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 » 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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From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » January 8, 2019, 10:38 am

They came but we conquered - Record Seiffert crowd

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The Brisbane Broncos entered the NSWRL competition in 1988 and the Raiders had disposed of the star studded outfit, 36-16 in their first ever clash - played at Lang Park.

But in their next contest, the Broncos knocked the the Green Machine out of the 1989 pre season Panasonic Cup, with Brisbane posting an 18-13 victory at Parkes. The Broncos went on to take out the pre season Cup final that year.

The Broncos made their first visit to Seiffert Sports Ground in June 1989. Both teams were in the top four - the Broncos running second on the ladder, the Raiders in fourth. Canberra had produced a seven game winning streak between Rounds 3 and 9, but had faltered in the following two rounds, with losses to Newcastle and Penrith.

The fans' expectations of the clash were still high, with both teams littered with Origin stars. The rivalry between the clubs was also fueled by the defection of coach Wayne Bennett, along with Sam Backo and Peter Jackson, from the Raiders to the Broncos. As the match loomed, Bennett was openly seeking to poach half Kevin Walters from Canberra.

On the Wednesday night prior to the Round 12 match, Queensland wrapped up the State of Origin series, with a 16-12 victory over New South Wales. But the tough clash left new Raiders captain Mal Meninga with a badly swollen eye and cheek and a fractured sinus wall - after being punched in the face by Blues forward Peter Kelly. The Raiders toyed with playing him on the wing in the Broncos match, but he was unable to take the field. Laurie Daley also damaged ligaments in his right ankle, putting him in serious doubt - but after anti inflamatories and plenty of ice, he was cleared to play at the final training session. The Broncos were also injury affected, with Allan Langer breaking his left ankle in Origin II - and with Gary French brought in at half.

In the week of the game, the ACT Government decided to provide a $2.8 million grant and a $2.5 million loan for the $6.5 million redevelopment of Bruce Stadium - clearing the way for the Raiders to move their home base from Queanbeyan to Canberra in 1990. The Broncos first visit to Seiffert would also be their last. A record Seiffert crowd of 18,272 turned out on a cold Sunday afternoon.

The thrilling game fully lived up to expectations. The Raiders' pack, criticised for their performances against the Knights and Panthers, were intent on smashing the big name Broncos forwards into submission. Props Glenn Lazarus and Brent Todd led the way up front, along with Gary Coyne and Brad Clyde, who were both backing up from Origin. Clyde, just 19 years of age, scored two tries, including a solo effort from near half way. He shifted to centre in the second half when Laurie Daley left the field, and didn't miss a beat.

Hooker Steve Walters, overlooked for Origin, was outstanding, finishing on top of his brother Kerrod, who had been given the Queensland No. 9 jersey. Halves Ricky Stuart and Chris O'Sullivan outplayed the Broncos' pair, with O'Sullivan keeping Wally Lewis quiet, before "The King" left the field in the second half.

The Raiders' first try came in just the first few minutes, when Lazarus broke two tacklers, and Todd and Walters set up Craig Dimond for a try under the posts. The strong start continued in the 22nd minute with the first of Clyde's tries. Ricky Stuart regathered his own grubber, which had rebounded off a Broncos player, and he then threw a trademark wide pass to Ivan Henjak to set the try in motion. The Broncos scored through Terry Matterson eight minutes before the break, but a Ricky Stuart field goal gave Canberra a 13-6 lead at half time.

Just two minutes into the second half, the Raiders won a scrum on their own line - with Ricky Stuart then making a 70 metre break, before passing to Gary Belcher for a stunning try under the posts. Remarkably, Laurie Daley missed the conversion from in front. Canberra was in again five minutes later, with a Steve Walters break setting up Clyde. The conversion was again missed from in front, this time by Ricky Stuart, but Canberra was well on the way to victory. John Ferguson got his own four pointer in the 57th minute, when Joe Kilroy could not handle the ball in the Broncos' own in goal - and Stuart converted from the sideline. The Raiders kept up the pressure in the final 20 minutes, with a couple of try scoring opportunities not coming off.

It was a comprehensive 27-6 victory, a portent for what was to come that season. The headline in The Canberra Times the next day screamed: "They came but we conquered".

Glenn Lazarus was understandably pleased with the performance of the pack - and his own performance.

"I am available for selection, just tell them that," Lazarus said, after he was overlooked by the Blues for Origin II.

Tim Sheens was also very happy with his forward pack.

"The forwards came back to form today, it is the old adage once again that it is the forwards who win you the games," he said after the match.

1989 Round 12 - Canberra Raiders 27 (B. Clyde 2, G. Belcher, C. Dimond, J. Ferguson tries; G. Belcher 2, R. Stuart goals; R. Stuart field goal) defeated Brisbane Broncos 6 (T. Matterson try; T. Matterson goal) at Seiffert Oval
Half time: Canberra Raiders 13 Brisbane Broncos 6

Canberra Raiders: 1. Gary Belcher (C) 2. John Ferguson 3. Laurie Daley 4. Ivan Henjak 5. Phil Carey 6. Chris O'Sullivan 7. Ricky Stuart 8. Glenn Lazarus 9. Steve Walters 10. Brent Todd 11. Gary Coyne 12. Craig Dimond 13. Bradley Clyde

14. Craig Bellamy 15. Kevin Walters 16. Ashley Gilbert 17. Mark Bell

Coach Tim Sheens

Crowd: 18,272
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » January 9, 2019, 7:40 am

Against the odds comeback

2013. It was the year of the drugs in sport report, the year of pineapple cruisers, walkouts, contract wrangling and sackings. But there were still some great days on the field. April the 7th was such a day. Round 5 at Canberra Stadium.

The Roosters - the eventual premiers - led 16-0 at half time. They were hoping to become the first team since 1919 to hold their opponents to nil three weeks in a row in this match at Canberra Stadium. But Edrick Lee scored in the corner five minutes into the second half, and it was quickly followed by another try to Sam Williams, narrowing the gap to 16-12. The Roosters kicked away with a try to Anthony Minichello - but Canberra still had something left to prove. Sandor Earl scored from a bomb, and with just four minutes left, a Jarrod Croker try levelled the scores. His conversion secured a 24-22 victory. "When you do the kicking as a kid, they're the moments you dream of. That's what dreams are made of," Croker said after the match.



2013 Round 5 - Canberra Raiders 24 (J. Croker, S. Earl, E. Lee, S. Williams tries; J. Croker 4 goals) defeated Sydney Roosters 22 (M. Aubusson, J. Maloney, A. Minichiello, M. Oldfield tries; J. Maloney 3 goals) at Canberra Stadium

Canberra Raiders: 1. Reece Robinson 2. Sandor Earl 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Jack Wighton 5. Edrick Lee 6. Josh McCrone 7. Sam Williams 8. David Shillington (C) 9. Matt McIlwrick 10. Brett White 11. Josh Papalii 12. Joel Edwards 13. Shaun Fensom

14. Dane Tilse 15. Tom Learoyd-Lahrs 16. Anthony Milford 17. Joe Picker

Coach David Furner

Crowd: 10,969
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by Mr. Snrub » January 9, 2019, 1:57 pm

greeneyed wrote:
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
I have this game on VHS

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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » January 9, 2019, 1:58 pm

Do you still have a VHS player?
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by reptar » January 9, 2019, 4:10 pm

I do. Found it the other day when going through my storage unit.
Gina Riley: Oh, come on, John. That’s a bit old hat, the corrupt IOC delegate.
John Clarke: Old hat? Gina, in the scientific world when they see that something is happening again and again and again, repeatedly, they don’t call it old hat. They call it a pattern.

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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by Mr. Snrub » January 10, 2019, 12:37 pm

greeneyed wrote:
January 9, 2019, 1:58 pm
Do you still have a VHS player?
I don't! The tape is at my parents' house in Canberra. Last time I was there I was trying to find a VHS player to buy, but they're really hard to find. I've got a lot of Raiders games on VHS from 1989 to about 2003. Once I get my hands on a VHS player and when I'm in Canberra next, I'll try and see if I convert them to a digital format and chuck them onto youtube. I even have the 1994 Grand Final with ABC commentary.

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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » January 10, 2019, 1:44 pm

Amazing club championship



The Raiders achieved a clean sweep in 1990, winning the minor premiership in all three grades, firsts, reserves and President's Cup. It was the club's first club championship - and with the discontinuation of the NYC in 2017, and the club championship, it is likely to be the last. The Green Machine featured in every match on Grand Final day and came very close to a clean sweep of premierships - winning in first grade and President's Cup, but controversially lost to the Broncos in reserve grade in extra time.



The Under 21s decider featured a number of future big names for the Green Machine, including Brett Mullins, Jason Croker and David Boyle. Mullins played at centre, and would go on to become one of Canberra's greatest fullbacks. Croker played on the wing and would eventually become the Raiders' most capped player, in a career where he mostly featured in the forwards.

Despite the Raiders finishing as minor premiers, the Dragons were favourites in the match. The Raiders trailed 6-0 at half time, after St George half Troy Hodges scored a try in the 18th minute. But the Raiders broke the Dragons line out wide twice, with tries to Jason Death and David Boyle helping to push Canberra to a 15-6 lead. The final stages were frantic after Dragons second rower Jeremy Donougher scored with six minutes remaining. However, the Raiders managed to hold the Dragons out, with a second field goal to Jason Gregory securing a 16-12 victory.

"Matt Baker and I pledged to each other that we would win it this time," Gregory said after the match.

He and Baker had been two of the best performers in the Presidents Cup Grand Final loss to the Rabbitohs in 1989.

"That was the main psyche-up for us before the match, we didn't want to lose like last year. At half-time we were still confident. We knew all we had to do was control the ball. To their credit they came back at us strongly at the end and made us work but there was no way we were going to let this one slip."

Captain Steve Stone had won two Presidents Cup Grand Finals in a row - one with the Rabbitohs in 1989, and now one with the Raiders.

Coach Mick Doyle said the game plan had been to attack the Dragons out wide, and centres David Boyle and Brett Mullins were outstanding. Mullins played despite the fact he not fully fit, due to a gash to his stomach. Lock Jason Death and prop Darren Fritz starred in the forwards.

"Fritz has played his best two games in the two years he has been here in the last two weeks," Doyle said.



The Reserve Grade Grand Final went to extra time - delaying the first grade decider. The Panthers felt it unsettled their young team - and Penrith coach Phil Gould later claimed they were "owed an apology" by the league.

