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Post by greeneyed » December 15, 2018, 12:10 pm

First ever Canberra Raiders Grand Final

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The year is 1985... the first year any Canberra Raiders team appeared in a Grand Final. In the second half of the season, Canberra’s "reserve" grade - coached by Allan McMahon - won nine, drew two and lost one match. The team went eight games without a loss, then a club record in any grade. The team also rose from 10th on the competition ladder to second by the end of the regular season – clinching second spot with a 16-8 win over the minor premier, St George, in the final home match.

In week one of the finals, Canberra fell to Parramatta 22-10. The team’s preparation was disrupted when Ansett cancelled the Raiders' 8.15am flight on the morning of the game, due to a lack of cabin crew. Ansett offered the team a trip to Sydney on a “mail bus” instead and did not arrive until after midday.

The following week the team was propelled into a Saturday “sudden death” final against a star studded Canterbury Bulldogs team containing the likes of Daryl Brohman, Phil Gould, Mark Bugden, Phil Sigsworth, Steve Gearin and Steve O’Brien. At the end of 70 minutes regulation time, the match was locked at 8-8, forcing 20 minutes of extra time. With just four minutes remaining, a try to 19 year old Garry Wilson secured the 12-8 win.

For the preliminary final against the Eels, the reggies got to travel to Sydney the night before, staying in the luxurious surrounds of the Camperdown Travelodge. It must have worked, as this time it was a convincing 18-8 victory, with Sam Backo, Gary Spears and Grant Ellis leading from up front. It was the first senior Raiders team that had made the Grand Final.

The Raiders opponent was St George, a team that had lost only four games all season – including one to Canberra. St George did not keep any players on the sidelines so as to save them for first grade - but then Canberra had refused to “stack” its team by qualifying first graders in the finals stages of the season for the finals as well.

Saints fullback Brian Johnson scored the first try, but Canberra immediately hit back, with halfback and captain Paul Thompson setting up Les Morrissey for a four pointer. Prop Sam Backo then made a huge break up the middle of the field, and passed to Paul Thompson who went in close to the posts – giving the Raiders a 12-4 half time advantage. Shortly after the break, Thompson put up a bomb to the in-goal. Saints fullback Brian Johnson was under little pressure but spilled it, allowing Peter Davis to dive on the ball. Angel Marina missed the conversion, a low miskick hitting the cross bar. It would later prove crucial.

St George came back through two quick tries. There was a suspect pass in the lead up to both, but the scores were deadlocked at 16 apiece with 21 minutes remaining. A thrilling finish ensued, with Saints putting on the pressure and the Raiders tiring in the heat.

Just a few minutes from full time, the Raiders had finally worked their way into field goal territory. Thompson’s first attempt was charged down, but Canberra re-gathered. Another attempt. Missed. St George charged downfield, and their own attempt sprayed well wide with two minutes left.

Canberra’s effort to quickly get to the other end of the field failed when Grant Ellis could not handle a pass from Backo. It gave St George the final set of the match in possession and the ball was thrown everywhere. With just six seconds left, Alan Neil raced away to score for St George. The forward pass from Brian Johnson in the lead up was not suspect, it was blatant – but it was missed by referee Mick Stone.

The final score was a heart breaking 22-16 to St George. But despite the heart break, the club and Canberrans had some taste of what it’s like to be there on Grand Final day – and could be proud of the achievements of the team.

1985 Reserve Grade Grand Final - St George Dragons 22 defeated Canberra Raiders 16 (Les Morrissey, Paul Thompson, Peter Davis tries, Angel Marina 2 goals)

Canberra Raiders: 14. Peter Davis 15. Angel Marina 16. Ian Hamilton 17. Les Morrissey 18. Garry Wilson 19. Michael Blake 20. Paul Thompson (c) 21. Darren Watters 22. Paul Elliott 23. Ashley Gilbert 24. Gary Spears 25. Wayne Jensen 26. Sam Backo

37. Grant Ellis 32. Paul Martin 34. Gary Britt

Coach Allan McMahon
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Post by greeneyed » December 16, 2018, 11:53 am

Raiders knock over the premiers

The biggest occasion for the Canberra Raiders in 1999 was the Round 1 home clash against the Brisbane Broncos. The fans turned up - 20,122 of them - to a redeveloped Bruce Stadium, renovated for the 2000 Olympics. The Broncos had never lost an opening match in a season since their inception. They were odds on to win a third successive premiership. The Broncos were still the Raiders' biggest rival of the time - and as of 2018, it was the last time that the Raiders have opened their season against the reigning premiers.

Salary cap pressures had forced the departure of Ricky Stuart and Brad Clyde to the Bulldogs at the end of 1998 - and captain Laurie Daley had a new halves partner, Mark McLinden. It was a close first half, with the Broncos going to the break with a narrow two point lead. Shortly after the break, Laurie Daley showed his class, involved twice in a well worked try for Jason Croker. It was a four pointer which gave the Raiders the lead.

With 30 minutes of the match remaining, interchange Broncos back Ben Walker was sent from the field by referee Tim Mander for a high tackle - which would put him out for the next three matches. The Broncos took back the lead after the send off, but it was the Raiders that would finish the stronger. Brandon Pearson scored under the posts, and then in the 74th minute, he set up the match winner. With the Raiders leading 24-20, Mark McLinden and Ben Kennedy sent the ball wide to Pearson, who then threw a stunning flick pass to Rod Jensen for the try in the corner. There was no conversion from the sideline, but it would prove to be enough. Pearson, with two tries, was the hero.

That Round 1 clash would prove to be a portent for the Broncos. They went on to record a disastrous start to the season, with just one win and a draw from their first ten games. They recovered in the second half of the season, posting 11 wins in a row, and scraping into the top eight - before crashing out of the competition in Week 1 of the finals.

1999 Round 1 - Canberra Raiders 28 (B. Costin 2, J. Croker, R. Jensen, S. Woolford tries; D. Furner 4 goals) defeated Brisbane Broncos 20 (M. De Vere 2, A. Langer, D. Lockyer tries; D. Lockyer 2 goals) at Bruce Stadium

Half time: Brisbane Broncos 14 led Canberra Raiders 12.

Canberra Raiders: 1. Ken Nagas 2. Rod Jensen 3. Brandon Costin 4. Jason Croker 5. Lesley Vainikolo 6. Laurie Daley (C) 7. Mark McLinden 8. Anthony Brann 9. Simon Woolford 10. Mark Corvo, 11. Ruben Wiki 12. David Furner 13. Ben Kennedy

14. Rod Maybon 15. David Westley 16. Todd Payten 17. Damian Kennedy

Crowd: 20,122
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Post by greeneyed » December 17, 2018, 12:55 pm

Stuart's bitter-sweet, medal winning season

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In 1993 Ricky Stuart took out both the Dally M Player of the Year and the Rothmans Medal for Best and Fairest, due recognition for a stellar season. He recorded one of the highest vote tallies (30) in Rothmans Medal history. He was the third player to achieve the Rothmans Medal-Dally M double. Stuart also won the Dally M Halfback of the Year and the Dally M Players' Player award.

He had to collect his awards on crutches.

In the second last round of the season, the Raiders led the Parramatta Eels 30-0 at half time, and the Green Machine was 40 minutes away from a record 68-0 victory. That afternoon the Green Machine scored 12 tries - five in the first half and seven in the second - and David Furner kicked 10 goals. No team had won by a bigger margin in 58 years.

But the match was probably most important because of the incident that took place just a minute after half time. Stuart, the Raiders key play maker, went in to assist in a tackle. It ended with his right leg caught, twisted. He left the field on a stretcher, his right ankle dislocated and fractured.

The Raiders led the competition after that game - and late in the season, it had seemed that they were poised for a run to another premiership. But those hopes vanished without Stuart. The Raiders lost their final three games of the season, going out backwards in a short finals campaign.





"I just wish I would have taken the advice of Tim Sheens at half time," Stuart would reflect later.

"He said to me come off and have a rest because we’d had a pretty hectic season. I said 'give me 10 more minutes and I will come off'. I ended up breaking my leg and having a full reconstruction on my ankle. I still take that into account when I’m coaching now and I tell a player to come off the field."

"It was the best year of football I had, I hit a purple patch and couldn’t do anything wrong," Stuart said.

"It was one of those years where you’d chip kick and the ball would bounce back to you and you would catch it in one hand… we should have won the comp that year."

"Where it hurt the club was all my talk and organisation in attack and defence. It certainly wasn’t my defensive ability."

Raiders Immortal Mal Meninga was in no doubt about how important Ricky Stuart was to the Green Machine.

"I was on the field when he did it," Meninga recalled later. "He was in excruciating pain – his foot was skew-whiff. It was terrible. That put a real dampener on the season for us. We struggled after that. We lost in the last round, and went straight out of the finals with back-to-back losses. That's how good a footy player he was."

Raiders’ fullback Brett Mullins was involved in the tackle when Stuart was injured.

"To watch him go off… the sheer pain on his face was terrible," Mullins said.

"We were on a roll that year, but that put a dull in the camp. Bloody oath it affected us; people who say it didn’t are lying. You can tell by the way we went when he wasn’t there. He led us, he was always a couple of rucks ahead. It obviously affected us."

1993 Round 21 – Canberra Raiders 68 (Sean Hoppe 2, Mal Meninga 2, Laurie Daley 2, Jason Croker 2, Trevor Schodel, Noa Nadruku, Brad Clyde, Brett Mullins tries; David Furner 10 goals) defeated Parramatta 0 at Bruce Stadium

Coach Tim Sheens

Canberra Raiders: 1. Gary Belcher 2. Noa Nadruku 3. Mal Meninga 4. Brett Mullins 5. Sean Hoppe 6. Laurie Daley 7. Ricky Stuart 8. Quentin Pongia 9. Steve Walters 10. John Lomax 11. David Furner 12. Brad Clyde 13. Jason Croker

14. David Westley 15. Trevor Schodel 16. David Boyle

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Post by edwahu » December 17, 2018, 1:10 pm

That line up is ridiculous.

