiders 26 (J. Croker 2, L. Davico, A. Fulivai, M. McLinden tries; D. Furner 3 goals) defeated Manly Sea Eagles 20 (D. Gartner, J. Hopoate, S. Menzies, L. Phillips tries; L. Phillips 2 goals) at Bruce Stadium

Canberra Raiders: 1. Geoff McNamara 2. Jason Croker 3. Brandon Costin 4. Ruben Wiki 5. Lesley Vainikolo 6. Laurie Daley (C) 7. Andrew McFadden 8. Brett Hetherington 9. Simon Woolford 10. Luke Davico 11. Ben Kennedy 12. David Furner 13. Brad Clyde

14. Mark McLinden 15. David Boyle 16. Albert Fulivai 17. Anthony Seibold

Coach Mal Meninga

Crowd: 13,202
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » December 11, 2018, 7:05 am

Premier League premiers

The Raiders rampaged through the 2003 NSW Premier League season, losing only three games and scoring 901 points. Canberra dominated the St Marys-Penrith Cougars - the Penrith Panthers affiliate - on Grand Final Day, 31-6. Two tries to Phil Graham in four minutes in the first half gave the Raiders a decisive lead, and Graham completed a hat trick in the match just before the full time siren. The Raiders led 25-0 before the Cougars scored their first points of the game, eight minutes from full time.

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Matt Gafa was a very under rated player and he scored 26 tries and 122 goals that season - for a record 348 points. Rod Jensen scored an incredible 31 tries. The Raiders beat the Balmain Tigers 30-14 in a qualifying final, before a 25-14 preliminary final victory over the St George Illawarra Dragons catapulted them into the Grand Final.

It was the first and last time the Raiders have won the old “reserve grade” premiership. The Raiders ceased entering their own “reserve grade” side in 2007- teaming up with other lower tier clubs. They first affiliated with Queensland Cup team Souths Logan Magpies - and they won the premiership in 2008. However, there was only a hint of lime in their black and white jerseys. After the NSWRL forced the Raiders back to the NSW Premiership in 2012, the Raiders have affiliated with Mt Pritchard, known as “Mounties”. Since then, Mounties have won the minor premiership twice and appeared in one Grand Final - but are yet to win a premiership.

2003 NSW Premier League Grand Final - Canberra Raiders 31 (P. Graham 3, M. Gafa, J. Bulgarelli tries; M. Gafa 4, J. Van Dijk goals, M. Monaghan field goal) defeated St Marys Cougars 6 (A. Amour try; D. Russell goal)

Half time: Canberra Raiders 13-0

Canberra Raiders: Marshall Chalk, Matt Gafa, James Evans, Jason Bulgarelli, Rod Jensen, Michael Monaghan, Jace Van Dijk, Darren Porter, Jarrod Lawrence, Ben Cross, Alan Rothery, Josh Miller, Simon Friend

Mark Bryant, Terry Campese, Michael Weyman, Phil Graham

Kris Kahler, Matt Doeg, Jack Pearson, Craig Simon

Coach Wayne Collins
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » December 12, 2018, 4:15 am

Meninga steamrolls Trewhella - and Raiders qualify for their first Grand Final

The Preliminary Final, 1987. It was the third time Canberra had played the Roosters in a month. The Green Machine had won against the Roosters in the final round of the regular season - controversially resting players - but had been defeated a week later in the first round of the finals.

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Mal Meninga steamrolls David Trewhella.

In the Preliminary Final, Mal Meninga made a heroic comeback, the arm he had broken covered in a huge arm guard. He wore jersey 21, the only jersey that would fit him, and ended up playing 64 minutes - after a week of speculation as to whether he would be fit. Meninga produced one of the most memorable moments in Raiders history when he smashed his way right over the top of Roosters forward, David Trewhella, to score a try - leaving Trewhella in a hole in the ground, snoozing.

The attack from Canberra was devastating, and the Raiders secured the victory in a 13 minute flurry in the second half, when Canberra was trailing 18-14, but surged to a 32-18 lead. The Roosters took the lead four times in the match, and the Raiders came back every time - winning 32-24.

"We just weren't going to be denied," captain Dean Lance said later. As [co-coach] Wayne [Bennett] said the other day, if the plane crashed at Goulburn, we'd walk to the SCG and still do our job."

Canberra had made the decider for the first time. The national capital was about to be engulfed in green fever.

1987 Preliminary Final – Canberra Raiders 32 (Gary Coyne 2, Peter Jackson, Matthew Corkery, Ashley Gilbert, Mal Meninga tries, Mal Meninga 2, Gary Belcher 2 goals) defeated Eastern Suburbs Roosters 24 (Tony Melrose, Steve Morris, Robert Simpkins, Laurie Spina tries, David Smith 4 goals) at the Sydney Cricket Ground

Canberra Raiders: 1. Gary Belcher 2. Chris Kinna 4. Peter Jackson 21. Mal Meninga 5. Matthew Corkery 6. Chris O'Sullivan 3. Ivan Henjak 8. Dean Lance (c) 9. Gary Coyne 10. Ashley Gilbert 11. Sam Backo 12. Steve Walters 13. Brent Todd

16. Terry Regan 7. Kevin Walters 22. Rowan Brennan 23. Glenn Lazarus

Coaches Don Furner and Wayne Bennett

Crowd: 26,790
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From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » December 14, 2018, 9:36 am

Ding dong, the witch is dead

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Round 16 2009. At the end of the match, the legendary rugby league coach Jack Gibson might have said 'ding dong, the witch is dead'. The Raiders went into a clash against a full strength Melbourne Storm team, with a 4-9 win-loss record to their name. Canberra had not beaten Melbourne for seven seasons, a 14 game losing streak which at the time was the longest drought in the NRL.

In front of a modest crowd, the Raiders started strongly - an aerial attack down the right resulting in tries to Justin Carney and Joel Monaghan. Carney was instrumental in shutting down superstar Greg Inglis, while the kicking game of Terry Campese and Marc Herbert kept the Storm continually under pressure and well-behind at half time, down 16-4.

An early try to Justin Carney in the second half gave him his double and the Raiders a commanding 20-4 lead, and many Raiders fans dared to dream - could the Storm finally be beaten? Josh Dugan at fullback was mesmerising, racking up close to 300 metres with several blistering runs, while the Raiders forward pack continually worked over their more fancied opponents.

The class of the Storm shone through, however, with two quick tries, reducing the margin to four with almost 20 minutes to play. Many Raiders fans feared the worst, but inspirational defence and a last-second try to Bronson Harrison ensured scenes of jubilation around Canberra Stadium. A 26-16 victory for the Green Machine. In his first season as coach, Furner had achieved something both predecessors Elliott and Henry could not.

2009 Round 16 – Canberra 26 (Joel Monaghan 2, Justin Carney 2, Bronson Harrison tries, Terry Campese 3 goals) defeated Melbourne Storm 16 (Will Chambers, Greg Inglis, Cameron Smith tries, Cameron Smith 2 goals) at Canberra Stadium

Canberra: 1. Josh Dugan 2. Justin Carney 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Joel Monaghan 5. Phil Graham 6. Terry Campese 7. Marc Herbert 8. David Shillington 13. Alan Tongue (C) 10. Troy Thompson 11. Tom Learoyd-Lahrs 12. Bro son Harrison 15. Nigel Plum

9. Glen Buttriss 14. Trevor Thurling 16. Josh Miller 17. Dane Tilse

Coach David Furner

Crowd: 9,551
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