The score was tied at 6 apiece in the reserves at full time. Canberra was only three minutes away from winning the game in regulation time before a Craig Teevan penalty goal levelled the scores.

"That silly penalty cost us, no risk," Raiders hooker Wayne Collins said after the match.

The Broncos led 4-2 at half time, and they thought they had scored a second try when Steve Renouf attempted to dive over from dummy half. However, a knock on was correctly ruled.

An outstanding try to winger Chris Kinna put the Raiders into the lead in the 55th minute 6-4 - but Mark Bell could not convert from the sideline. Kinna had put in a chip ahead for himself, regathering and scoring in the corner. Biased Brisbane television commentators, including Wally Lewis, claimed it was a double movement - but the touch judge correctly advised referee Greg McCallum that Kinna had not been effectively held in the attempted tackle.

The Broncos scored a controversial try six minutes into extra time, when Brisbane captain Ray Herring kicked at the ball in the ruck as fullback Paul Beath attempted to play it just a few metres from Canberra's own line. Herring was not standing square at the ruck, and many Raiders fans thought it should have been a penalty to Canberra. The kick rebounded off Canberra lock David Barnhill, on to the goal post and then back into the hands Herring, who scored under the posts. Canberra fought back, nearly going over through Kinna and then Ashley Gilbert. A Broncos penalty goal two minutes from time sealed the 14-6 Brisbane win.

It slightly soured the afternoon for Raiders fans. However, better things were to still to come that day, when the Canberra firsts went back to back.

1990 Presidents Cup Grand Final - Canberra Raiders 16 (Jason Death, David Boyle tries, Gavin Price-Jones 3 goals, Jason Gregory 2 field goals) defeated St George Dragons 12 (Troy Hodges, Jeremy Donougher tries, Ian Herron 2 goals) at Sydney Football Stadium

Canberra Raiders: 27. Gavin Price-Jones 28. Darrell McDonald 29. Brett Mullins 30. David Boyle 31. Jason Croker 32. Jason Gregory 33. Anthony Herring 39. Jason Death 38. Steve Stone (C) 37. Peter Field 36. Darren Fritz 35. Brett Boyd 34. Matthew Baker

Reserves: Tom Rolls, Brett Goldspink, Brett Gibson, Roger Kenworthy, Luke Goodwin

Coach Mick Doyle


1990 Reserve Grade Grand Final - Brisbane Broncos 14 (Darren Plowman, Ray Herring tries, Craig Teevan 3 goals) defeated Canberra Raiders 6 (Chris Kinna try, Mark Bell goal) at Sydney Football Stadium

Canberra Raiders: 14. Paul Beath 15. Brett Atkins 16. Mark Bell 17. Stuart Stanton 18. Chris Kinna 19. Michael Twigg 20. Craig Bellamy (C) 26. David Barnhill 25. Mark Lowry 24. Alex Corvo 23. Craig Breen 22. Wayne Collins 21. David Woods

Reserves: Steve Mills, Paul Jones, Ashley Gilbert

Coach Graham "Buck" Rogers


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 greeneyed » January 10, 2019, 2:10 pm

Mr. Snrub wrote:
January 10, 2019, 12:37 pm
greeneyed wrote:
January 9, 2019, 1:58 pm
Do you still have a VHS player?
I don't! The tape is at my parents' house in Canberra. Last time I was there I was trying to find a VHS player to buy, but they're really hard to find. I've got a lot of Raiders games on VHS from 1989 to about 2003. Once I get my hands on a VHS player and when I'm in Canberra next, I'll try and see if I convert them to a digital format and chuck them onto youtube. I even have the 1994 Grand Final with ABC commentary.
Try The Green Shed at the Mugga Lane tip. I donated mine there... in perfect order, but they're pretty hard to sell!
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » January 11, 2019, 8:52 am

What might have been



1992 turned into a rebuilding season for the Canberra Raiders, after the squad was torn apart by the salary cap dramas of 1991. The Illawarra Steelers were having a break out season. The Steelers were placed in fourth when they visited Bruce in Round 19 - and had the second best defensive record. Canberra could not make the finals for the first time since 1986, but showed what might have been had the side made it.

In the end it was a six try demolition of the men in scarlet. Canberra just tore them apart. The Raiders led 14-2 at half time, and went on with it in the second half. Ricky Stuart was instrumental in the halves, Furner and Clyde carved it up in the forwards. A young Jason Croker impressed on the wing, while fullback Brett Mullins scored a double.

"From a coach's point of view, I think Ricky [Stuart] did everything I asked of him," coach Tim Sheens said after the match.

"It is a shame that a team as good as ours isn't going to contest it this year. Bradley Clyde comes back into the side and you see the sort of difference he makes, let alone [the injured] Belcher and Daley and those sorts of players. It's a bit unfortunate, but it's still something to build on and look forward to next year."

And build on it, they did.

Round 19 1992 - Canberra Raiders 38 (Brett Mullins 2, Gary Coyne, Jason Croker, Mal Meninga, Dave Woods tries, David Furner 7 goals) defeated Illawarra Steelers 2 (Rod Wishart goal) at Bruce Stadium

Canberra Raiders: 1. Brett Mullins 2. Sean Hoppe 3. Mal Meninga 4. David Boyle 5. Jason Croker 6. Scott Gale 7. Ricky Stuart 8. Darren Fritz 9. Steve Walters 10. Paul Osborne 11. David Furner 12. Steve Stone 13. Brad Clyde

14. Gary Coyne 15. Darrell McDonald 16. Dave Woods 17. Craig Bellamy

Coach Tim Sheens

Crowd: 7,944
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » January 12, 2019, 2:14 pm

Raiders confound the critics

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The Canberra Raiders were the wooden spoon favourites at the start of 2006. There had been no big name signings. There had been weeks of drama surrounding the future of Raiders coach Matt Elliott just prior to the commencement of the season. He finally confirmed in mid February, he'd be leaving the Raiders for the Panthers in 2007.

The Manly Sea Eagles were heavy favourites in Round 1 on their home turf of Brookvale Oval. Three Raiders players were on debut, Adrian Purtell on the wing, Willie Raston at prop and Ben Jones in the second row. Six Raiders were out with injury, including Michael Weyman, Dane Tilse, Alan Rothery and Kris Kahler.

Veteran five eighth Jason Smith, however, was confident going into the match.

"We've had five months of solid training, we've got a lot of new structures in place and everyone is settled and ready to go," he said.

"You're going to see a completely different Canberra side play a completely different brand of football. There will be much more exciting play and more attacking prowess from a very promising outfit. I think we will surprise quite a few people."

The game was played in front of 17,000, mostly Manly fans who had come to see Matt Orford debut for the Sea Eagles. Instead, it was the likes of Jason Smith, Lincoln Withers, Clinton Schifcofske and Simon Woolford who were the dominant performers in the stunning win.

Canberra went to an early lead after just four minutes through a try to centre Phil Graham, after some quick passing from Jason Smith and Lincoln Withers - and the Raiders never relinquished the lead in the match. An almost identical move produced Canberra's second try, with Smith, Withers and Graham setting up Adam Mogg for the four pointer. It saw the Raiders head to the half-time break with a 14-8 lead.

Smith and Withers were again the conductors just seven minutes into the second half, when Clinton Schifcofske crossed the line. However, the video referee Paul Simpkins disallowed the try, with an obstruction ruled. Shortly after, Withers made a break, setting a up a try for Todd Carney, near the posts. A Schifcofske conversion gave the Raiders a 20-8 lead.

The Sea Eagles fought back, closing the gap to six points - and missed an opportunity 15 minutes from full time when fullback Brett Stewart knocked on with the line open. But an individual try to Raiders hooker Simon Woolford and a Todd Carney field goal sealed the 27-14 result for the Green Machine.

After the match, captain Clinton Schifcofske said he was used to the pundits writing his side off.

"The effort was great, we always put in a good effort, we have to," he said. "We need a team performance from everyone to win our games because we haven't probably got the superstars that a lot of the other teams have got."

Coach Elliott was pleased with the performance of his young team, particularly his debutants.

"A lot of people questioned playing so many young players at once ... there was a lot to be happy about there particularly for those three guys that debuted," Elliott said.

The news was not so good for Josh Miller, after he snapped his ACL in the 25th minute of the match, when he was making a tackle on Manly hooker Shane Dunley. The injury put him out of action for the rest of the season. It put a dampener on the result.

But for Raiders fans leaving the ground, it had still been an exhilarating win.

2006 Round 1 – Canberra Raiders 27 (Phil Graham, Adam Mogg, Todd Carney, Simon Woolford tries, Clinton Schifcofske 5 goals, Todd Carney field goal) defeated Manly Sea Eagles 14 (Steve Bell 2, Brett Stewart tries; Matt Orford goal) at Brookvale Oval

Canberra Raiders: 1. Clinton Schifcofske (C) 2. Adrian Purtell 3. Phil Graham 4. David Howell 5. Adam Mogg 6. Jason Smith 7. Lincoln Withers 8. Willie Raston 9. Simon Woolford 10. Troy Thompson 11. Ben Jones 12. Jason Croker 13. Alan Tongue

14. Todd Carney 15. Terry Martin 16. Tom Learoyd-Lahrs 17. Josh Miller

Coach Matt Elliott

Crowd: 17,135
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » January 13, 2019, 2:32 pm

The unlikely hero of the 1994 Grand Final

Paul Osborne played 51 games with the Canberra Raiders, but he made no bigger impact than in the 51st, the 1994 Grand Final.





Osborne joined the Raiders in 1992 from the Dragons, but had not made a big impression. In 1994, he broke his foot and, due to a combination of injury and poor form he played limited first grade matches. He was scheduled to depart the Raiders at the end of the year, to play rugby league in England.

However, prop John Lomax, the Raiders' player of the year in 1994, was sent off in the Raiders' preliminary final win over North Sydney and was suspended from the Grand Final against the Bulldogs. And instead of getting on a plane, Osborne was recalled for one last match for Canberra. He'd not played first grade since Round 15, but he went on to play the match of his life, on the most important day of the year.

Osborne wore 46 on his back and started the match on fire, setting up two tries with amazing offloads - and setting the Raiders on their way to a third premiership.

"I hadn't played in a long time, I'd been out of first grade for months," he said later.

"I'd broken my foot earlier in the season and by the time I was back they were winning and I couldn't get into first grade. Then Johnny got sent off in the finals and I was the only one cheering.

"It wasn't until training on Saturday morning when super coach Sheens told me I was playing. I went home, I had to find my gear, I didn't know where my shorts were, I didn't know if they still fit me.