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Post by -PJ- » December 17, 2018, 2:03 pm

I can remember that 1993 finals series just like it was yesterday.

Stuart broke his leg in the rnd21 smacking of Parramatta.
In the final rnd22 game against Canterbury we went with 6.Daley 7. Schodel..we lost that game and ended up finishing 3rd on the ladder.

In the major semi against StGeorge the following week I think it was 6. Meninga? 7. Daley..we lost.

The following week against Brisbane in the elimination semi it was 6. Daley 7. Stone..we lost.

We were about to win a premiership in 93 until a broken leg slowed us up.

Ricky was sensational in 1993.
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#emptythetank :shock:
I am not an alcoholic, I'm a binge drinker lacking opportunity..

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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » December 18, 2018, 8:43 am

History in the west



It was 1989 and the Canberra Raiders were in a desperate struggle to make the finals. In Round 20, they travelled west, to Perth, for an historic first premiership match to be played outside New South Wales or Queensland.

The Raiders had just forced their way back into equal fifth position - in the days when that was the cut off for finals qualification - after wins over the Roosters and the Giants. The Brisbane Broncos were level pegging with the Raiders on 22 competition points. The Green Machine's opponents in Perth, the Canterbury Bulldogs, were just one competition point behind them. The venue was the WACA, and a big crowd of 22,000 turned up for what was virtually a semi final elimination.

Canberra trailed 14-6 at half time, but the Raiders would not give up. Laurie Daley scored from a Ricky Stuart bomb and then Mal Meninga set up a second Daley try to produce a 14-14 score line. Just four minutes from time, Meninga and, late replacement, Ivan Henjak combined to set up a thrilling match winning try for Matthew Wood. Henjak played for just 12 minutes, while Wood had overcome a virus to play. They proved to be the difference.

Rookie winger Roger Kenworthy, aged just 18, made his debut in the match after the withdrawal of John Ferguson, due to his mother's death that week. Kenworthy made the trip to Perth with the expectation he would play for 10 minutes, but ended up starting the game, with experienced winger Paul Martin coming in for Kenworthy off the bench.

After the match, coach Tim Sheens said that the Raiders had remained calm at halftime, despite being behind on the score board.

"We knew we had to get the ball down their end of the park. If we hung in there we knew we would score and that was what happened," Sheens said.

It was three straight wins for Canberra - and the Green Machine was on its way to winning nine in a row and a magical first premiership.

1989 Round 20 – Raiders 18 (L. Daley 2, B. Clyde, M. Wood tries, M. Meninga goal) defeated Canterbury 14 (K. Moore, G. Nissen tries; G. Barwick 3 goals) at the WACA

Canberra Raiders: 1. Gary Belcher 2. Matthew Wood 3. Mal Meninga (C) 4. Laurie Daley 5. Roger Kenworthy 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. Paul Martin 15. Ivan Henjak 16. Wayne Collins

Coach Tim Sheens

Crowd: 21,922
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From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » December 19, 2018, 7:08 am

Raiders power through the Seiffert mud

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Travellers on the road from Canberra to Sydney are always fascinated by Lake George, just outside the borders of the ACT. Empty or full, it tells you a lot about Canberra’s weather. In prolonged periods of dry weather, the waters disappear. But in 1989 it was full. 1989 was one of the wettest autumns and winters the national capital had seen.

So when the 1988 premiers, the Canterbury Bulldogs met the Canberra Raiders at Seiffert Oval on a Sunday afternoon in April of 1989, Seiffert Oval was muddy. It had been so wet, the Raiders trained indoors at the Australian Institute of Sport on the Thursday night prior to the clash. The Bulldogs were clear favourites, with the Raiders losing all three contests in the previous season - after being in a position to win them all. In their last encounter, the Raiders had lost an epic finals match, 19-18, to the Dogs.

The Raiders lost three players to injury on the eve of the game. Forward Craig Dimond had been expected to miss the game with a shoulder injury. But the Raiders were forced into further late changes. Hooker Steve Walters twisted his ankle at Thursday night's training session, while an ongoing groin injury kept fullback Gary Belcher out of the clash. Kevin Walters was brought in at fullback, Wayne Collins at hooker, and Brent Todd into the starting forward pack.



The atmosphere was thick, despite a crowd of just 11,000. Things didn’t start well for the Green Machine, with Terry Lamb scoring the first try after three minutes. But gradually, Canberra asserted control. Brad Clyde scored the Raiders first try in the 28th minute - and it was the start of a blitz. The smaller players, Ricky Stuart, Chris O’Sullivan and Ivan Henjak stepped around the big Bulldogs pack with lightning speed, producing breathtaking breaks and a five try haul. After the match, they were hailed as "the mosquito squadron".

Henjak was simply outstanding at centre - a position he was reluctant to fill. He had a role in four tries and could have set up a couple more.

"I am still not completely happy, I have been concentrating on maintaining my intensity for the full 80 minutes," he said amidst the post match celebrations.

Laurie Daley scored a total of 22 points, with one incredible penalty goal from 40 metres out and not far from the sideline. After the match, Laurie Daley said the team had been motivated by their underdog status.

"We were written off by everybody during the week, they were all saying that they had beaten us last year and that we had no chance," he said. "That really hurt, no one likes to be written off, and our confidence was sky high after the last two wins."

Coach Tim Sheens admitted he felt numb after the victory. Dogs’ coach Phil Gould was left shell shocked on the sidelines with no answers to the blistering Raiders’ attack.

"I suppose I am as numbed as they are at the moment," he said. "It was an outstanding win, but there is a long way to go yet. There was some poor handling early, but our defence made up for the errors. Our goal was to attack Canterbury in defence, to move forward and put them under pressure, and the blokes did that."

The match was a sign of some special things to come.

1989 Round 5 – Raiders 34 (Laurie Daley 2, Chris O’Sullivan 2, Brad Clyde tries, Laurie Daley 7 goals) defeated Bulldogs (Terry Lamb try) 4 at Seiffert Oval
Half time: Canberra Raiders 10 Canterbury Bulldogs 4

Canberra: 1. Kevin Walters 2. Phil Carey 3. Ivan Henjak 4. Laurie Daley 5. John Ferguson 6. Chris O'Sullivan 7. Ricky Stuart 8. Brent Todd 9. Wayne Collins 10. Glenn Lazarus 11. Dean Lance (C) 12. Gary Coyne 13. Brad Clyde

14. Steve Jackson 15. Mark Lowry 16. Ron Coskerie 17. Mark Bell

Coach Tim Sheens

Crowd: 11,090
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Post by greeneyed » December 20, 2018, 10:02 am

Attacking blitz

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The Canberra Raiders finished the 1989 season equal with the Brisbane Broncos and the Cronulla Sharks on 22 competition points. However, the Raiders were placed in fourth position on points differential - and the Broncos and Sharks were forced into a Tuesday night play off at Parramatta Stadium. The Sharks were in white hot form in the play off, scoring seven tries to the Broncos' two. Many critics were expecting a repeat in the minor preliminary semi final against the Raiders. Cronulla had beaten Canberra twice during the regular season.

But instead, it was the Raiders that produced an attacking blitz, piling on six tries. The Raiders' forward pack was oft maligned by the critics. But the likes of Glen Lazarus, Brent Todd and Dean Lance provided the foundation in the centre - and then the Raiders employed the familiar pattern of stretching the ball wide to the backline maestros, and it paid handsome dividends. They again showed why they were the top point-scoring team in the competition.

The Sharks led 2-0 courtesy of an Alan Wilson penalty goal, before the Raiders scored their first try in the 31st minute through Gary Belcher. A further Canberra try to Chris O'Sullivan just five minutes later saw the Raiders go to the break with a 10-2 lead. Canberra went further ahead just after half time, when a Laurie Daley break out wide, set up a Matthew Wood try. The Sharks came back to trail 16-10, but a Chris O'Sullivan field goal gave the Raiders a seven point advantage - and the Raiders then powered away, scoring three tries in the final 10 minutes.

There had been uncertainty that half Ricky Stuart would take his place in the side, after suffering what he thought was a hamstring injury at Thursday night's training. It turned out to be a pinched sciatic nerve, and he proved instrumental in the victory, setting up a couple of tries. Steve Walters was forced out of the match with a virus, but his replacement Wayne Collins played strongly at dummy half. Brent Todd had been struck by the same illness, but it did not seem to affect his performance.

"I have had the flu all week and have been coughing up phlegm, I have been feeling pretty crook," he revealed after the game.

Five eighth Chris O'Sullivan was the man of the match, scoring a try, a goal and a field goal.

"I don't suppose I have ever played much better than that in a big game," O'Sullivan said after the match. "It was a bit of a struggle'early, but we had been starting badly in the last few weeks and'wanted to make sure that didn't happen again."

"We had a winning aura around us this week and I was always confident we would win. The secret to stopping them is to stop [Gavin] Miller, and we did a pretty good job of that today."

Coach Tim Sheens was still focused on the challenges ahead.

"We can't get too carried away with that, we just can't stop and say that is enough," Sheens said. "We have now had five or six sudden-death games in a row and we just can't afford to falter for the next three weeks."

Captain Mal Meninga warned: "We can play better than that".

1989 Minor Semi Final - Canberra Raiders 31 (Gary Belcher, Matthew Wood, Laurie Daley, Chris O'Sullivan, Gary Coyne, Paul Martin tries, Matthew Wood 2, Chris O'Sullivan goals, Chris O'Sullivan field goal) defeated Cronulla Sharks 10 (Andrew Ettingshausen try, Alan Wilson 3 goals) at Sydney Football Stadium

Canberra Raiders: 1. Gary Belcher 2. Matthew Wood 3. Laurie Daley 4. Mal Meninga 5. John Ferguson 6. Chris O'Sullivan 7. Ricky Stuart 8. Brent Todd 22. Wayne Collins 10. Glenn Lazarus 11. Dean Lance 12. Gary Coyne 13. Bradley Clyde

14. Paul Martin 15. Ivan Henjak 16. Mark Lowry 17. Kevin Walters

Coach Tim Sheens

Crowd: 18,186
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Post by greeneyed » December 21, 2018, 8:58 am

Nine try romp against the Sharks



The Canberra Raiders headed into the Round 5 clash of 1993 with the Cronulla Sharks with a 2-2 record, and a goal of getting their defence in order. And so they did on that Easter Sunday, with the Raiders conceding just one try to the Sharks, while piling on nine of their own. The onslaught started in the 10th minute, with the first of two Sean Hoppe tries, and the Raiders didn't ever let up.

A new star emerged for Canberra - "Flying Fijian" winger Noa Nadruku - and the 13,000 strong crowd were chanting "Noa, Noa" before the end of the match. He scored two sizzling tries in his home game debut and was involved heavily in a number of others.

"This game is too fast. In union you have the scrum and you break. Not here, it's all go," the rugby union convert said after the match. "I've always had the step, the only thing I can learn here is the pace."

Nadruku had made his debut in green against the Broncos in Brisbane in Round 4, and comparisons were immediately drawn to legendary Raiders winger John Ferguson.

"It's nice to have a player who, when you give him the ball, you know there is a pretty good chance of him scoring. Like Chicka," captain Mal Meninga said.

Coach Tim Sheens, too, was happy with the performance of his new winger.

"One-on-one, or even two-on-one, he is going to have you in trouble every time," Sheens said. "I like to think he has chosen the right team to play with because our style of play certainly suits having him on the wing."

Nadruku was not the best player on field, however. That honour belonged to hooker Steve Walters, while Quentin Pongia and John Lomax dominated up front.

Cronulla coach Arthur Beetson was left searching for answers.

"Shell-shocked," Beetson said. "That's what I am, shell-shocked. They are a very talented side. They are a tough side for anyone to beat, but today they just came out and bombed us. In our last few games we have been competing for the first 60 or 70 minutes but today they had us out of it in 10 minutes. All we can do now is regroup. It's a long way home."

The 40 point victory was, to that point, the Raiders biggest ever against the Sharks - but it was a record that stood for just one season.

1993 Round 5 - Canberra Raiders 46 (S. Hoppe 2, N. Nadruku 2, G. Belcher, L. Daley, M. Meninga, Q. Pongia, S. Walters tries; D. Furner 4, J. Lomax goals) defeated Cronulla 6 (A. Ettingshausen try; M. Healey goal) at Bruce Stadium

Canberra Raiders: 1. Gary Belcher 2. Noa Nadruku 3. Mal Meninga 4. Brett Mullins 5. Sean Hoppe 6. Laurie Daley 7. Ricky Stuart 8. Paul Osborne 9. Steve Walters 10. John Lomax 11. David Furner 12. Quentin Pongia 13. Jason Croker

14. David Boyle 15. Mark Lowry 16. Steve Stone 17. Darren Fritz

Coach Tim Sheens

Crowd: 13,837
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Post by greeneyed » December 22, 2018, 9:10 am

Record thrashing for the Sharks



After the Raiders produced a record 40 point victory over the Sharks in Round 5 of 1993, they doubled the dose in Round 20 at Cronulla. Jason Croker scored four tries, and was outstanding in filling in for Brad Clyde at lock - with his speed and support play well rewarded. The Raiders led 26-6 at half time, having scored five tries - and went on to again post over 40 points.

But things were to get even better in Round 16, 1994 at Bruce. The Raiders were running fourth, having lost five of seven games on the road. But they were undefeated at home that season - and had not lost in Canberra in their past 18 matches. Under new coach John Lang, the Sharks were not the easy beats that the critics had expected - defeating the Raiders in Round 1 - and were placed equal fifth on the ladder.

However, on that Saturday afternoon in July, the Raiders were ruthless. The Raiders were still missing Laurie Daley, recovering from minor knee surgery - with Jason Croker replacing him at five eighth. But the attack certainly did not suffer. The Raiders scored 10 tries, smashing the Sharks 56-12. Canberra was switched on from the start and led 30-0 at half time. The Raiders lead to 42-0, before Cronulla could open their account. Most of Canberra's tries were scored from deep inside their own half.

Brett Mullins tore the Sharks to shreds, scoring a hat trick in the space of seven minutes either side of half time. He had just made his debut for Australia in a mid season Test against France.

"I just want to keep up my performance week in and week out," Mullins said after the game.

"[Coach] Tim [Sheens] said to me if I want to get the [Kangaroos] spot at the end of the year and hold my No 1 jumper for the Raiders and Australia, I have to keep doing my best."

"Normally I have been standing back and watching everyone go forward but the last month or so 1 have been bringing myself up into the line and being there when the break is being made."

"I have got to give credit to our forwards. [Cronulla] have got a good kicking and chasing game but our forwards put a lot of pressure on their kicker which enabled me to get the ball on the full, or on the first bounce, so I had more room to move when the defence got to me."

Jason Croker produced an outstanding game at five eighth - backing up his man of the match performance at five eighth in the previous week against the Tigers. Centre Ruben Wiki was suffering the flu, but still scored two tries, while Brad Clyde made an impressive return to form after a foot injury.

Coach Tim Sheens still saw room for improvement.

"We were good with the security of the ball early," Sheens said. "Everyone was very determined for the quick-play the ball and good red zone security where we have been really weak. I was disappointed in the way they went through some of the defence early. There were at least five opportunities for Cronulla but fortunately we had last ditch defence. Had they got a couple of opportunities early it could have been a different game."

At the time, it was the Sharks' biggest loss in their premiership history. The margin of 44 points was only matched by the Sharks' 52-8 loss to the Newcastle Knights in 2002, and surpassed by the 74-4 loss to the Parramatta Eels in 2003.

1993 Round 20 - Canberra Raiders 42 (J. Croker 4, S. Hoppe, N. Nadruku, Q. Pongia, S. Walters tries; D. Furner 5 goals) defeated Cronulla Sharks 12 (A. Ettingshausen, M. Healey tries; M. Healey 2 goals) at Endeavour Field

Canberra Raiders: 1. Gary Belcher 2. Noa Nadruku 3. Mal Meninga (C) 4. Brett Mullins 5. Sean Hoppe 6. Laurie Daley 7. Ricky Stuart 8. Paul Osborne 9. Steve Walters 10. John Lomax 11. David Furner 12. Quentin Pongia 13. Jason Croker

40. David Boyle 41. David Westley 42. Steve Trindall

Coach Tim Sheens

Crowd: 8,194

1994 Round 16 - Canberra Raiders 56 (B. Mullins 3, B. Clyde 2, R. Wiki 2, J. Croker, A. Fulivai, S. Walters tries; D. Furner 8 goals) defeated Cronulla Sharks 12 (P. Green, A. Neave tries; E. Crossan 2 goals) at Bruce Stadium

Canberra Raiders: 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. Roger Kenworthy 17. Graham Appo (on debut)

Coach Tim Sheens

Crowd: 11,901
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by zim » December 22, 2018, 10:09 pm

**** hell there was some skill in that short highlights package. Crazy stuff from Meninga and Nadruku.

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Post by greeneyed » December 23, 2018, 9:17 am

First ever win in Sydney

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The Canberra Raiders had won just four matches in 1982, their debut season, all at their home ground at Seiffert Oval. The 1983 season started more positively, however, with two wins in the first five rounds - and a one point loss to the Rabbitohs.

The Raiders had shown enough form to earn Saturday “Match of the Day” status for the clash with the Cronulla Sharks at Endeavour Field. The decision of the NSWRL to feature Canberra on television for the first time was widely welcomed, but it quickly produced viewer outrage in the national capital. In 1983, Saturday matches were broadcast on commercial television, replayed at 6.30pm. Local broadcaster Capital 7, the only commercial station in town, decided that that week it would instead show “The Sound of Music” and push the Raiders back to a 9.45pm slot. A raft of complaints could not shift the local station.

The station management probably regretted their decision later as the Raiders produced their first ever away win. It was also the first time Canberra had won twice in a row. Canberra overcame a 9-24 penalty count, driving rain, and the sin binning of Chris O’Sullivan and Gary Spears for back chat, to achieve a 24-8 victory over the Sharks.

The Raiders opened the scoring after only five minutes, with David Grant bursting onto a short pass from Percy Knight to score under the posts. Taking advantage of the wind at their backs, the Raiders continued to kick early in the tackle count through McMahon and O'Callaghan, putting pressure on fullback Andrew Ettinshausen in just his second game.

In the 17th minute, Percy Knight put second rower Gary Spears away for a 30 metre run down the touchline, with Spears turning it back inside for Ray Blacklock for a 75 metre try. Just a minute later, a knock from Ettinshausen allowed Terry Fahey to kick ahead, and the powerhouse winger won the chase for a four pointer. Six minutes from the break, Ettingshausen again gifted the Raiders a try, a loose pass scooped up by Ron Giteau. His sideline conversion gave the so-called "lime splices" a 24-2 half time lead.

Sharks coach Terry Fearnley was forced to take Ettinshausen off at half time. Cronulla scored 20 minutes into the second half through replacement fullback Ian Forrest. Although the Raiders were held scoreless in the second half, that proved to be the only points scored by Cronulla.

Commentator Arthur Summons said during the match: "We expected to see a Sydney side put on an exhibition against a local bush side but we've seen quite the reverse."

The Raiders had deliberately targeted the 17 year old Ettingshausen with bombs.