"The reason I wore number 46 was because it was the only one that would fit me. I tried them all on - 37, 38 ... (trainer) Bryan Hider's going, "Geez, we haven't got many more left, what are you going to play in?"

As he missed his flight to England, his arrangement to play in the northern hemisphere was terminated - and he did not play another first class rugby league game. It was a grand farewell.
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by -PJ- » January 13, 2019, 3:26 pm

Ossie Ossie Ossie..
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by Johno » January 13, 2019, 8:48 pm

When John Lomax was suspended my heart sank, I thought it could be too tough for us.

Step forward Paul Osborne.... I still have a chuckle thinking about it

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From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » January 14, 2019, 10:48 am

Wiki's final games

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2004. The Canberra Raiders were in a struggle to make the top eight. They had produced four straight losses, heading into their final match of the season against the South Sydney Rabbitohs in Canberra. The Round 24 loss to the Roosters had seen the team fall to 12th on the ladder. A win, and a big win, was needed in Round 26 to ensure they could leap frog the Wests Tigers into eighth place.

That Round 26 clash -against the Rabbitohs - was the final home game for the legendary Ruben Wiki - who was tempted away from the club after 12 years by the Warriors. It was revealed later that the Warriors offer was inflated by salary cap cheating - but it was all too late by that stage. It was an emotional night, with Luke Davico and Joel Monaghan also having decided to leave the club. The Raiders were determined to give Wiki the home send off he deserved.

And they did more than what they had to do. Canberra led 22-12 at half time and went on to post 40 points in the second half. Marshall Chalk scored four tries in only his second first grade appearance. Clinton Schifcofske scored 20 points himself.

However, Wiki suffered severe ankle ligament damage in the first half, and was forced out of the match. After the game, he was on crutches but did a lap of honour. Tears streamed down his face, as he embraced the true believers in the crowd of just over 10,000. It looked like he had made his last appearance in the famous green jersey. But ankle ligament damage was not enough to stop a player who bled green.



He took the field in Week 1 of the finals against the Roosters at the Sydney Football Stadium in jersey No. 22, his ankle supported by a plastic cast. He played for 74 minutes, made 25 tackles and 10 hit ups. It was Wiki at his best. But it was not enough. The Raiders lost 38-12 to the minor premiers. Wiki was consoled by former team mate, and Roosters coach, Ricky Stuart after the match.

"I don't think any other player would have played, but Ruben felt he owed it to the guys," Simon Wooford said later.

"It was an emotional day," Clinton Schifcofske said. "I'm a pretty emotional bloke and cry fairly easily, but there were a few bigger blokes than me crying that day."

"I just so much wanted to be part of it," Wiki himself said. "I'm just glad I got to put the jersey on one more time."

2004 Round 26 - Canberra Raiders 62 (M. Chalk 4, J. Croker 2, M. McLinden 2, B. Drew, A. Mogg, C. Schifcofske tries; C. Schifcofske 8, J. Croker goals) defeated South Sydney Rabbitohs 22 (M. Minichiello 2, R. Bell, B. Watts tries; J. Williams 3 goals) at Canberra Stadium

Canberra Raiders: 1. Clinton Schifcofske 2. Marshall Chalk 3. Adam Mogg 4. Joel Monaghan 19. Nathan Smith 6. Jason Croker 7. Brad Drew 8. Ryan O'Hara, 9. Simon Woolford (C) 11. Ruben Wiki 14. Michael Hodgson 12. Ian Hindmarsh 13. Tyran Smith

10. Troy Thompson 15. Josh Miller 16. Terry Martin 17. Mark McLinden

Coach Matt Elliott

Crowd: 10,839
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From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » January 15, 2019, 11:58 am

Twelve man demolition

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The Canberra Raiders had their most surprising season since 1987 in 2003. The Green Machine opened the season with a seven game winning streak, and up until Round 22 were in the top two in every week except one. The play was often criticised as "boring" - as it emphasised simple dummy half running from the likes of Brad Drew. But the play did become more expansive as the season progressed. And nothing pleased the fans more than winning football games.

The horrible away record of 2002 was turned around, the Raiders winning 10 from 13 matches played outside Canberra, and six from 11 at home - the Raiders sacrificing one home game to play the Warriors in Wellington.

One of the most surprising victories came one Sunday at Brookvale Oval in Round 22. The Raiders were running equal first, second on points differential. The Sea Eagles were running 12th. But then hooker and captain, Simon Woolford was sent off after just eight minutes for a high tackle on Luke Williamson. Canberra faced further adversity in the match with injuries to another key play maker, Mark McLinden (lacerated hand) and lock Tyran Smith (ribs).

But the Raiders led 26-0 at half time, and withstood a Manly comeback after half time, eventually piling on an incredible 51 points. Brad Drew came off the bench to cover at dummy half. Joel Monaghan was a star, scoring four tries. The courageous performance maintained the Raiders unexpected position on the ladder.

"We're not a team that can't do without some players. I've got a good armoury at my disposal," coach Matt Elliott said after the match.

"We're not a team that's going to fall apart without one player."

2003 Round 22 – Canberra Raiders 51 (Joel Monaghan 4, Jason Bulgarelli 2, Jamaal Lolesi, Adam Mogg, Clinton Schifcofske tries; Clinton Schifcofske 6, Brad Drew goals; Brad Drew field goal) defeated Manly Sea Eagles 16 (Steve Menzies 2, Mitch Creary tries; Ben Walker 2 goals) at Brookvale Oval

Canberra Raiders: 1. Clinton Schifcofske 2. Joel Monaghan 3. Adam Mogg 4. Jason Bulgarelli 5. Jamahl Lolesi 6. Jason Croker 7. Mark McLinden 8. Ryan O'Hara 9. Simon Woolford (C) 10. Luke Davico 11. Ruben Wiki 12. Ian Hindmarsh 13. Tyran Smith

14. Sean Rutgerson 15. Troy Thompson 16. Brad Drew 17. Alan Tongue

Coach Matt Elliott

Crowd: 10,485
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From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » January 16, 2019, 5:39 am

Record win over the Tigers, while Rapana scores four

68 68-0 V Parramatta, Bruce Stadium, August 22, 1993
62 66-4 V Easts, Bruce Stadium, April 15, 1990
62 74-12 V Penrith, Canberra Stadium, August 10, 2008*
56 66-10 V North Queensland, Bruce Stadium, April 14, 1996
56 56-0 V Brisbane, Canberra Stadium, August 1, 2009
*Highest ever score

54 60-6 V Wests Tigers, Canberra Stadium, April 23, 2016

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Round 8 of 2016 - ANZAC Round - had everyone digging out the record books. It was - and is - the sixth biggest win in Canberra Raiders history. 60 points posted. The equal fourth biggest loss in Tigers history. It was difficult for Raiders fans to believe after Canberra had conceded 76 points in the previous two weeks against the Eels and the Sharks.

After the 40-16 loss to the Sharks in Round 7, coach Ricky Stuart had made some stinging comments about his team’s performance.

"There's a situation there where we've got a winger and a centre showing the whole team how to play, and it's embarrassing," he said. "We were shocking. We had five players [performing] today and I can't wait to have the other 12 follow their lead."

Stuart then named an extended bench for the Round 8 match against the Tigers - and ultimately dropped Frank Paul Nuuausala for Clay Priest, who didn't even have a Raiders contract a week earlier. Stuart had the players’ attention and their minds were right on the job.



The Tigers clash coincided with the night of the Forever Green former players reunion, and it turned into an 11 try romp. Some outstanding tries were scored, but the best came in the first half. Josh Hodgson ran out of dummy half in Raiders’ own end. Joey Leilua and Jordan Rapana were loitering mid field and Hodgson set Leilua away - while Rapana backed up, streaking away to score a breath taking 70 metre try.

Josh Hodgson was masterful producing three line break assists and three try assists. Jordan Rapana ended up with four tries to his name. Ricky Stuart, pleased with his winger, produced a great tongue in cheek comment after the game.

"I sent a message down there at one stage to Jordy... Mal's here tonight, I don't want you getting five, because Mal's the only bloke who's got five at the Raiders."

Rapana joined a list of players, including John Ferguson and Brett Mullins, with four.

Ricky Stuart admitted after the match that he had needed to give the team a shake up a little earlier in the season.

"To be quite honest I was probably a bit soft in some of my [selection] decisions where we were going OK at the start of the season, a couple of blokes needed a rattle up then. I see that as a mistake of my own now, I shouldn't have done it after a 40-point loss."

But he certainly had an impact... and it was the start of bigger things to come in 2016.

Round 8 2016 - Canberra Raiders 60 (J. Rapana 4, J. Leilua Kelemete 2, S. Boyd, J. Croker, A. Sezer, P. Vaughan, E. Whitehead tries; J. Croker 8 goals) defeated Wests Tigers 6 (C. Lawrence try; J. Rankin goal) at Canberra Stadium
Halftime: Canberra 22-6

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

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

Coach Ricky Stuart

Crowd: 13,420
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by Johno » January 16, 2019, 8:03 pm

I wish I was Ruben Wiki

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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » January 17, 2019, 11:46 am

Final round cracker



More than 26,000 squeezed into Brookvale Oval for Manly's clash with Canberra in the final round of 1994. The game had been sold out two weeks beforehand. Only once before had more people turned out at the venue. It was finals footy one week early - with the result deciding which team would finish in the top three, and get a double chance in the finals. Coming into the game, Manly were running equal second, one competition point ahead of the Raiders in fourth.

The Raiders had produced a courageous 30-6 win over the Sea Eagles the last time the teams had met in Round 7. Laurie Daley, Ricky Stuart and Quentin Pongia were injured on the sidelines - and then Jason Croker was sent off four minutes into the second half. Canberra was still a big winner. But since then, Manly had produced 13 wins from 14 starts - led by unpredictable play maker Cliff Lyons, damaging forward Steve Menzies and ace goal kicking fullback Matthew Ridge. Canberra was flying high too - they were on a seven game winning streak. But Raiders coach Tim Sheens knew how difficult it would be to defeat the Sea Eagles on their home turf.

"Manly has been sneaking along nicely," Sheens said as his team prepared. "They have won every home game except the first one against Canterbury and have been winning by 30 points. It will be a very good win for us if we can beat them there."

The Raiders took 25 minutes before they could find a way through the Sea Eagles' defence, with Laurie Daley setting up Jason Croker - who fended off Mark Carroll and ran 10 metres to line for a four pointer. A Steve Menzie try shortly after produced a tense 6-6 deadlock at half time.