"[Coach] Don [Furner] thought we could fluster the youngster [Ettingshausen] and it happened," captain Allan McMahon said.

Coach Furner hailed the psychological breakthrough for the Raiders saying: "They’ve got no more excuses after winning away from home today".

"It was a day for wet weather football and we played well in the first half. Then all we needed to do in the second half was keep them out."

"We didn't want to play them anywhere near our half and I instructed my boys to use the wind in the first half and when we couldn't kick in the second half, to keep things safe by running from dummy half".

Furner was particularly pleased with the relentless defence of his forwards, led by big hitter Jon Hardy.

"We had a smaller pack last year but this year we've added some size and none of the Cronulla players wanted to run into the rucks after we had made several telling early tackles," he said.

Raiders sponsor Jim Woodger had offered a $2,000 bonus for the team for the first away win. The players agreed it should go into a fund for Geoff Seaton, a lower grade Canberra player who became a paraplegic after breaking his neck in a preseason trial against Orange.

1983 Round 6 - Canberra Raiders 24 (R. Blacklock, T. Fahey, R. Giteau, D. Grant tries; R. Giteau 4 goals) defeated Cronulla Sharks 8 (I. Forrest try; D. Sorensen 2 goals) at Endeavour Field

Canberra Raiders: 1. Steve O'Callaghan 2. Terry Fahey 3. Ron Giteau 4. Allan McMahon (C) 5. Ray Blacklock 6. Percy Knight 7. Chris O'Sullivan 13. Jon Hardy 12. Jay Hoffman 11. David Grant 10. Sam Backo 9. Gary Spears 8. Ashley Gilbert

14. John McLeod 15. Frank Roddy 16. Scott Dudman

Coach Don Furner

Man of the match: Percy Knight

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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » December 24, 2018, 10:37 am

Alan Tongue's 200th match - Smash up against the Cowboys

Round 25 2010. After Round 17 in 2010, Canberra had fallen to 13th place on the competition ladder, posting just five wins from 15 matches. But by Round 25, the Raiders were on a surge and on the edge of the top eight. The clash with the North Queensland Cowboys was a celebration for Alan Tongue's 200th match. The crowd donned red wigs - a tribute to the red headed captain. And it certainly turned out to be a celebration on field as well.

It was a 48-4 smash up of the Cowboys in the final home game of the regular season, with winger Reece Robinson scoring four tries. Robinson scored the first try after just four minutes, and it was the start of a procession to the try line. Fullback Josh Dugan scored a double. It pushed the Raiders into the top eight for the first time that season... indeed, the first time in 720 days... and the fans dared to dream of a premiership, such was the team's purple patch of form. A win against the Broncos in Brisbane in the final round would guarantee a finals place.



''We've been playing finals football for the past four weeks,'' coach David Furner said after the match. ''We've had some really good performances. The confidence is there, the belief is there and we'll have a look at this game and then move on to Friday's [against the Broncos]. It's an exciting time.''

Furner made special mention of the form of five eighth Terry Campese, Tongue's co-captain on the night.

''Campo, they talk about 2008. He's a better player now than he was in 2008,'' Furner said. ''When I keep asking him to do things in the field, and control games and get to his kicks, it's pleasing to watch.''

Campese, too, was pleased with the win.

''We can take a lot of confidence out of that and the last four games. That's the first time in a few years we've won four in a row. The boys have found a belief in the squad and wanting to play for each other," he said.

“It would be good if we could play like this at the start of the season. But at least it comes at the right time of the year and we’re taking a lot of confidence out of it.”

Fullback Josh Dugan was also in sensational form - and commentators started to draw comparisons to Jarryd Hayne's 2009, which helped propel the Parramatta Eels to the Grand Final. But Dugan wasn't interested in those comparisons.

"I'm not trying to do what he did last year," he said. "We had to win big. Defensively, we were unreal, but we're not Parramatta from last year. Making the finals is our goal, but we can only go game by game. I just want to try to help the boys out. There's no individuals in this team. We're a team and we play for each other."

Tongue, sadly, had to leave the field 10 minutes before the end of the game, with a calf tear. He faced the prospect of being ruled out for the rest of the season. But he had led the Raiders to the edge of a dream.

2010 Round 25 - Canberra Raiders 48 (R. Robinson 4, J. Dugan 2, G. Buttriss, J. McCrone, D. Shillington tries; J. Croker 6 goals) defeated North Queensland 4 (M. Bani try) at Canberra Stadium

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

14. Glen Buttriss 16. Dane Tilse 17. Scott Logan 18. Danny Galea

Coach David Furner

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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by edwahu » December 24, 2018, 11:41 am

Thanks for these GE, they are great reads.

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From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » December 24, 2018, 12:45 pm

Broncos blitzed

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Round 21 2009. The Green Machine lined up against a Brisbane Broncos team that included eight internationals and five Origin representatives at Canberra Stadium. Yet at full time, Canberra had inflicted the biggest ever defeat on the Broncos in Brisbane's history. 56-0. It was a stunning win for the Raiders, with a young team running circles around the likes of Darren Lockyer. Phil Graham scored four tries and Joel Monaghan two. There were 10 tries in all. Jarrod Croker was man of the match, while halves Terry Campese and Josh McCrone were instrumental. It is still the equal fourth biggest victory in Raiders' history.

The defeat for the Broncos came in the wake of Karmichael Hunt’s ill fated defection to the AFL’s Gold Coast team and it left the tenure of Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak hanging by a thread.

“They don't get much darker than tonight. It was very embarrassing and all we can do is apologise to our fans, our sponsors and our past players – that was just unacceptable,” Henjak - a former Raider - said after the game.

Four try hero for the Raiders, Phil Graham, however, was beaming.

“It was just one of those games where everything worked for us. I don’t know what it was, but all the boys were just on fire tonight. It was just one of those games where everything worked for us and we can just look forward to next week now,” he said.

Winger Graham was full of praise for his young centre partner, Jarrod Croker.

“He played awesome tonight. He gave me a couple of balls where all I had to do was catch them and put them over the line. He’s getting better each week and he’s going to be a very good player when he gets older.”

In another rebuilding season, when the Raiders won just nine matches, it was just the boost the club, and fans, needed.

Round 21 2009 - Canberra Raiders 56 (P. Graham 4, J. Monaghan 2, J. Croker, J. Dugan, J. McCrone, D. Vidot tries; T. Campese 8 goals) defeated Brisbane 0 at Canberra Stadium
Halftime: Canberra 16-0

Canberra Raiders: 1. Josh Dugan 2. Daniel Vidot 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Joel Monaghan 5. Phil Graham 6. Terry Campese 7. Josh McCrone 8. Dane Tilse 9. Alan Tongue (C) 22. Scott Logan 11. Glen Turner, 10. Bronson Harrison 13. Nigel Plum.

10. Troy Thompson 14. Joel Thompson 15. Travis Waddell 16. Josh Miller

Coach David Furner

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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » December 25, 2018, 5:01 am

The greatest ever grand final

Sunday, 24 September, 1989. There were many great games in the 1989 season. Memorable finals victories over the Sharks, the Panthers and the Rabbitohs. But none can match the final match of 1989, the Canberra Raiders against the Balmain Tigers.



Nothing will ever match the feeling of the first premiership for the Canberra Raiders. The joy amongst the team and in the national capital has not been equalled before or since. The Raiders went on an incredible winning streak in ‘89 meaning they were the first team from fourth or fifth to win the premiership, and the first team from outside Sydney to take the crown. It is still widely acclaimed as the greatest ever Grand Final - its special status confirmed by a public vote conducted by the Men of League Charity this year, celebrated at their annual dinner.



The Raiders trailed the Tigers 12-2 at half-time, despite being being the better team for much of the first half. It was almost an insurmountable lead in a Grand Final in those times. The Tigers first try was the result of a lucky intercept to James Grant. However their second, just before the break, was amazing. Andy Currier launched a huge bomb from deep in the Tigers own half. The bounce was horrible, and Gary Belcher could do nothing. It fell effortlessly into the hands of James Grant, who offloaded to Currier. Big second rower Paul Sironen was backing up and he charged over the line from 20 metres out.

That try was a heart breaker, but Canberra ground their way back into the match in the second half, Gary Belcher finally getting over the line with 20 minutes remaining. Balmain had their opportunities to win the match. A desperate Mal Meninga ankle tap stopped Michael Neill from scoring. It felled him just metres from the line and with no defence in front of him. Wayne Pearce knocked on just as the Tigers had an overlap, try line beckoning. A penalty goal to Currier gave Balmain a 14-8 lead. And then a Ben Elias a field goal attempt, which would have taken the Tigers' lead to more than a converted try, thudded into the cross bar and bounced away.

But the Raiders would not be denied. With two minutes remaining, Chris O'Sullivan put in a huge cross-field kick. It was grabbed by Laurie Daley, who threw an overhead pass to John Ferguson, who jinked and stepped back inside to go over the line. A conversion from Mal Meninga sent the game into extra time. 14-14 at the end of 80 minutes.

Chris O'Sullivan potted a field goal in the 82nd minute and Canberra seemed to have all the momentum. 15-14.

And then came one of the most iconic moments in Raiders' history. Andy Currier fumbled a kick and Mal Meninga pounced. He passed to "no name" replacement forward Steve Jackson, 25 metres from the line. He somehow pushed off defender after defender, and crashed over. Ian Maurice's classic commentary has now gone down in history: "He's there! Try! Try! Steve Jackson reached out and scored what will win the premiership for the Canberra Raiders! I didn't think there was any way he was going to make that. But he did. What strength! What power! What a Grand Final! What a premiership!"



After the match it was tears from Mal Meninga. "I can't believe it. This is the greatest ever thing that has happened to me in football. Unbelievable... Beats playing for Australia, beats playing for Queensland, this is what it's all about, winning the Grand Final."

1989 Grand Final - Canberra Raiders 19 (Gary Belcher, John Ferguson, Steve Jackson tries, Mal Meninga 3 goals, Chris O'Sullivan field goal) defeated Balmain Tigers 14 (James Grant, Paul Sironen tries, Andy Currier 3 goals) at the Sydney Football Stadium

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

15. Paul Martin 20. Steve Jackson 22. Kevin Walters

Coach Tim Sheens

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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » December 26, 2018, 7:04 am

Meninga goes out a winner

The Canberra Raiders kicked off and Martin Bella knocked on. The Raiders looked like they would win the 1994 decider from the outset.



The heroes: Paul Osborne and Mal Meninga.

Paul Osborne was a middle of the road player for the Raiders. He was leaving the club, set to play in England, but the suspension of prop John Lomax meant Osborne would earn a late call up for the Grand Final. He played the match of his life. First, he produced a superb pass to David Furner to set up the first try for Canberra. Then he produced a miracle one handed pass around the body of Terry Lamb to Ken Nagas, sending the Canberra winger on his way to a 60 metre try.



Mal Meninga, already a legend, and playing his last game on Australian soil – capped the magnificent Raiders victory with a 30 metre intercept try, 17 minutes from the end of the match. His celebratory gesture after that try has now been captured in bronze, the statue adorning the entry to the Mal Meninga Grandstand at Canberra Stadium.

Meninga reflected later: "Out of all the Grand Finals I played in, 1994 was the most comprehensive. Each member of the team played to their potential that day, and that's why we won so well. Everyone prepared as if the game was going to go down to the wire."

He denied it was a fairy tale finish. "Fairy tales are about winning in the dying seconds. When you win comfortably without any pressure, that's not what fairy tales are supposed to be. But in the end we won the premiership, so I can't complain, can I?. "

"I think I said after the game, when someone asked me, 'Well it was anti-climatic because I was willing to get the ball with 30 seconds to go, run the length of the field and score the winning try'. That's what I was willing to do, so that when the final hooter went the Raiders were in front by a point. That's the way everyone on our team approached it and because of that mentality, we won pretty well."

Meninga and Osborne were two heroes for Canberra that day, but it was a team for the ages right across the park. David Furner was Clive Churchill medalist for player of the match. But the likes of Daley, Stuart, Croker, Walters, Clyde and Mullins were all magnificent.









1994 Grand Final – Raiders 36 (Ken Nagas 2, Noa Nadruku, David Furner, Laurie Daley, Jason Croker, Mal Meninga tries, David Furner 4 goals) defeated Bulldogs 12 (Jason Hetherington, Jason Williams tries, Darryl Halligan 2 goals) at the Sydney Football Stadium

Canberra Raiders: 1. Brett Mullins 2. Ken Nagas 3. Mal Meninga 4. Ruben Wiki 5. Noa Nadruku 6. Laurie Daley 7. Ricky Stuart 8. Quentin Pongia 9. Steve Walters 10. Paul Osborne 11. Jason Croker 12. David Furner 13. Brad Clyde

14. Brett Hetherington 15. David Westley

Coach Tim Sheens

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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by -PJ- » December 26, 2018, 9:44 am

I love those 94 jerseys.

I have one, it's my pride and joy.

It's just a great looking jersey..
3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment..Old Faithful
#emptythetank :shock:
I am not an alcoholic, I'm a binge drinker lacking opportunity..

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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » December 26, 2018, 9:48 am

-PJ- wrote:
December 26, 2018, 9:44 am
I love those 94 jerseys.

I have one, it's my pride and joy.

It's just a great looking jersey..
Got to say it was the best jersey ever.
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » December 27, 2018, 6:48 am

Upset of the minor premiers

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Dean Lance launches at Ricky Walford.

Having made a play off for fifth in 1984, the Raiders were having a disappointing 1985. But in Round 12, the Raiders produced a memorable victory came against the eventual minor premiers, St George, at the unusual venue of the Newcastle International Sports Centre. It was the second weekend in a row that top line football had been played at Newcastle, with the NSW City-Country match taking place at the same venue in the previous week.

The Raiders had not won in a month. The closest they had come to a win was a 20-20 draw against the Sea Eagles. The Saints had lost just once all season. But a big crowd of 15,160 saw the Raiders spring out of the blocks against the team running first in the competition.

Captain Ron Giteau scored 16 of the 20 points Canberra posted in the first half, through two tries and four goals. The first was the result of a long kick from Craig Bellamy, which Saints fullback Glen Burgess could not handle. Giteau chased and kicked ahead for himself, going over in the corner. Less than 10 minutes later, Giteau intercepted a Billy Noke pass and he scored under the posts. And then just before half time, Terry Regan made a 35 metre break to set up Mick Aldous - giving the Raiders a 20-4 advantage at the break.

The Saints were fired up by coach Roy Masters at the break and they launched wave after wave of attack. St George had a mountain of possession, favoured by a 6-3 penalty count and a 9-5 scrum count, but the Raiders' bone crunching defence withstood them. The Saints were only able to score with three minutes remaining.

Coach Don Furner was relieved more than anything after the 20-10 victory. "We had a great tackling effort in the second half and have played extremely well against the top sides we have met in recent weeks. It is good to get the two points at last," he said.

1985 Round 12 - Canberra Raiders 20 (Ron Giteau 2, Mick Aldous tries, Ron Giteau 4 goals) defeated St George Dragons 10 (Brian Johnston, Steve Linane tries, Ricky Walford 1 goal) at Newcastle International Sports Centre

Canberra Raiders: 1. Mick Aldous 2. Phil Carey 3 Ron Giteau (c) 4. Chris Kinna 5. Brad Williams 6. Craig Bellamy 7. Chris O'Sullivan 8. Dean Lance 9. Rowan Brennan 10. Sam Backo 11. Jon Hardy 12. Jay Hoffman 13. Terry Regan

Coach Don Furner

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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » December 28, 2018, 7:08 am

Jordan Rapana breaks Canberra Raiders try scoring record



Winger Jordan Rapana had the season of his career in 2016. His combination with centre Joey Leilua was astounding... and when he scored his 23rd try in the Preliminary Final between the Raiders and the Storm, he had not only ended as the joint top try scorer in the NRL for the season, he had set a new Canberra club record for most tries in a single season. He had overtaken Noa Nadruku (1993), Jason Croker and Brett Mullins (1994) - who all scored 22 tries in a single year.
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » December 29, 2018, 10:31 am

The Dragons hoodoo grows



Up until Round 18 of 2010, Canberra had won just five matches. The Raiders were 13th on the competition ladder and had lost four straight matches. But in Round 18, Canberra came from behind at Brookvale Oval, to win narrowly over the Manly Sea Eagles, 24-22. It was the start of a late surge, led by Terry Campese. In Round 24, the St George Illawarra Dragons visited Canberra, winless in the national capital for a decade. But they had been running in first place on the competition ladder since Round 5. The Raiders, still outside the top eight, had to win to maintain their finals hopes.

The Dragons put on a show of their typical impenetrable defence in the first half, and they led 4-0 at half time. But the Raiders blew the match apart in the second half. It started with a Daniel Vidot try eight minutes after the break. Terry Campese quickly took control, scoring under the posts. "He's invented a new grubber kick... it's like a grubber, chip kick!" commentator Gary Belcher marvelled. Adam Mogg followed up.

Then Canberra scored two classic tries. Josh Dugan diffused a dangerous Jamie Soward chip kick, bumped out of a Neville Costigan tackle, and just emerged out the other side of a group of Dragons defenders. He ran 80 metres to score under the posts. Shortly after, Jarrod Croker made a break wide out, 80 metres from the line. He flew and Joe Picker was backing up on the inside. He pushed Jamie Soward to one side with ease and scored in the corner. Terry Campese swarmed in, taking Picker to the fence to the arms of the fans. It was five tries in 12 minutes. The commentary was ecstatic: "The Green Machine is rolling again! The glory days are back here in Canberra!"

''Everyone wants to play finals football,'' Terry Campese said after the match.

''If we can bring the attitude that we brought in the second half you never know what we can do. If we make the semis, if we make the top eight we're going to give it a real crack. We've got a very good squad and on our day we can beat anyone. We're starting to get the confidence and that's big in this game.''

''It was frustrating [early]. It felt like we were parked on their line nearly that whole first half, and they were getting us by one leg when we were about to score tries. We knew if we kept at it in the second half, eventually they would break - and that's what they did.''

Campese paid tribute to the rapturous local crowd of over 20,000.

''The crowd plays a big part in these games, especially the tight ones, and they cheered us home in that second half,'' he said.

''You could feel the boys getting behind it. And I think that's what gives you that extra urge to run harder and get up and play the ball quicker. Just in those precious times they're there to cheer us on which is an extra bonus for you to defend or attack. It's great to see and it'll be good to get the same next week."

Coach David Furner paid tribute to his mercurial five eighth in keeping the Raiders' season alive.

''He's playing some bloody good footy,'' Furner said of Campese.

''In my opinion he's a better player now in terms of what he knows about the game and understanding his role than he was in 2008.''

"We do live to fight another day. Three or four teams have scored 20 points or more against the Dragons this season. We did it earlier this year and we've done it again today. Our last five or six weeks have been really pleasing as a coach."

Prop David Shillington said beating the Dragons was the best victory he had been a part of as a Raider.

''We saw the Dragons fans walking out with five or ten minutes to go and that was pretty satisfying, it's a long drive back to Wollongong,'' Shillington said.

''They're the benchmark of the competition and we just beat them so it's probably the proudest win I've had with the Raiders. We knew what pressure was around this game, if we lost the finals were gone."

It was an inspirational 32-16 win over the eventual premiers.