But that was broken wide open by Ricky Stuart just after the break. First he chip kicked ahead for Brett Mullins to score. And then he flicked an inside ball to Ruben Wiki for another try. Suddenly, eight minutes into the second half, it was 18-6. A Stuart field goal and Furner penalty goal shut out Manly, despite two late tries to the Sea Eagles. In the end, the margin flattered Manly.

Stuart produced a vintage organisational and kicking game - and kept Cliff Lyons well under control. Laurie Daley played his first full game since coming back from knee surgery two months earlier - and the old halves combination was set for the finals.

Stuart denied that the Mullins try, which proved to be the turning point, was a lucky one.

"People think it is just a fluke," Stuart said after the match. "Maybe the bounce was very helpful. But we practise that up to 10 times a week. It is good to see something come off at practice. Our defence was so committed and dominating. Every time they threw the ball behind them we were up in their faces. That frustrated them."

Canberra coach Tim Sheens was pleased with how his team had handled the pressure cooker atmosphere.

"We handled ourselves well today," Sheens said. "We set the platform for that game in defending uphill and into the wind for the last five minutes [of the first half] when it was 6-6. We played coolly and I thought we shut down nearly every Manly option and the form of our key players was the secret of our success."

"We have been playing well for the past six to eight weeks and having key people back - hopefully we will go a lot better [in the finals] than last year. The five teams are the best prepared of any finals series I have been involved in. But we are going to have to lift a gear on our performance today to beat North Sydney."

The Raiders had earned a second bite at the cherry. A finals campaign to remember was about to begin.

1994 Round 22 – Canberra Raiders 21 (Jason Croker, Brett Mullins, Ruben Wiki tries, David Furner 4 goals, Ricky Stuart field goal) defeated Manly Sea Eagles 18 (Craig Hancock, Steve Menzies, Chris Ryan tries; Matthew Ridge 3 goals) at Brookvale Oval

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

14. Brett Hetherington 15. Jason Death 16. David Boyle 17. Ken Nagas

Coach Tim Sheens

Crowd: 26,168
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by Mr. Snrub » January 17, 2019, 1:04 pm

greeneyed wrote:
January 17, 2019, 11:46 am
Final round cracker



More than 26,000 squeezed into Brookvale Oval for Manly's clash with Canberra in the final round of 1994. The game had been sold out two weeks beforehand. Only once before had more people turned out at the venue. It was finals footy one week early - with the result deciding which team would finish in the top three, and get a double chance in the finals. Coming into the game, Manly were running equal second, one competition point ahead of the Raiders in fourth.

The Raiders had produced a courageous 30-6 win over the Sea Eagles the last time the teams had met in Round 7. Laurie Daley, Ricky Stuart and Quentin Pongia were injured on the sidelines - and then Jason Croker was sent off four minutes into the second half. Canberra was still a big winner. But since then, Manly had produced 13 wins from 14 starts - led by unpredictable play maker Cliff Lyons, damaging forward Steve Menzies and ace goal kicking fullback Matthew Ridge. Canberra was flying high too - they were on a seven game winning streak. But Raiders coach Tim Sheens knew how difficult it would be to defeat the Sea Eagles on their home turf.

"Manly has been sneaking along nicely," Sheens said as his team prepared. "They have won every home game except the first one against Canterbury and have been winning by 30 points. It will be a very good win for us if we can beat them there."

The Raiders took 25 minutes before they could find a way through the Sea Eagles' defence, with Laurie Daley setting up Jason Croker - who fended off Mark Carroll and ran 10 metres to line for a four pointer. A Steve Menzie try shortly after produced a tense 6-6 deadlock at half time.

But that was broken wide open by Ricky Stuart just after the break. First he chip kicked ahead for Brett Mullins to score. And then he flicked an inside ball to Ruben Wiki for another try. Suddenly, eight minutes into the second half, it was 18-6. A Stuart field goal and Furner penalty goal shut out Manly, despite two late tries to the Sea Eagles. In the end, the margin flattered Manly.

Stuart produced a vintage organisational and kicking game - and kept Cliff Lyons well under control. Laurie Daley played his first full game since coming back from knee surgery two months earlier - and the old halves combination was set for the finals.

Stuart denied that the Mullins try, which proved to be the turning point, was a lucky one.

"People think it is just a fluke," Stuart said after the match. "Maybe the bounce was very helpful. But we practise that up to 10 times a week. It is good to see something come off at practice. Our defence was so committed and dominating. Every time they threw the ball behind them we were up in their faces. That frustrated them."

Canberra coach Tim Sheens was pleased with how his team had handled the pressure cooker atmosphere.

"We handled ourselves well today," Sheens said. "We set the platform for that game in defending uphill and into the wind for the last five minutes [of the first half] when it was 6-6. We played coolly and I thought we shut down nearly every Manly option and the form of our key players was the secret of our success."

"We have been playing well for the past six to eight weeks and having key people back - hopefully we will go a lot better [in the finals] than last year. The five teams are the best prepared of any finals series I have been involved in. But we are going to have to lift a gear on our performance today to beat North Sydney."

The Raiders had earned a second bite at the cherry. A finals campaign to remember was about to begin.

1994 Round 22 – Canberra Raiders 21 (Jason Croker, Brett Mullins, Ruben Wiki tries, David Furner 4 goals, Ricky Stuart field goal) defeated Manly Sea Eagles 18 (Craig Hancock, Steve Menzies, Chris Ryan tries; Matthew Ridge 3 goals) at Brookvale Oval

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

14. Brett Hetherington 15. Jason Death 16. David Boyle 17. Ken Nagas

Coach Tim Sheens

Crowd: 26,168

I have both Raiders vs Manly games on VHS from that year. They're both absolute crackers.

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From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » January 18, 2019, 7:01 am

2006 was golden

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Canberra started the 2006 season in the worst imaginable fashion. They were wooden spoon favourites, and had six players on the injured list before a ball was kicked. Despite that, they upset the Manly Sea Eagles at Brookvale 27-14. But in the next two rounds, the Raiders conceded 126 points, 70 to the Knights and 56 to the Roosters. At least Canberra scored 52 points...

The Raiders would recover and go on to qualify for the finals... only to be bundled out in the first week. But 2006 was golden, in one way at least. Remarkably, the Raiders won four matches that season in golden point.

Two of them were against the Wests Tigers, in the space of just a month. In Round 19 at Canberra Stadium, the Raiders and Tigers were tied at 18-18 for the final 14 minutes of the match, both teams twice missing field goals. In the fourth minute of extra time, Todd Payten was penalised for a strip on Adam Mogg. The Wests Tigers insisted it was not a two man tackle... but Clinton Schifcofske kicked the penalty goal from 34 metres out to secure the dramatic 20-18 win.

In Round 23 at Campbelltown, the Tigers were celebrating the final home game for the retiring John Skandalis. A try to Adam Mogg and a conversion from Schifcofske in the 76th minute put Canberra in front by 18-16. But then a penalty to the Tigers allowed Scott Prince to equalise and force the game to extra time. Prince was twice in a position to kick a winning field goal, but Todd Carney rushed out of the defensive line to charge them both down. And then in the final minute of the first period of golden point, Carney kicked the winning field goal from 38 metres out. The Fox commentary famously claimed the Raiders had "stolen" the match and that they did not deserve to win. The home crowd claimed Carney was off side, but replays showed that was not the case.

Carney also kicked a golden point field goal in Townsville against the Cowboys. It had been a horrible, grinding - but tense - match. The Cowboys threw everything at the Raiders in the last 20 minutes in order to break the 14-14 scoreline, but the Raiders' defence held grimly on. Carney’s field goal attempt from 40 metres out in the 87th minute was a horrible, wobbly looking kick... but it still went over and gave Canberra the 15-14 win.

The best of them was in Round 4 against the Penrith Panthers - right after those horrible losses to the Knights and the Roosters. Canberra led 14-8 at half time, but surrendered the advantage, with second half tries to Frank Pritchard and Rhys Wesser giving the Panthers a 20-14 lead. At the death, David Howell scored a try, and Clinton Schifcofske kicked a magnificent conversion from the sideline to send the match into golden point. Preston Campbell had failed with a field goal attempt in regular time, and Craig Gower also failed with several attempts. But Schifcofske was again the hero, kicking a one pointer in the 87th minute.

The four remarkable golden point wins were the difference between the Raiders making the finals and finishing in the bottom four.

2006 Round 4 - Canberra Raiders (Adam Mogg 2, David Howell, Tom Learoyd Lahrs tries, Clinton Schifcofske 2 goals, 1 field goal) 21 defeated Penrith Panthers 20 (Lee Hookey, Luke Lewis, Frank Pritchard, Rhys Wesser tries; Preston Campbell 2 goals) at Canberra Stadium

Canbera Raiders: 1. Clinton Schifcofske 2. Adrian Purtell 3. Adam Mogg 4. David Howell 5. Craig Frawley 6. Jason Smith 7. Lincoln Withers 8. Andrew Lomu 9. Simon Woolford 10. Michael Hodgson 11. Tom Learoyd Lahrs 12. Jason Croker 13. Alan Tongue

14. William Zillman 15. Ben Jones 16. Troy Thompson 18. Trevor Thurling

Coach Matt Elliott

Crowd: 9,399
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » January 19, 2019, 3:07 pm

The birth of the Canberra Raiders

When the Canberra Raiders took to the field for the first time, a match against South Sydney at Redfern Oval on February 27, 1982, it was the culmination of a dream. It was a dream originating with a group of people in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, just over the border from the Australian Capital Territory.

Queanbeyan is a place that even today, Canberrans call “Struggletown”. It was a small country town, without the planning and services of the nation’s capital on its doorstep. It was a town populated by the working class of the district. But in the rugby league world, Queanbeyan was a powerful centre of country football. A centre supported by a prosperous leagues club, built on the streams of Canberrans who would drive over the border to the poker machine palace – at a time poker machines were not legal in the ACT. Eighty per cent of the members of the club at the time actually lived in Canberra.

The local rugby league ground, Seiffert Oval, was the equal, if not superior, to many of the grounds that Sydney rugby league clubs called home after the Queanbeyan Leagues club had injected $2 million into the ground’s development. It even had floodlighting which allowed for mid-week Cup matches to be played for television between Eastern Suburbs and Monaro and Riverina and Canterbury.

The man who led the push for the Canberra district to have its own team in the “Sydney competition” was Les McIntyre – the man behind the rise of the Queanbeyan Blues and then the president of the Queanbeyan Leagues Club. The New South Wales Rugby League had already decided in December 1980 to admit Illawarra to its top flight competition in 1982, but was on a search for a 14th team to enter alongside them.