Dragons coach Wayne Bennett admitted Canberra was ''certainly as good as anyone we've played''.

The Raiders had posted 11 wins in their past 12 matches against the Dragons - and the "hoodoo" continued to grow.

It is no wonder many Raiders fans still ask themselves about the 2010 season: "What if?"

2010 Round 24 - Canberra Raiders 32 (Glen Buttriss, Terry Campese, Josh Dugan, Adam Mogg, Joe Picker, Daniel Vidot tries, Jarrod Croker 4 goals) defeated St George Illawarra Dragons 16 (Neville Costigan, Mark Gasnier, Brett Morris tries, Jamie Soward 2 goals)

Canberra Raiders: 1. Josh Dugan 2. Joel Monaghan 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Adam Mogg 5. Daniel Vidot 6. Terry Campese 7. Josh McCrone 8. Tom Learoyd Lahrs 9. Alan Tongue 10. David Shillington 11. Joe Picker 12. Bronson Harrison 13. Trevor Thurling

14. Glen Buttriss 16. Dane Tilse 17. Scott Logan 18. Shaun Fensom

Coach David Furner

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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » December 30, 2018, 11:24 am

Raiders beat the Broncos to a finals place



2010. The final round of the regular season. The Raiders visited Lang Park for a meeting with the Brisbane Broncos. The Broncos had to win by 15 points or more - or they would miss the finals for the first time since 1991. The Raiders, having climbed into eighth on the ladder, needed to win to keep the momentum into the finals. It was semi final football a week early in front of 40,000. There were Raiders fans everywhere, and were packed solid in the supporters bay in the corner.

The Raiders were first to score, with Terry Campese putting in a perfect bomb to the corner in the 18th minute, allowing winger Daniel Vidot to knock the ball back in the in goal and then pounce on it for the try. Just a few minutes later, Campese produced another kick to the same corner - with a try to Josh Dugan the result. The Raiders led 12-0, but the Broncos fought back through an individual try to hooker Andrew McCullough. The teams went to the break with a 12-4 advantage for the Green Machine.

The Raiders seemed destined for a win when Daniel Vidot scored his second try in the 59th minute - pushing the Raiders to an 18-4 lead. But the Broncos came back again in the final stages, scoring two tries in the space of four minutes. However, the Raiders desperately scrambled in defence as the clock ticked down, hanging on for a very sweet 18-16 win.

It was the Raiders eighth victory in the past nine matches, while the Broncos had lost four in a row, crashing out of the finals.

Terry Campese was excited by the victory, but also by the prospect of the arrival of his first child. His wife Sarah, was due to give birth at "any time".

"The best result would be to go back and check my (mobile) phone and see she has gone in (hospital) and I fly back in the morning straight to the doctors," Campese said after the match. "It's an exciting times on both fronts, first kid and semi finals. I can't wait, I'm pretty excited, getting goose bumps just talking about it."

Campese twice knocked down passes on the final play which might have produced match-winning tries for the Broncos.

"We always knew they were going to throw the ball around and they were throwing some off-loads without even looking," said Campese. "[But] we're a much better team than what we showed at the start of the year and I think we're starting to hit our straps. We have to take this confidence into next week and keep the momentum going.

2010 Round 26 Canberra Raiders 18 (D. Vidot 2, J. Dugan tries; J. Croker 3 goals) defeated Brisbane Broncos 16 (M. Gillett, A. McCullough, J. Yow Yeh tries; C. Parker 2 goals) at Lang Park

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

14. Danny Galea 15. Dane Tilse 16. Scott Logan 17. Travis Waddell

Coach David Furner

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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by Seiffert82 » December 30, 2018, 4:57 pm

greeneyed wrote:
December 15, 2018, 12:10 pm
First ever Canberra Raiders Grand Final

St George came back through two quick tries. There was a suspect pass in the lead up to both, but the scores were deadlocked at 16 apiece with 21 minutes remaining. A thrilling finish ensued, with Saints putting on the pressure and the Raiders tiring in the heat.

Just a few minutes from full time, the Raiders had finally worked their way into field goal territory. Thompson’s first attempt was charged down, but Canberra re-gathered. Another attempt. Missed. St George charged downfield, and their own attempt sprayed well wide with two minutes left.

Canberra’s effort to quickly get to the other end of the field failed when Grant Ellis could not handle a pass from Backo. It gave St George the final set of the match in possession and the ball was thrown everywhere. With just six seconds left, Alan Neil raced away to score for St George. The forward pass from Brian Johnson in the lead up was not suspect, it was blatant – but it was missed by referee Mick Stone.
Great memories GE. I remember there being two absolutely shocking forward passes that lead to St George tries in that game. Haven't seen the match since it was played though.

It was so exciting seeing our boys on the big stage so early in the club's history though. :D

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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » December 30, 2018, 5:01 pm

I thought they were blatantly forward really. I have the game on disc.
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » December 31, 2018, 5:12 am

The best in 20 years

The 2016 season was the best the Canberra Raiders had produced in 20 years. The team made a Preliminary Final and records tumbled. 1995 was the last time the Raiders had finished in second position on the ladder and made a Preliminary Final in a full competition. The Raiders won 10 matches in a row, the most in club history during a single season. No Canberra team had ever scored more points in a season, breaking the record of the 1994 outfit. Jordan Rapana broke the club record for most tries scored in a season, at 23.

The Round 23 clash with the Melbourne Storm was one of Canberra's best matches in years, perhaps the best defensive performance in 20 years. The 22-8 win meant Canberra had defeated the competition leaders in successive weeks, and no team had done that for 30 years.



The defence won it. We had seen the green wave of attack during the season. In this match, it was the green wall.

At one point early in the second half, the Raiders were simply pounding the Melbourne Storm, in their own half. They were smashing tackles, literally not allowing the Storm to make a metre. Cooper Cronk kicked it early in the count, simply to make it stop.

In the 65th minute, the Storm unleashed a 40/20 kick, then received a penalty - and got a lucky call of six again. The Raiders just got on with it and tackled their hearts out. On the final tackle, the Storm's Cheyse Blair was wrapped up, by Leilua, Boyd, Austin and Rapana and just marched 10 metres over the sideline. The crowd just stood and cheered. Canberra withstood anything the Storm could throw at them in the second half. And they had set after set in the Raiders' red zone.

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There was some breath taking attack as well. Joey Leilua scored after just 47 seconds. Elliott Whitehead pushed through the line and got the pass to Leilua, he rampaged, Austin backed up, somehow avoided being tackled... and Leilua was there to score.

It was the Raiders’ seventh straight win and ended a six game streak for the Storm.

"The defence was very pleasing, we've worked hard at it but we were consistent with it tonight and I was pleased for them," coach Ricky Stuart said after the match.

"It has been [a big improvement in our game] but it can turn around very quickly, too. We've got our own brand of football and that was our theme tonight, to not 'out-Melbourne' Melbourne but play the way the Canberra Raiders play. We want to set our own style of footy."

"We have been criticised and bashed and bagged for many years. We know we'll get a rap in the paper tomorrow but we've got long memories, we just keep our head down and working hard."

Storm captain Cameron Smith claimed during the post-match press conference that the Raiders had adopted a tactic of giving away intentional penalties - but Ricky Stuart was quick with a retort.

"We learnt it off Cameron."

2016 Round 23 - Canberra Raiders (Joey Leilua 2, Shannon Boyd tries, Jarrod Croker 5 goals) 22 defeated Melbourne Storm 8 (Cooper Cronk try, Cameron Smith 2 goals) at Canberra Stadium

Canberra Raiders: 1. Jack Wighton 2. Edrick Lee 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Joey Leilua 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Blake Austin 7. Aidan Sezer 8. Junior Paulo 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Shannon Boyd 11. Josh Papalii 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Sia Soliola

15. Luke Bateman 16. Clay Priest 17. Joseph Tapine 19. Kurt Baptiste

Coach Ricky Stuart

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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by Dusty » December 31, 2018, 8:05 am

I loved 2016




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2019: 1. Wighton 2. Cotric 3. Croker (c) 4 Leilua 5. Oldfield (Rapana) 6. Williams 7. Sezer 8. Sutton 9. Hodgson (c) 10. Papalii 11. Tapine 12. Whitehead 13. J.Bateman ----
14. Havili 15. Soliola 16. Guler 17. Lui

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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » January 1, 2019, 8:00 am

Miracle try

Round 8 1995. Canberra Raiders V Brisbane Broncos. It was a Friday night at Bruce and almost 24,000 turned up to see a heavy weight clash, one that was worthy of a Grand Final. Both were undefeated in the first seven rounds. It turned into a 26-0 thrashing for the team in green. The Stuart-Langer clash was an expected highlight, and Stuart came out well on top. Clyde and Furner led the forward domination, and Furner ended by scoring two tries.

But Brett Mullins produced the most memorable try, certainly one of the top five tries in Raiders history. It was the 19th minute and Mullins seemed covered by the defence near half way. The classic commentary is hard to forget: "Kick and chase by Mullins. Kick and chase again by Mullins! This will be a miracle! Oh, it is a miracle! Oh my goodness, you won't see anything else like that again this year. And maybe never!"



It was Mullins’ 50th try for the club.

The Raiders followed with more pain for the Broncos in the 36th, 43rd and 55th minutes. The Broncos were held scoreless for the first time since 1991. The Raiders extended their unbeaten run at home to 25 matches.

It was a double victory for the Raiders, with a settlement reached that day with the Auckland Warriors, allowing Ruben Wiki to take up a three year deal with the Green Machine. Wiki had signed with the Warriors, but changed his mind and also signed with Canberra. He’d been left sitting on the sidelines for the opening of the season while the dispute between the clubs dragged on.

"I will always have my family there," Wiki said after the settlement was reached. "I wish the Auckland Warriors all the best, but my home is here now and I am happy to stay here. I just want to play football. I was going to stick to my guns no matter what happened. My future is here."

1995 Round 8 - Canberra Raiders 26 (David Furner 2, Brett Mullins, Jason Croker, Ken Nagas tries, David Furner 3 goals) defeated Brisbane Broncos 0

Canberra Raiders: 1. Brett Mullins 2. Ken Nagas 3. David Boyle 4. Jason Croker 5. Noa Nadruku 6. Laurie Daley 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. Ruben Wiki 16. Luke Davico

Coach Tim Sheens

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From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » January 2, 2019, 7:47 am

The first match

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Saturday, February 27 1982. The Canberra Raiders were admitted to the “Sydney” competition in 1982, with their first premiership match played against the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Redfern Oval.

The Canberra team had been put together under the constraints of the “13 import rule” - which severely limited the number of recruits (to 13) the new team could make. The team selected for the first match was billed as a “local backline and imported forward pack”.

Coach Don Furner had focused on bringing in “big forwards, that is, physically, who can stand up to the tough matches week after week. You cannot expect 85kg forwards to stand up to 100kg forwards every week”. He felt he could largely mould a backline from the local players.

Announcing the first side, Furner said: “A lot of thought went into the naming of the top team. We only have the evidence of three hard trial games to assess the quality of players. I’m happy with the players we will grade this week and feel that even some of the third graders are good enough to make first grade”. That would prove a somewhat optimistic claim.

The Raiders led the Rabbitohs 7-5 at an early stage in the round one Redfern clash. The honour of the very first points Canberra scored went to kicker Peter McGrath - a centre who would go on to rise to the very top of rugby union administration in Australia - via a penalty goal.

The first try in Raiders history was produced by halfback Gerry de la Cruz. He would later say: “It probably didn’t mean as much to me at the time, but I remember when the Raiders were going into the 1989 Grand Final, there was an ad that featured it. We had about half a dozen first graders in the team who tried to tell us what it would be like, but we really had to learn for ourselves. It was great. It had always been my ambition to play first grade in the best competition in the world.”

De la Cruz would only play four games for the Raiders in first grade, but his place in Raiders folklore was assured that day.

The 7-5 lead over South Sydney didn’t last, and the Rabbitohs ended up giving Canberra a 37-7 footballing lesson.

“One lasting memory I have is Robert Simpkins running straight at me and trying to tackle him,” Peter McGrath recalled later. “He just kept running through and I thought, ‘this is it’ we’re in the big league now’. That’s when it dawned on me. They beat us soundly. It took us a while to adjust to the pace and intensity.”

Winger Steve O’Callaghan was struck by the size of the challenge facing the team.

“We were despondent [after the match]. A lot of the guys from Sydney went out on the town, but I went back to the motel and didn’t feel like going anywhere after that,” he said.

Another veteran of the match, off the bench, was Michael Tilse, the father of Raiders prop Dane Tilse.

“As a young bloke, you probably don’t realise how much that game meant,” he said. “But to be in that first game and be part of history is something special.”

1982 Round 1 - South Sydney Rabbitohs 37 (M. Ross 3, R. Simpkins 2, Z. Niszczot, P. Smith tries; S. Walsh 4, K. Wright 3, T. Melrose goals) defeated Canberra Raiders 7 (G. De la Cruz try; P. McGrath 2 goals) at Redfern Oval

Canberra Raiders: 1. Sam Vucago 2. Chris O'Grady 3. Frank Roddy 4. Peter McGrath 5. Steve O'Callaghan 6. Lloyd Martin 7. Gerry De la Cruz 13. Jeff Simons 12. Jay Hoffman 11. David Grant (C) 10. Jon Hardy 9. John McLeod 8. Carl Frommel

14. Mick Tilse 15. Scott Dudman

Coach Don Furner

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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » January 3, 2019, 9:39 am

A Melbourne hoodoo overcome

2011 was not the best of seasons for the Canberra Raiders. Terry Campese ended up missing the entire season, save for one interchange appearance against the North Queensland Cowboys in Round 13. The ACL injury Campese suffered in the 2010 finals loss to the Wests Tigers kept him sidelined for the first half of the 2011 season. Then just eight minutes into his return, he suffered a season ending injury, a torn adductor muscle requiring surgery.

The Raiders recruited Matt Orford, who was playing in the English Super League - but he suffered an injury riddled season and made just six appearances. He was horribly out of form in the matches he did play, a shadow of the player he was with the Sea Eagles and the Storm. Canberra lost every match in which he appeared. He orchestrated what is possibly the worst loss ever in Raiders history - the golden point loss to Gold Coast Titans, which was essentially wrapped up, save an Orford knock on at the base of a Raiders scrum win.

But a high point came in Round 10 of 2011. The Raiders went to Melbourne to face the Storm running last on the ladder - and having not won in the Victorian capital since 2000. The Raiders had made some late changes, bringing in Sam Williams at half back, while a 19 year old Josh Papalii made his debut off the bench ahead of Trevor Thurling.

Winger Reece Robinson scored after four minutes and that was followed by a Josh McCrone try shortly after. As always, the Storm fought back, with tries before and after half time allowing them to draw level 12-12. But a Jarrod Croker penalty goal gave the Raiders a two point advantage, and seven minutes from full time, an amazing try to Blake Ferguson secured an upset 20-12 win.

No one had tipped the result. Canberra had not won since a Round 1 victory over the Sharks. It prevented a new club record of nine straight losses and ended a decade long losing streak in Victoria.



Ferguson went within a blade of grass from stepping on the sideline before scoring the match sealer, with video referee Paul Simpkins needing multiple views before giving the green light.

"Just chipped and chase, had no space and started running," Ferguson said after the match.

"At the time I didn’t think I was out. The back angle showed it was all sweet. Last few weeks [we] haven’t been completing our sets, just haven’t had the opportunities to score tries. Today we controlled the game, we got some points and kept Melbourne out of the game."

Coach David Furner punched the wall after Ferguson’s try, and he did later admit to getting caught up in the moment.

"Someone behind me said ‘there’s seven minutes to go’," Furner said.

"We’ve been working hard for a number of weeks and that’s the result of it. I never questioned the character of the team and the players that are in it."

"One of the things I’m pleased of is that we came out with a fair bit of confidence," captain Alan Tongue said.

"With the amount of losses that we’ve had there, to play that against Melbourne, throw the ball around, that shows what confidence. You can go into your shell when things haven’t been going your way. [But] one win here doesn’t make a season. We’ve got to back it up, and the good sides do that, and we’ve got to do that next week."

The Raiders did that, with a victory over the Bulldogs by the same 20-12 scoreline. But there were just four more wins that season. It was enough, just, to avoid the wooden spoon on points differential.

Round 10 2011 - Canberra Raiders 20 (B. Ferguson, J. McCrone, R. Robinson tries; J. Croker 4 goals) defeated Melbourne Storm 12 (M. Duffie, K. Proctor tries; C. Smith 2 goals) at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium
Halftime: Canberra 12-6

Canberra Raiders: 1. Josh Dugan 2. Blake Ferguson 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Joel Thompson 5. Reece Robinson 6. Josh McCrone 18. Sam Williams 8. Dane Tilse 9. Alan Tongue (C) 10. Brett White 11. Danny Galea 12. Bronson Harrison 13. Shaun Fensom

14. Glen Buttriss 15. Josh Miller 16. Sam Mataora 17. Josh Papalii

Coach David Furner

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From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » January 4, 2019, 7:05 am

Record points haul

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The Canberra Raiders were wooden spoon favourites at the start of the 2008 season, a team of no-ones, with Neville Costigan (Queensland Origin) their only representative player. William Zillman and Phil Graham were lost to season ending knee injuries early in the season. Lincoln Withers did not play after Round 9 and Michael Weyman played just seven matches.

In July, half Todd Carney was sacked after string of misdemeanours. When he refused to agree to a rehabilitation plan which included a ban on alcohol, the Raiders' board was left with no option but to cut him loose.

The first match of the post Carney era was the Round 22 clash with the Penrith Panthers. Midway through the first half, it was 12-12. But by half time, things were looking grim for the Panthers, who faced a deficit of 38-12. By the end of the match, the Raiders had scored 74 points, the most in a single match to this day. It is still Canberra's equal second biggest winning margin, at 62 points. The Panthers have still never conceded more points in a match.

It was all led by Terry Campese. Handed the role of chief play maker, Campese scored four tries and kicked 10 goals. He and Marc Herbert had a field day. Trevor Thurling got a hat trick. It was that sort of day, everything came off. There were 13 tries in all.

It had been snowing when the players warmed up, and only 6,500 hardy souls turned up for the landmark match.

Campese could have equalled the club record for most points in a match - held by Mal Meninga (five tries, nine goals, 38 points in the 1993 thrashing of the Roosters). However, late in the match, captain Alan Tongue offered rookie Marc Herbert a shot at goal, a reward for an outstanding performance. He was oblivious to the record on offer for Campese. Herbert kicked the goal... and Campese would have too... but it meant Campese would finish the day on 36 points.

"I feel very, very bad about that," Tongue said after the game. "I had no idea. Campo gave me the evil eye when he walked into the dressing shed. I just said to give Herby a go, his confidence is sky-high and that is obviously pretty disappointing on my behalf. But he didn't know, we weren't talking about it out there so he had no idea."

"I didn't even think of it," Campese confirmed. "When you're playing good footy like that and all the team is playing good footy, I think that is the last thing on your mind - breaking records. Tonguey came and apologised but it honestly doesn't bother me. I think he said because Herby is the next (goalkicker) in line and he was man of the match to give him a kick and put him on the scoring list."

"Guys like Mal and Furnsy have been around the club for many years and I've only been here for a few, so it doesn't bother me to be second in line to guys like that. Just even to be in the record-breaking line is unbelievable, considering the talent that has been at the Raiders for years before this."