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Les McIntyre, founder of the Canberra Raiders.

McIntyre was originally interested in entering his Queanbeyan Blues team into the Sydney league, but as McIntyre recalled: “They didn’t want a club side, they wanted a district team. With that in mind, I called a meeting of the district clubs”.

On January 4, 1981, a meeting of the 16 ACT and region clubs voted unanimously to test the support of the local public and in principle to prepare a submission to the NSWRL. A survey of 1872 people later showed that 80.5 per cent of people wanted to attend matches if a local team played in the NSWRL competition. Surveys in Goulburn and Yass found 65 per cent of people would support the venture as well. So a committee was formed to proceed with the bid. It was headed by McIntyre and included Don Elphick (ACT Rugby League president), George Tooke (Canberra District Rugby League secretary), Gerry Edwards (ACTRL secretary), Graham Ayre (CDRL treasurer), Mark Herron (ACTRL treasurer), Rod Edwards (QLC secretary), Fred Daly (patron), and Arthur Laing (promotions and marketing).

The Canberra bid faced some stiff competition. There was also interest from Campbelltown, Newcastle and the Central Coast – all districts which were much closer to Sydney than the nation’s capital. Again Les McIntyre recalled: “Three districts were asked to put in a submission – there was Campbelltown, Newcastle and ourselves. Newcastle declined the invitation, saying they already had a very good competition and it would be decimated if a side was chosen to play in Sydney. It’s my opinion and I think it’s everyone else’s opinion, if Newcastle would have applied they would have been in. There’s no risk on that score”.

The Canberra bid submission was delivered to the NSWRL on March 9, 1981 and presented at a meeting in Sydney on March 30 – alongside the bid from Campbelltown. The team representing Canberra and district included Les McIntyre, Don Elphick, George Tooke, Graham Ayre, Ron Edwards and Fred Daly. The Canberra bid had already selected Don Furner as inaugural coach, with a term of three years, should the team be admitted. Furner, along with the Member for Canberra, Ros Kelly, also attended.

Bringing Furner on board was a smart, albeit obvious move. Indeed, it would never have succeeded without him. As a player, Furner had represented Queensland and toured with the 1956-57 Kangaroos. He coached the Queanbeyan Blues from 1965-69, but then moved to the big smoke to coach the Eastern Suburbs Roosters between 1970-72, taking them to the 1972 Grand Final. He then settled back to coach Queanbeyan Blues again, long term. He was therefore well known in Sydney League circles.

Making Fred Daly and Ros Kelly – co patrons of the budding club – part of the team was also a plus. It was their job to put the case from the Canberra community. Daly was a long time Federal Labor politician, representing seats in the inner south west of Sydney, and a long time Newtown stalwart – but had retired in 1975 and lived in Canberra. He was famous for his wit, and became known as the “King of Canberra”. Ros Kelly was a popular local member, newly elected to the seat of Canberra in 1980. Kelly recalled the March 30 meeting: “I was told at rugby league headquarters as we walked into the room that no woman had officially step foot in that room before. I knew I had their attention for at least two minutes and told them it was their opportunity to grow rugby league in the region. Fred of course, made them laugh”.

The Canberra submission highlighted that the admission of Canberra to the NSWRL was critical for rugby league’s development and growth in the region and to promote its popularity outside of Sydney. Canberra was sold as one of the fastest growing regions outside of Sydney and Melbourne. In addition, "in terms of status, Canberra, as the national capital is the front window of Australia, and rugby league should be prominently displayed". But McIntyre also warned in his submission that Canberra was a major target for the promotion of competitor codes and that rugby league was suffering in the district. He argued that admission of a team in Canberra was essential if this was to be turned around.

That made sense, but the Sydney based clubs still had a healthy dose of self-interest at the top of mind. One significant issue was the distance to Canberra and the costs of travel for the Sydney teams. The Canberra submission pointed out that the flight from Sydney to Canberra airports took only 23 minutes – and all up, it would take only 40 minutes to get to Seiffert Oval. For the majority of clubs, that was as close in terms of travel as the Sea Eagles’ ground at Brookvale or the Panthers’ ground at Penrith. And right up front, the Canberra bid promised “to look favourably, by assisting in transporting the first grade team and officials at no cost who require this assistance.” But that was not clear enough.

Les McIntyre recalled the March 30 meeting: “During Campbelltown’s submission [NSWRL chief] Kevin Humphreys came out and called me aside and he said, ‘Les, if you don’t get in there and promise to pay the expenses for the Sydney teams to come to Queanbeyan, you’re no chance.’ So I got in there and promised them the world. We kept those promises – the first year we did, we paid all their airfares and accommodation.”

The travel costs were not the only issue. Campbelltown had presented at the March 30 meeting first and they adopted some spoiling tactics. Campbelltown delegate John Marsden provided statistics to the NSWRL showing that Canberra airport was closed by fog at least up until noon 39 times between March and September in 1980. The statistics caused several NSWRL delegates concern that matches might have to be called off, with Sydney teams stuck waiting at Mascot while planes were grounded.

There had been some early betting that Canberra – with a well-financed annual budget of $660,000, a recognised top line coach and high standard ground – would win by 20 votes. But it was much closer than that on the night. The Campbelltown presentation had had its impact. At the end of the four and a half hour meeting on March 30, Canberra won out over Campbelltown by 24 votes to 18. At the same time, it was agreed that the possible admission of Campbelltown and Newcastle in 1984 would be considered at the next NSWRL meeting.

The decision was front page news in The Canberra Times next day. Les McIntyre said: “It’s the best thing that has happened to Canberra since inauguration as far as sport is concerned.” On his return to Canberra, Don Furner said: “I feel like someone who has gone round one with Muhammed Ali, and now has the rest of the fight to go. It will take three years to build a foundation. We are starting from scratch. Basically next year we will be seeking six experienced players. I’m a realist. I’m not fooled into thinking that we are going to challenge the top teams yet. But what happened on Monday night was a magnificent boost for rugby league in this area and we can compete, without any doubt”.

The biggest task was gathering a team in less than a year – within the strictures of a “13 import rule” which applied to all clubs at the time. There were no special dispensations for the new kids on the block from the Sydney clubs, to allow Canberra to build a competitive team quickly for its entry year. The Raiders could only take on board 13 imported players, the others would have to come from the local district or bush football. That had the effect of protecting the Sydney clubs from competition from Canberra for the signature of players. The disadvantage for Canberra was compounded by the rule that imported players became "locals" after three years, something available to the established clubs, but not initially the Raiders.

One of the original Canberra Raiders, winger Angel Marina recalled: “We originally got invitations from Les McIntyre and the Queanbeyan Leagues Club, all the players in the district who were any good were given an invitation to come and try out for the club.” Fellow original player, fullback Steve O’Callaghan said: “I suppose 70 per cent of the players came from the [Queanbeyan] Roos or the Blues. There were some guys from West Belconnen and the other local Group 8 sides. There was a 13 import rule so that reflected on who they could get here. David Grant came down, Lloyd Martin, I think Scott Dudman. It was very difficult because they’d been exposed to that level of play and to bring everyone else up to speed, to try and reach that level was difficult”.

David Grant, attracted from the Balmain Tigers, would go on to be the Canberra Raiders inaugural captain. But others were less known. Don Furner recalled: “I’d go anywhere to have a look for players. I had contacts all over the place from people I’d known over the years and I’d ring them to see if there were any good players. I’d never sign anyone up on someone else’s say-so, I’d always go and watch them. In the end we picked up quite a few players like that”.

One tip came from a truck driver Furner met in Brisbane. “He rang me up and said, ‘’I’ve got a good player for you in Darwin’. I said ‘You’ve got to be kidding, I could play there,’” Furner said. But he went to Darwin and came back with the signature of indigenous half Gerry De La Cruz, a player who would go down in history as the first ever try scorer for Canberra.

Still, it was extremely difficult to attract players from outside the district to the fledgling club. “Players had to be encouraged to come to this area and that was no easy task. We had to arrange accommodation and jobs. We had to pick the best of what was left because a lot of players were tied up with the top sides. It was very hard to get people to come here when they knew they were going to get belted,” Furner said.

Apart from gathering a squad, other important things had to be decided – like the name and colours of the club. The original submission to the NSWRL promised that a public competition would be held to design a team jumper, complete with colours, which would not conflict with any other existing club. A competition would also be held to decide on the emblem and team name.

The jumper competition was won by Canberran Beverly Patricia Elphick (nee Taylor), selected from about 150 entries. The club colours combined the blue and gold official colours of the ACT and the colours of the first rugby league team in the district, Hall (green and white). The famous shade of lime green was selected so as to avoid a clash with South Sydney’s jersey. Don Furner later revealed that it was modelled on the green of a sofa at the Queanbeyan Leagues Club. "In Les McIntyre's office there was a lounge that was that colour and we said why not that colour there, and that's how it all began" Furner remembered. The idea for the club moniker, the Raiders, is also attributed to Don Furner, who had visited the Oakland Raiders NFL team in the United States. The concept was that Canberra would be going on raiding parties on Sydney every second weekend. The Viking emblem was designed by the NSWRL marketing department in the end.

On November 2 1981, the new club held its first training session, with 70 players in all lining up, yet Canberra was still searching for players right up until the last minute, holding an open trial on January 31, 1982 at which 90 players turned out. The Canberra Raiders team had their first trial match February 6, 1982 against Canterbury (losing 16-10) and then their first home trial at Seiffert Oval against Illawarra on February 13 (losing 12-8). An official lunch was held on February 19 to launch the club at - where else but Queanbeyan Leagues Club. It was attended by league chief Kevin Humphries, along with other league luminaries like Frank Hyde and Greg Hartley. A third trial game against Manly in Sydney rounded out the preparations (a 28-16 defeat).

By the time of that first ever official match against South Sydney in 1982, everything possible had been done to lay the foundations of a successful club in the big league. It was the culmination of a dream, but it was also the start of an even bigger dream.
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » January 20, 2019, 11:17 am

Simply more determined to win



The Canberra Raiders' season in 2018 was littered with narrow, last gasp losses. The year started with three of them in a row, with two point losses to the Titans and Knights and then a one point loss to the Warriors. All up in 2018, Canberra suffered five losses by two points or less, and eight by four points or less.

With three rounds remaining, the Raiders had not beaten a top eight team all year - and the season was a write off. But then - seemingly out of nowhere - the Green Machine produced the gritty, determined performance coach Ricky Stuart had been searching for for two years - and this time, the narrow margin was in favour of the Raiders.

The Sydney Roosters came to Canberra in Round 23 in first place on the ladder, right in contention for the minor premiership. They had won nine of their past 10 matches. The Raiders were running 10th, on a four game losing streak, and their chances of making the finals were only "mathematical". The Raiders were missing Jack Wighton, Jarrod Croker and Aidan Sezer - with the Raiders forced to play Elliott Whitehead in the centres. Young forward, Emre Guler, was on debut. The Roosters had not won in Canberra since 2010, a losing streak of five matches, but the Sydney outfit was still a very clear favourite.

The Raiders only try came in the first 10 minutes of the match. After that converted try, their only points came from penalty goals. They kept the Roosters scoreless in the first half, playing tight, controlled football. The Raiders completed every set in the first half, and ended the match with just two incomplete sets. They led 12-0 at half time, and withstood a Roosters comeback in the second stanza.

Sam Williams broke a 12-12 deadlock with 10 minutes remaining, a long range penalty goal giving Canberra a 14-12 lead. When Siliva Havili knocked on, first tackle after the re-start, the Raiders fans were no doubt waiting for the fade in the final stages.. of the sort that had been seen repeatedly in the previous two seasons. But it didn't come. The Roosters scored two tries to one, but the Raiders stood firm for a memorable victory - against the ultimate premiers.



"It was a good win, plenty of heart and probably with players out and the way they rallied and played for each other, played some really good football," coach Ricky Stuart said after the match.

"This team's not far away and I can say it and a couple of people might believe me after that effort. This team isn't far away and sometimes you need a couple of things to go your way in tight competitions like this to actually help."

The victory was even more remarkable, given the already disrupted Raiders team had to deal with the loss of fullback Brad Abbey and Luke Bateman to injury during the match - with Blake Austin taking over at fullback, and Whitehead moving to five eighth.

"We've already got Jack (Wighton) out, Toots (Jarrod Croker) out, Aidan (Sezer) out and you take Luke Bateman and our second fill-in fullback... it's a wonderful effort, playing for the jumper," Stuart said.

The Raiders were simply more determined to win.

Round 23 2018 - Canberra Raiders 14 (Jordan Rapana try; Sam Williams 5 goals) defeated Sydney Roosters 12 (Boyd Cordner, Victor Radley tries; Latrell Mitchell 2 goals) at Canberra Stadium

Canberra Raiders: 1. Brad Abbey 2. Nick Čotrić 3. Elliott Whitehead 4. Joey Leilua 5 Jordan Rapana 6. Blake Austin 7. Sam Williams 8. Dunamis Lui 9. Josh Hodgson (C) 10. Shannon Boyd 11. Joe Tapine 12. Sia Soliola 13. Josh Papalii

14. Emre Guler 15. Luke Bateman 15. Siliva Havili 16. Junior Paulo

Coach Ricky Stuart

Crowd: 10,594
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » January 21, 2019, 9:29 am

Meninga's final home game



1994. The final year of Mal Meninga's playing career. Round 21. The final match for the "Baron of Bruce" at home against the Western Suburbs Magpies.

A glittering formal tribute was staged at the National Convention Centre in the lead up, a sold out event attended by 1500 people in the lead up to the match. "This is your football life" was the theme, with the likes of Les McIntyre, Laurie Daley and Ricky Stuart taking to the stage to share their memories of "Big Mal". Tony Testa, a club official from Brisbane Souths, and Peter Gourley, a team mate from St Helens, were surprise guests.

Ken Begg, a television newsman, underlined how important Meninga had become to the city of Canberra.

"You have helped to bring the community together, to give it a sense of identity. You have bonded us."

Coach Tim Sheens was keen to remind his team of the job at hand. A spot in the top three - and a second bite at the cherry in the finals - was at stake for the fourth placed Raiders.

"We are not doing it for Mai this week," Sheens said in the lead up to the match. "We are doing it for the team. The emotion of the day will come afterwards, not during the game. We want to win the game first and celebrate Mai's last game second.

"Wayne Pearce went out and lost his last home game. The idea is to go out and play the way we have been. Mai doesn't have to score 10 tries. I just want him to do his job. He just has to do what he has been doing, week in and week out. He has been playing strongly and picking up one or two tries as it is. Everyone working as a team. I don't want an individualism or playing up the emotion."

What was then a record Bruce Stadium crowd of 25,253 turned out for the match. The ACT Sports Minister gave free admission to children under 15 in the non-reserved sections - and so many turned up, they were accommodated inside the fence at either end of the field on the grass. Thousands of cardboard Mal Meninga masks were handed out at the ground.

A minute's silence preceded the game in honour of the Raiders first ever captain, David Grant, who had sadly passed away the day before the game.

The Magpies were intent on spoiling the party. Led by forward Stephen Kearney, they used tactics designed to upset the Raiders free flowing football. It was reflected in the 7-2 penalty count in favour of the Raiders in the first half. But the tactics worked. At half time, the Magpies were surprise 18-14 leaders. It took the Raiders own hard nosed forwards, John Lomax and Quentin Pongia - along with a little help from half Ricky Stuart - to wrest back control. And then Canberra's attack took over.

The Raiders ran out 40-22 winners, in the end, with Brad Clyde, Jason Croker and Noa Nadruku scoring doubles. Meninga did not score a try. He came close, in the 28th minute, but he lost the ball and it went into touch. However, he was given a shot at goal, ensuring his name was on the point scoring list.

In an event filled afternoon, Laurie Daley and Ken Nagas made successful returns from injury, while Wests' replacement forward Justin Dooley was put on report for a high shot on Brett Hetherington... and was sent off in the 74th minute for a head high tackle on Brad Clyde.

The planned post match proceedings were disrupted, as the pitch was invaded by thousands, desperate to be closer to their idol. And then came the biggest surprise of the afternoon - when a sign on the western grandstand was revealed: "The Mal Meninga Stand". He was accompanied on his lap of honour by a surging crowd of fans.

"I feel pretty proud of the fact that they came out to see my last game at Bruce and particularly the stand," Meninga said later. "That is a great honour for me. It is something I will treasure forever. It was great. I didn't expect it."

Meninga was disappointed he didn't score a four pointer.

"It was a pity I couldn't cross the try-line. I was trying pretty hard to do that all day. I was real hyped up for the game. I thought my preparation was pretty good. I dropped a couple of balls in the first half which I don't normally do. That is something I can work on."

"My major goal this year is to be a part of a premiership winning side, so we have got a long way to go. That is just one of the stepping stones. Wests, being at home, and my last game in Canberra, I guess it is pretty emotional."

Round 21 1994 - Canberra Raiders 40 (B. Clyde 2, J. Croker 2, N. Nadruku 2, L. Daley, R. Wiki tries; D. Furner 3, M. Meninga goals) defeated Western Suburbs Magpies 22 (B. Costin 2, P. Smith, J. White tries; A. Leeds 3 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. Ken Nagas 15. David Westley 16. Jason Death 17. Laurie Daley

Coach Tim Sheens

Crowd: 25,253
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » January 22, 2019, 12:38 pm

Jarrod Croker record breaker



Round 10 2016. A gloomy Kogarah Oval in a clash with the Dragons. In the 77th minute Raiders captain Jarrod Croker crossed the white stripe - and once the try was converted, Croker had also forced the game into extra time. With that try, Croker had broken David Furner's all time point scoring record for the Raiders of 1218 points. In 2016 he also scored 296 points, the most by any Raiders player in a season. He also became the Raiders third highest try scorer during the 2016 season, overtaking Laurie Daley.

He was at it again in 2017. In the 35th minute of Round 5, Croker dived on the ball after a Josh Hodgson grubber. It was a simple try, but it was a very special one - his 100th career try. He became only one of five players in NRL history - along with Ryan Girdler, Hazem El Masri, Jamie Lyon and Luke Burt - to have scored 100 tries and kicked 500 goals. He passed Brett Mullins' try scoring mark of 105 tries in Round 23 against the Warriors, making him the second highest try scorer in Raiders history.

Croker also played his 200th NRL match against the Parramatta Eels in Round 11 of 2017. He was 26 years and 251 days old when he did it... one of the youngest ever - behind Mitchell Pearce, Craig Wing and Luke Patten.

The script often goes wrong in the Raiders' milestone matches, but not against the Eels. Canberra came back to win. After the team scored what was ultimately the match winning try, coach Ricky Stuart sent a message on the field. It said this: "If we can't do this now for our captain, we're a shallow bunch". But they did do it. They did it for the captain and Croker got the result he deserved.

Then in the 19th minute of the clash with the Roosters in Round 12, Aidan Sezer kicked ahead for Croker, who grounded the ball over the line. In doing so he passed the 1500 points barrier - and became one of just three players to pass the 1500 points, 100 tries milestone - along with Terry Lamb and Hazel El Masri.

Croker overtook David Furner, Dane Tilse, Ricky Stuart and Chris O'Sullivan for most appearances in green during the 2017 season. In 2018, he overtook Alan Tongue, Ruben Wiki and Steve Walters. With 230 appearances to his name, he now sits behind just three players for most games at Canberra - Jason Croker (318), Laurie Daley (244) and Simon Woolford (233). He has the prospect of becoming the second most capped player in Raiders history during the 2019 season.

Croker has now scored 1,768 points, 114 tries and 656 goals. He is seven tries away from overtaking Jason Croker for most tries for Canberra. He is 232 points away from becoming the first player under 30 to score 2000 points. He could possibly do both in 2019. Croker has until September 2020 to break the overall record of youngest player to reach 2000 points, set by Jason Taylor at Parramatta in 2001.
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » January 23, 2019, 9:52 am

The real final home match for Laurie Daley

The Raiders defy the Sydney critics. Sounds familiar? That's what happened in the year 2000, with Canberra's chances of making the top eight dismissed by most experts. Instead, Canberra maintained a place in the top eight for the entire season, and by the end of the season were placed in the top four. It was mostly due to a wonderful record at home, with Canberra not winning away until Round 18 against the Warriors. But wins over the Bulldogs, Storm and Cowboys away helped the Green Machine secure fourth spot on the ladder.

Milestones during the season included David Furner becoming the highest point scoring forward of all time - beating the 40 year old record of Bernie Purcell - Brett Mullins becoming the first Raiders' player to break 100 tries, and Laurie Daley becoming the most capped Raider in club history.