Alan Tongue was full of praise for Campese’s performance.

"If he keeps doing what he's doing at the moment and improving at the rate he is, a rep jumper's definitely not out of the question," he said.

"He's always been confident in his ability, but he's just come along so much with the more first grade games he's played. He's consistently been in there now the last couple of years and I think he's getting smarter with the way he plays his footy."

"There's no doubt we're going to miss Toddy's football brain and what he added to the side, but we've had to move on as a group and I think Terry's shown that he's ready to step into that leadership role, especially in the halves."

Half Marc Herbert was awarded man of the match, but even he felt Campese may have been more deserving.

"Campo is absolutely killing it," Herbert said. "I was man of the match but I think he will be player's player, and I don't know if I deserved it. He played great and he's been playing great at the back end of the season. I've been playing with him for a while and this is as good as I've seen him play and I think he will continue it. I feel terrible about what happened at the end. I didn't realise and the boys chucked the ball to me, so I took the kick."

The team was in a purple patch of form and the start of a late charge to the finals.

2008 Round 22 - Canberra Raiders 74 (Terry Campese 4, Trevor Thurling 3, Justin Carney, Tom Learoyd Lahrs, David Milne, Joel Monaghan, Dane Tilse, Alan Tongue tries, Terry Campese 10, Marc Herbert 1 goals) defeated Penrith Panthers 12 (Michael Gordon, Rhys Wesser tries, Michael Gordon 2 goals)

Canberra Raiders: 1. David Milne 2. Colin Best 3. Adrian Purtell 4. Joel Monaghan 5. Justin Carney 6. Terry Campese 7. Marc Herbert 8. Troy Thompson 9. Glen Buttriss 10. Dane Tilse 11. Joe Picker 12. Marshall Chalk 13. Alan Tongue

14. Trevor Thurling 15. Josh Miller 16. Tom Learoyd Lahrs 17. Neville Costigan

Coach Neil Henry

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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by edwahu » January 4, 2019, 7:34 am

How did Campo not win man of the match?

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Post by greeneyed » January 5, 2019, 7:41 am

Upset of the decade

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Round 16, 1983. The Raiders took on Parramatta at home. The Eels had defeated Canberra by huge scores in their previous three meetings. The 54-3 defeat from 1982 still ranks as one the worst losses in Raiders history. And when the Eels came to Seiffert in 1982, they were on their way to a third straight premiership, after back to back grand final wins in 1981-82. But in a remarkable upset, the Raiders held Parramatta scoreless, the first time in 18 years, and toughed out an 8-0 victory in front of 15,578 fans.

Ron Giteau scored all the points for the Raiders that day – a try and two penalty goals. The Raiders led 4-0 at half time through two penalty goals.

During the break, coach Furner asked the team if they could continue to stifle the Eels in the second half. “To a man, they all shouted ‘yes’!” Furner said. The only points in the second period came from the try from Giteau, scored at the 47 minute mark. The Raiders just smothered Parramatta for the rest of the match.

The Eels were without Peter Sterling and Eric Grothe on Test duty, but the Raiders too were missing captain Allan McMahon, Jon Hardy and regular fullback Steve O’Callaghan. The next day, the headlines in Sydney read “Eels humbled by discards” and “Eels stunned”.

Second rower John McLeod later recalled: “I remember we beat Parramatta 8-0 around the time that Irishman Bobbie Sands died [in jail from a hunger strike]. In the sheds after the game one of us yelled out, ‘What’s Parramatta and Bobbie Sands got in common? Ate nothing, ate nothing!”

Hooker Jay Hoffman said later of the match: “I don’t think there would have been too many better wins from a club point of view. It wasn’t luck, it wasn’t because they were missing their stars, we just played better footy.”

Halfback that day, Chris O’Sullivan recalled: “That would be the pick of them in the early years. We just went out and got stuck straight into them. We knocked them around severely, we really gave them a bashing. We were in their faces. They didn’t cross our try line and never looked like it either.”

1983 Round 16 – Canberra Raiders 8 (Ron Giteau try; Ron Giteau 2 goals) defeated Parramatta 0 at Seiffert Oval.

Canberra Raiders: 1. Gary Wurth 2. Terry Fahey 3. Ron Giteau (c) 4. Craig Bellamy 5. Ray Blacklock 6. Percy Knight 7. Chris O'Sullivan 8. Ashley Gilbert 9. Paul Elliott 10. John McLeod 11. David Grant 12. Jay Hoffman 13. Gary Spears

14. Angel Marina 15. Ian Hamilton

Coach: Don Furner

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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » January 6, 2019, 11:24 am

First shot at the finals

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With just two matches left in the 1984 season – against Penrith and Canterbury – the Canberra Raiders were teetering on the edge of missing the finals, in seventh spot.

It was not looking good when the Raiders trailed the Panthers at half time at Seiffert Oval in Round 25. But Canberra came back with four brilliant tries to overwhelm the opposition 30-10 - despite playing with just 12 men after Gary Spears was sent off 15 minutes into the second half.

Sadly, Canberra could not back up. The Raiders were smashed 36-0 on the Saturday afternoon in Round 26 at Belmore by the Bulldogs. The season looked all but over. If Penrith could beat Parramatta the next day, the Raiders would miss the finals. And if Souths, Illawarra or Balmain were to win, then play offs for the last spot in the finals could ensue.

Ron Giteau later remembered that the team had drinks at David Grant’s house on the Sunday as they waited for the results to come through. As it turned out, Penrith could not prevail over the Eels and make the finals for the first time in their 17 year history. Nor could Balmain or Illawarra produce a win. But when Souths beat Norths, the Rabbitohs finished equal fifth with Canberra on 30 competition points – and with a better for and against points differential. Giteau remembered: "We thought, that’s it, we’ll have a few drinks. Then when the results went our way we all looked at each other and thought, ‘****, we’ve got to aim up again on Tuesday’."



The match was played at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Canberra’s first appearance at the home of finals football. But the Raiders could not match the Rabbitohs. Canberra looked lethargic and had no answers for Souths strong defence and kicking game – which kept them pinned in their own territory for long stretches. It was a 23-4 loss, Canberra’s only points coming from Giteau penalty goals. The Green Machine’s magnificent run at the finals had come to an end. But Canberra had proved it was a genuinely competitive club in just three seasons.

The first Raiders team to make the finals did go on to play that next weekend – third grade had qualified for the elimination final at the SCG against Wests. But they too would taste defeat at the old headquarters, 22-16.

1984 Play off for fifth - South Sydney Rabbitohs (Craig Coleman, Bronko Djura, Mark Ellison, Ross Harrington tries, Neil Baker 2, Mark Ellison 1 goals, Neil Baker 1 field goal) 23 defeated Canberra Raiders 4 (Ron Giteau 2 goals) at the Sydney Cricket Ground

Canberra Raiders: 1. Ron Sigsworth 2. Mick Aldous 3. Ron Giteau 4. Craig Bellamy 5. Bill Walker 6. Ivan Henjak 7. Chris O'Sullivan 8. Dean Lance 9. Nigel Wilson 10. Ashley Gilbert 11. David Grant 12. Jay Hoffman 13. Gary Spears

*Forwards numbered in "reverse" order

Coach Don Furner

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From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » January 7, 2019, 8:05 am

Croker courage

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Life post Daley, Furner and Mullins wasn't meant to be easy, and for the Canberra Raiders in season 2001, it wasn't. In Round 17 the Sydney Roosters - who were then placed in the top three - visited the nation’s capital. The Raiders were struggling in 11th place on the ladder. By the end of the day, the Raiders had produced one their most courageous victories.

The Raiders trailed at half time by 10 points, 22-10. There were no players left on the bench for the majority of the second half, the squad struck down by injury. The Raiders had lost Mark McLinden (suspected broken jaw), Ken Nagas (suspected broken leg) and Ruben Wiki (concussion, neck) by half time. At the 45th minute, Sean Rutgerson left the field with a knee injury. Whoever was left had to stay on the field.

Jason Croker did just that. Incredibly, he played the entire second half with a torn cruciate ligament in one knee and an ankle ligament strain in his other leg.

"I just knew I didn't want to let my mates or the club down," he said later. "I got a call from the coaches and they said we had no one left on the bench so I sort of said to myself, 'right, I'm going to have to stick this out' I don't know if it was brave or just stupid."

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The 13 Raiders went on to score 22 unanswered points in the second half. Finch scored in the 47th minute, before tries to Odell Manuel and Clinton Schifcofske tries gave the Green Machine the lead. A try to Darren Mapp with four minutes remaining sealed the famous victory.

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"I think everyone associated with the club is very proud of the way the players played today. You shook your head in awe at what they did. It was a magnificent effort," outgoing coach Mal Meninga said after the match.

Croker required a knee reconstruction and was awarded the John Sattler Trophy for courage. Incoming coach Matt Elliott was assistant coach that year. "Words fail me to be honest," he said. "It was one of those things that you see that makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck."

2000 Round 17 - Canberra Raiders 32 (Clinton Schifcofske 2, B Finch, Odell Manuel, Darren Mapp, Ken Nagas tries, Clinton Schifcofske 4 goals) defeated Sydney Roosters 22 (Micheal Crocker, Shannon Hegarty, Matt Sing, Craig Wing tries, Craig Fitzgibbon 3 goals)

Canberra Raiders: 1. Clinton Schifcofske 2. Odell Manuel 3. Ken Nagas 14. Brad Kelly 5. Greg Wolfgramm 6. Mark McLinden 7. B Finch 8. Sean Rutgerson 9. Simon Woolford 10. Ryan O'Hara 11. Ruben Wiki 12. Alan Tongue 13. Jason Croker

15. Darren Mapp 16. Terry Martin 17. Darren Porter 18. Michael Monaghan

Coach Mal Meninga

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