In Week 1 of the finals, Canberra met the fifth placed Penrith Panthers at Bruce on a Friday night, in front of over 18,000. The "final" home game for Laurie Daley, David Furner and Brett Mullins had been celebrated in Round 23. But this was the real final home match for the trio.

The Raiders trailed by 16-6 just before half time, but went on to score 28 points without any reply from the Panthers. Brett Finch was man of the match, and he led the recovery with a try in the 40th minute. The domination in the second half was complete, with tries to Todd Payten, Jason Croker, Andrew McFadden and Jamaal Lolesi. Croker ended with a double in the 34-16 victory. Laurie Daley was given a shot at goal in his very last appearance in Canberra, but he could not get the points.



The match was also marked by two lifting tackles, which would prove fatal to Canberra's finals campaign. Midway through the first half, David Furner and Andrew McFadden were put on report for a tackle on Tony Puletua. Then two minutes later, Jason Croker and Simon Woolford were also put on report for a similar tackle on Puletua. All four contested the ensuing charges, but only Furner was found not guilty. McFadden, Croker and Woolford were suspended. It was too much for the Raiders to overcome in Week 2, losing 38-10 to the Roosters at the Sydney Football Stadium. It knocked the Raiders out of the finals race.

2000 Qualifying Final - Canberra Raiders 34 (Jason Croker 2, B Finch, Jamahl Lolesi, Andrew McFadden, Todd Payten tries, David Furner 5 goals) defeated Penrith Panthers 16 (Ryan Girdler, Matthew Rodwell tries, Ryan Girdler 4 goals) at Canberra Stadium

Canberra Raiders: 1. Ken Nagas 2. Mark McLinden 3. Jamahl Lolesi 4. Brett Mullins 5. Lesley Vainikolo 6. Laurie Daley (C) 7. B Finch 8. Todd Payten 9. Simon Woolford 10. Luke Davico 11. Ruben Wiki 12. David Furner 13. Jason Croker

14. Andrew McFadden 15. Luke Williamson 16. Adam Peters 17. Alan Tongue

Coach Mal Meninga

Crowd: 18,479
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by edwahu » January 23, 2019, 10:12 am

That side was a bit unlucky with the suspensions, although I remember them been fair enough at the time. Plus they had to travel to the Roosters home ground despite the Roosters getting smashed in week 1, these days it would've been our home game.

Worth watching that clip to hear Gus before he became ridiculously bias as well.

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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » January 24, 2019, 11:20 am

Steve Jackson try, 1989 Grand Final



With the Raiders leading by a point in extra time in the 1989 Grand Final, 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 produced some of the most memorable commentary in Canberra Raiders, if not rugby league, 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!"

Jackson joined the Raiders from Mackay in 1987, but played only 16 first grade games. His last game in green was the 1989 decider.

"I was one of eight fresh reserves and only four got a run. I didn’t even get to go to the grand final breakfast because they did not set out enough plates so I stayed at the TraveLodge with the strappers and rubbers," Jackson recalled later.

"When my chance came with three minutes to go in extra time I knew exactly what the situation of the game was. It was first tackle and Mal gave me the ball. I was not even thinking about passing the ball. I just didn’t want to make a mistake. I started running and I did a bit of a pirouette. If I gave Steve Walters the ball he would have scored under the sticks."

"My mindset was that I just go not risk a mistake. I just kept my head down and someone hit me from behind and straightened me up. I remember seeing that try line. It happens so quickly when you watch it but in my mind it happened so slowly. I thought “I am going to score a try in a grand final!’ I slapped it down with my left hand."

Jackson went on to play 38 games for the Wests Magpies and 24 for the Gold Cosst Seagulls - and represented Queensland in nine. But his career never reached a pinnacle that would match scoring one of the greatest ever Grand Final tries.
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » January 25, 2019, 11:14 am

It's a commercial world

When rugby league was born in Australia, commercial factors drove the players to switch from rugby union. Players were supposed to be amateurs in union, and that meant when the players had to miss work due to injury, there was no compensation. It was a worthy goal of the new code - to give them that compensation - but right from the get go, rugby league had to be put on a commercial footing. Rugby league was at the forefront of generating cash from private entrepreneurs in Australian sport.

And right from the time that television advertising became a thing... there have been footy players appearing in them. So today... here's a selection of some classic examples of Canberra Raiders in the world of commercials.













How about some of the Canberra Raiders membership commercials of the past?









And we've left the best to last... how the Canberra Raiders have featured in some classic rugby league promotions. Today we complain that there's "not enough Raiders" in them. But back in the late 1980s and early 1990s they were simply the best.

























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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » January 26, 2019, 11:08 am

2010 Finals run and... a record crowd

2010 started much like 2009 for the Canberra Raiders. Up until Round 18, 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, which ended in finals football. Campese demonstrated in 2008 that he could play at elite standard - and he replicated his 2008 purple patch of form at the back end of 2010. Canberra won nine of the last 10 matches - and lost only to the illegally assembled Melbourne Storm, a team playing for no competition points after massive salary cap cheating was revealed.

There were a number of remarkable victories along the way. The Raiders smashed the Knights 52-18, a match which featured a try from a David Shillington bomb! There were seven tries in the first half, and the Raiders led 40-0 at half time. It was also a smash up against the Cowboys, Alan Tongue's 200th game. It was a 48-4 win in front of a crowd full of red wigs. Reece Robinson scored four tries.



In the final round of the regular season, the Raiders visited Lang Park to face a Broncos outfit that needed to win by 15 points or more - or miss the finals for the first time since 1991. The Raiders needed to win to keep the momentum into the finals. It was semi final football a week early in front of 40,000 at Lang Park. There were Raiders fans everywhere, and were packed solid in the supporters bay in the corner. The Raiders seemed destined for a win when Daniel Vidot scored. But then the Broncos came back in the last 20 minutes, scoring two tries. Still, the Raiders showed desperation and hung on for a sweet 18-16 win.



Week 1 of the finals saw the 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.



Canberra had fallen in love all over again with the Raiders. In Week 2 of the finals, it was a sell out at Canberra Stadium. It was a record crowd - a record which still stands today - of 26,476. Sadly, Jarrod Croker had an opportunity to level the match with three minutes remaining, but his shot from an awkward position on the field missed - and the Tigers won 26-24. Terry Campese was lost to a serious knee injury, midway through the second half. Even if Canberra had been able to progress, to win a Preliminary Final against the Dragons would have been too big a hurdle without the Raiders' talisman.



The Raiders had been knocked out, but it had been one hell of a ride for the team and fans.

2010 Semi Final - Wests Tigers 26 (Gareth Ellis, Chris Heighington, Chris Lawrence, Lote Tuquiri tries, Benji Marshall 5 goals) defeated Canberra Raiders 24 (Bronson Harrison, Joel Monaghan, Trevor Thurling, Alan Tongue tries, Jarrod Croker 4 goals) at Canberra Stadium.

Canberra Raiders: 1. Josh Dugan 2. Reece Robinson 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Joel 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. Alan Tongue (C) 15. Trevor Thurling 16. Dane Tilse 17. Scott Logan

Coach David Furner

Crowd: 26,476
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » January 27, 2019, 8:31 am

John Ferguson’s Grand Final try



One minute and 31 seconds were left on the clock in regular time and the Raiders trailed the Tigers 14-8. Chris OSullivan signalled behind his back for the bomb at dummy half, and he hoisted it high. Laurie Daley batted the ball back to John “Chicka” Ferguson, who stepped and jinked his way to the try line in trademark fashion. He seemingly took the most difficult route, but planted it close to the posts, making it easier for Meninga to convert and send the game into extra time. What a try in what is now recognised as the greatest Grand Final in history.
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From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » January 28, 2019, 4:19 pm

Epic Preliminary Final win over the Rabbitohs

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The 1989 Preliminary Final. The Canberra Raiders versus the South Sydney Rabbitohs. Canberra had lost twice in the regular season to the 1989 minor premiers, the South Sydney Rabbitohs. Souths were were tough and aggressive and had lost only three matches in the regular season. They'd recorded a 12 game winning streak between Round 2 and Round 13. They were the best defensive team in the competition that year.

But the Raiders were the best attacking team in 1989. They had also been missing seven key players due to representative duty, injury and suspension the last time they had met the Rabbitohs. And the Raiders were on a seven game winning streak.

There were some big events in the lead up to the game. The new Raiders Leagues Club at Mawson - housed in the old Ambassador Hotel - was officially opened, with the whole team in attendance. And on game day, it was announced that McFadden, a garage and kit home company, would take over from Woodgers as the club's major sponsor in 1990. It was a deal that was worth $1 million over three years. The club was to be known as the McFadden Canberra Raiders - and it was intended the club's new home at Bruce would be named McFadden Stadium. The club was firmly establishing itself in the national capital.

And the Raiders had gripped the imagination of the Canberra public. In the days when live television coverage of matches was not assured, both the ABC and Capital Television negotiated to broadcast the game live into regional areas. Capital Television had been bombarded by viewers, demanding that the Channel 10 coverage be beamed direct into Canberra. The new club song, "The Green Machine" had been introduced in the 1989 season, and it blared repeatedly from TV and radio stations.

But coach Tim Sheens was keen to protect his players from the intense interest. In the week prior to the final against the Panthers, the players had been bombarded with media requests, not only from Canberra, but Sydney and Brisbane. For the Preliminary Final, Sheens put the team under a media ban after Wednesday's training session - and ensured the opening of the Mawson Club was their only public appearance. The team had their final training session in Canberra on Friday and travelled by coach to Sydney on Saturday - for the clash the following day.

Canberra started on fire, scoring after two minutes, with Steve Walters breaking through the tackle of Wayne Chisholm and then scoring under the posts. Just a few minutes later an error from Souths winger Graham Lyons 10 metres from his own line gave the Raiders an opportunity. Meninga took advantage, with a bust producing a Gary Belcher four pointer. By the sixth minute, the Raiders a 10-0 lead. But the Rabbitohs came back, with the teams level pegging at 12-12 at the break.

A Chris O’Sullivan try after half time was answered by a Mario Fenech try, with only the boot of Mal Meninga keeping the Raiders in front, 18-16. A penalty goal from Meninga pushed the score out a little further in the 63rd minute, but it was an intense struggle. A brilliant try to Gary Belcher eight minutes from fulltime stretched the lead. And finally, a try to Glen Lazarus three minutes from the end locked the victory away.

The unfashionable Raiders forwards outpointed the big Souths pack, bustling their South Sydney opponents, forcing errors. Both Meninga - who took over the goal kicking duties from Matthew Wood - and Belcher produced superb performances. Ricky Stuart had been hampered by hamstring and ankle injuries in the lead up - requiring needles to play in the first two weeks of the finals - but he and Chris O'Sullivan outplayed the Souths halves, Craig Coleman and Phil Blake.

The victory saw the Raiders become the first team from equal fifth position to ever qualify for the Grand Final. The decider against the Balmain Tigers was Canberra's second Grand Final in the space of three years.

Raiders coach Tim Sheens was pleased with the performance, particularly his forwards. But he was keen not to let anyone get ahead of themselves.

"We always expected Souths to come back at us, they were playing for their life just like us and we didn't expect them to throw us the game," Sheens said in the sheds.

"Our forwards certainly stood up today, they played very well. Inside each performance there is room for improvement and we have got to strive for that improvement to beat Balmain."

Man of the match, Glenn Lazarus said there was never any panic in the Raiders' ranks, despite the comebacks from the Rabbitohs.

"I thought we would go on with it when we were ahead 12-4, but to their credit they came back. It wasn't really over until the last six or seven minutes," he said.

"But there was never any drama, we were just taking the game as it came. It will take a lot bigger effort next week. Balmain are a big, powerful pack who have got players like Steve Roach who can stand and unload, he is the one to watch, especially when Paul Sironen is running off him."

As soon as the match was over, prop Brent Todd was focused on not repeating the mistakes in preparation for the 1987 Grand Final.

"It was a good win, but no one is getting too over-excited about it, we all know that the job isn't finished yet," he said.

"In 1987 we all jumped around for joy just because we were in the Grand Final. This time getting there is not good enough. I suppose that bit of experience is the difference. At half-time we knew our entire season was on the line and we didn't want to blow it. We just never panicked, no one blew up when mistakes happened, every one respects one another."

Raiders fever in the national capital was about to reach its zenith in the national capital.

1989 Preliminary Final – Canberra Raiders 32 (Gary Belcher 2, Chris O’Sullivan, Glen Lazarus, Steve Walters tries, Mal Meninga 6 goals) defeated South Sydney Rabbitohs 16 (Wayne Chisholm, Mario Fenech tries, Bronko Djura 2 goals) at the Sydney Football Stadium

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

41. Paul Martin 40. Ivan Henjak 26. Mark Lowry 27. Paul Beath

Coach Tim Sheens

Crowd: 31,469
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From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » January 29, 2019, 2:07 pm

Mal Meninga’s Grand Final try

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The 1994 Grand Final was Mal Meninga’s final game on Australian soil, and he scored one of the most famous tries in Canberra Raiders’ history. The great man intercepted a Jason Smith pass, and charged to the try line, scoring under the posts. He turned and pumped his fist in the air, a moment now immortalised in bronze at Canberra Stadium.

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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » January 30, 2019, 1:45 pm

1989 finals run

The Raiders have produced some memorable late runs to the finals over the past decade or so - 2008, 2010 and 2016. The Raiders also made an incredible late run to qualify for the 1987 decider. But the most amazing finals run came in 1989, culminating in the greatest ever Grand Final - and the first premiership for the Canberra Raiders. The joy amongst the team and in the national capital has not been equalled before or since.



Canberra required a winning streak of nine matches to take the crown. It started in Round 18, with the Raiders running in seventh place on the ladder. In that season, Canberra needed to finish in the top five to make the finals. Canberra defeated the Roosters 14-10 at Seiffert, before recording a big 42-18 win over the Gold Coast Giants at Tweed Heads. They survived another must win match at the WACA in Perth against the Bulldogs - and then disposed of the Illawarra Steelers in the Raiders' very final match played at a muddy Seiffert Oval. A big win over the Dragons at Kogarah in the final round ensured that Canberra finished fourth - on points differential.

In the finals, the Green Machine swept aside the Sharks, Panthers and then the minor premiers, the Rabbitohs, before facing the Tigers in the greatest Grand Final of all time.





The Raiders went on to win their opening two official clashes of 1990, establishing the club's record of 11 wins in a row. That streak was matched over the 1994-95 seasons, but it has never been bettered.

Nine in a row

Round 18 - Canberra Raiders 14 defeated Eastern Suburbs Roosters 10 at Seiffert Oval
Round 19 - Canberra Raiders 42 defeated Gold Coast Giants 18 at Seagulls
Round 20 - Canberra Raiders 18 defeated Canterbury Bulldogs 14 at the WACA
Round 21 - Canberra Raiders 16 defeated Illawarra Steelers 6 at Seiffert Oval
Round 22 - Canberra Raiders 30 defeated St George Dragons 16 at Kogarah Oval
Minor Preliminary Final - Canberra Raiders 31 defeated Cronulla Sharks 10 at the SFS
Minor Semi Final - Canberra Raiders 27 defeated Penrith Panthers 18 at the SFS
Preliminary Final - Canberra Raiders 32 defeated South Sydney Rabbitohs 16 at the SFS
Grand Final - Canberra Raiders 19 defeated Balmain Tigers 14 at the SFS
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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: From the Viking Vault

Post by greeneyed » January 31, 2019, 7:21 am

A fourth Grand Final

The Canberra Raiders were hit by a salary cap storm in 1991 and faced major disruptions caused by injury and representative football. So it was remarkable that Canberra was able to progress to a third Grand Final in a row, even though it was not be be back to back to back premierships.

One of the highlights was a 20-0 defeat of the eventual premiers, the Penrith Panthers at home in Round 11. The Raiders fielded a team of young players, with the ranks severely thinned by representative duties. Graham "Buck" Rogers coached during the week, while Tim Sheens was with the Blues in State of Origin camp. Jason Gregory, Steve Stone, Alex Corvo and Brett Boyd made their first grade debuts. Inexperienced players like Michael Twigg and Jason Croker also featured. These Raiders were truly green. The Panthers too were denied their representative players, but featured an experienced line up and Penrith were expected to account easily for Canberra.

Canberra's cause was helped by the dismissal of the Panthers' hooker Darren Tuite for an elbow, 15 minutes into the match. But the performance of the young players had the Raiders crowd giving standing ovations. Steve Stone made 25 tackles and 18 hit ups, Alex Corvo made 36 punishing tackles and Jason Gregory was heavily involved. The 18 year old Brett Boyd made 41 tackles and was constantly dangerous with dummy half runs. Sheens wanted to take no credit after the match: "Talk to Buck. This belongs to him and the players. He prepared the Canberra team today."

Then in Round 20, the sixth placed Raiders sounded a warning against the third placed Western Suburbs Magpies. It was Canberra's most comprehensive performance of the season, a 36-8 win at home - described by coach Tim Sheens as one of the best he's been involved with. Brad Clyde had the perfect game, awarded a rare 10 rating by Rugby League Week. He often handled three or four times in a set, hitting the line and throwing beautiful, sometimes magical, offloads. And then he backed up and tackled. Meninga, Daley, Walters and Stuart were not far behind. The Magpies were in the match at half time, but buckled under the pressure of the Raiders' attack in the second half.

There were plenty of highlights. A Meninga try scored from one of those magical Brad Clyde passes. A chip and chase from Ricky Stuart for a try. A tackle from Laurie Daley on Graeme Wynn to save a try. A 30 metre run from Darren Fritz to set up a Jason Croker try. For the first time in 1991, Canberra had climbed to the edge of the top five - a share of equal fifth place.

The crowning achievement of the 1991 season came in the Preliminary Final. The Raiders had to win the last four matches of the regular season to just make the top five. They went onto defeat the Magpies and Sea Eagles in the first two weeks of the finals.

In the final Grand Final qualifier, the North Sydney Bears went to a 12-0 lead after just 17 minutes. The hapless Bears were hoping for their first Grand Final appearance since 1943. Surely they could not be denied. But they were. Minutes later, Ricky Stuart threw a 30 metre pass to Brad Clyde who tore away for a four pointer. Then the Raiders launched a 75 metre attacking move, which put Paul Martin over the line. And shortly after, when Martin scored the second of his three tries, Canberra had turned a 12-0 deficit to a 16-12 lead, in less than 15 minutes.

Daley, Meninga, Clyde and Stuart had been instrumental. Daley left the field early in the second half with a hamstring injury, but Canberra powered on, scoring three more tries. Ricky Stuart played in spite of an ongoing groin injury and suffering acute tonsillitis 24 hours before the game. The team was becoming a little frayed, due to injury. But this match ended in an emphatic 30-14 victory for Canberra. It meant there would be another meeting with the Penrith Panthers on Grand Final Day.

Prime Minister Bob Hawke, the Raiders No. 1 supporter, was in the stands. "[They're] one of the most talented sporting sides in any football code in Australia. It makes me feel very happy to say I'm their lucky charm, but it's not my lucky charm - it's just a tremendously talented team," he said.

Canberra had qualified for their third Grand Final in a row and their fourth Grand Final in five years. While a third successive premiership was not to be, Canberra was well on its way to becoming the team of the 90's.



1991 Preliminary Final - Canberra Raiders 30 (Paul Martin 3, Mal Meninga, Matthew Wood, Brad Clyde tries, Mal Meninga 2, Matthew Wood goals) defeated North Sydney Bears 14 (Paul Conlon, John McArthur tries, Daryl Halligan 3 goals) at the Sydney Football Stadium.

Canberra Raiders: 1. Gary Belcher 2. Paul Martin 3. Mal Meninga 4. Mark Bell 5. Matthew Wood 6. Laurie Daley 7. Ricky Stuart 8. Brent Todd 9. Steve Walters 10. Glenn Lazarus 11. David Barnhill 12. Gary Coyne 13. Brad Clyde

14. Darren Fritz 15. Brett Boyd 16. Michael Twigg 17. Scott Gale

Coach Tim Sheens

Crowd: 39,665

1991 Grand Final - Penrith Panthers 19 (Royce Simmons 2, Brad Izzard tries, Greg Alexander 3 goals) defeated Canberra Raiders 12 (Matthew Wood 2 tries, Mal Meninga 1 goal) at the Sydney Football Stadium.

Canberra Raiders: 1. Gary Belcher 2. Paul Martin 3. Mal Meninga 4. Mark Bell 5. Matthew Wood 6. Laurie Daley 7. Ricky Stuart 8. Brent Todd 9. Steve Walters 10. Glenn Lazarus 11. David Barnhill 12. Gary Coyne 13. Brad Clyde

40. Darren Fritz 19. Michael Twigg 16. Scott Gale

Coach Tim Sheens

Crowd: 41,815
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