Top Canberra Raiders stories of the decade: What you clicked on The Greenhouse in the 2010s

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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Top Canberra Raiders stories of the decade: What you clicked on The Greenhouse in the 2010s

Post by greeneyed »

Top Canberra Raiders stories of the decade: What you clicked on The Greenhouse in the 2010s

As the 2010s reach their conclusion, we'll be revisiting the biggest Canberra Raiders stories of the decade... as determined by what you clicked on The Greenhouse. We've been revealing the top ten Canberra Raiders stories on the site since 2012... but we have now gone back to find out what you clicked right from the start of the 2010s.

These were the biggest stories of 2010!

Top ten stories on The Greenhouse: What you clicked in 2010

2010. A season which finished with the Canberra Raiders making an extraordinary late season charge into the NRL finals. 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.

Ultimately, the Raiders were knocked out in Week 2 of the finals, a narrow two point loss in front of a sell out crowd at Canberra Stadium 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.



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.



The best performance of 2010 came in the Round 24 clash with the Dragons - the eventual Grand Final winners. Canberra had beaten St George Illawarra earlier in the season, but the Dragons were placed first. The Raiders were still outside the top eight.



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

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

It was an inspirational 32-16 win over the premiership favourites. The Raiders had posted 11 wins in their past 12 matches against the Dragons, leaving St George Illawarra without a win at Canberra Stadium since 2000. It is no wonder many Raiders fans were left asking themselves about the 2010 season: "What if?"

Away from the field, signings were, as always, big news. News broke in April that Josh Dugan had reportedly been approached by the Sydney Roosters - but after testing his worth on the open market, the young fullback signed a one year extension, keeping him at the club to the end of 2012. With the retirement of Scott Logan, the Raiders signed Melbourne Storm prop Brett White to a three year deal. And following Terry Campese's ACL injury, the Raiders started negotiations to bring premiership winner Matt Orford back from the English Super League.

And the year ended sadly for Joel Monaghan, after a compromising photograph was released by the mainstream news media. At his request, he was released from his contract, and headed to the English Super League.

TOP TEN CANBERRA RAIDERS STORIES ON THE GREENHOUSE IN 2010, BASED ON WHAT YOU CLICKED

Top ten stories based on daily site traffic:

1. Finals fever hits Canberra as tickets go on sale for Finals Week 2 home clash with Wests Tigers (September 13-17)
2. Todd Carney returns to Canberra Stadium in red, white and blue... and Sydney Roosters take 10 point Round 17 victory (March 12)
3. Canberra Raiders defeat Panthers in Finals Week 1 at Penrith (September 11-12)
4. Joel Monaghan photo scandal breaks (November 4)
5. Canberra Raiders knock Brisbane Broncos out of finals contention, with two point Round 26 victory at Lang Park (September 3-5)
6. Canberra Raiders end eight game drought on the road with Round 5 win over the Eels at Parramatta (April 12)
7. Canberra Raiders give up 22-4 half time lead at Canberra Stadium, losing to Wests Tigers 35-22 in Round 4 (April 4)
8. Mark Webber watches on as Canberra Raiders win at home against Brisbane Broncos in Round 2 (March 27)
9. Canberra Raiders start charge to the finals, with Round 22 victory at home over Penrith Panthers (August 9)
10. Melbourne Storm defeat Raiders at Canberra Stadium in Round 10 (May 15)

Top ten individual threads based on views:

1. Canberra Raiders aiming to recruit Matt Orford
2. Josh Dugan re-signs with Raiders to end 2012, after being linked to Sydney Roosters
3. Joel Monaghan departs Raiders, after photo scandal
4. Canberra Raiders sign Brett White on three year deal
5. 2010 Rd 6 V Roosters: Game Day
6. 2010 Finals Wk 2 V Tigers: Teams and Previews
7. 2010 Trial 2 V Broncos: Game Day
8. 2010 Finals Wk 1 V Panthers: Game Day
9. 2010 Finals Wk 1 V Panthers: Teams and Previews
10. 2010 Rd 3 V Titans: Game Day

Top ten individual threads based on replies:

1. Josh Dugan re-signs with Raiders to end 2012, after being linked to Sydney Roosters
2. Joel Monaghan departs Raiders, after photo scandal
3. Canberra Raiders aiming to recruit Matt Orford
4. Canberra Raiders sign Brett White on three year deal
5. 2010 Trial 2 V Broncos: Game Day
6. 2010 Rd 3 V Titans: Game Day
7. 2010 Rd 6 V Roosters: Game Day
8. 2010 Trial 3 V Bulldogs: Game Day
9. 2010 Finals Wk 2 V Tigers: Game Day
10. 2010 Finals Wk 1 V Panthers: Game Day

* Individual threads from the Canberra Raiders forum, excluding permanently stickied and recurring threads.
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Don Furner
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Re: Top ten Canberra Raiders stories of 2019: What you clicked on The Greenhouse

Post by greeneyed »

Also for the first time, we reveal what you clicked in 2011...

Top ten stories on The Greenhouse: What you clicked in 2011

The Raiders' 2010 bubble burst, hard, in 2011. Terry Campese ended up missing the entire season, save for one interchange appearance against the North Queensland Cowboys in Round 13. The ACL injury Campese suffered in the 2010 finals loss to the Wests Tigers kept him sidelined for the first half of the 2011 season. Then just eight minutes into his return, he suffered a season ending injury, a torn adductor muscle requiring surgery.

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

Canberra produced a stylish win in Round 1 over the Sharks at home - with Sam Williams making an immediate impact on debut in a 40-12 victory. The Raiders then went on a record equalling losing streak, eight losses in a row. The only other time that had happened was in 1986. The season finished with six losses in a row, as well, including the farewell matches for Alan Tongue. There were just six wins during the season, and Canberra just barely avoided the wooden spoon - points differential separating the Raiders from the Titans.

As awful as the season was, there were some high points. The Raiders went to Melbourne to face the Storm in Round 10 - having not won in the Victorian capital since 2000. Winger Reece Robinson scored after four minutes and that was followed by a Josh McCrone try shortly after. As always, the Storm fought back, with tries before and after half time allowing them to draw level 12-12. But a Jarrod Croker penalty goal gave the Raiders a two point advantage, and seven minutes from full time, an amazing try to Blake Ferguson secured an upset 20-12 win. It ended that record losing streak.



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

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



Given the results, it was no surprise that David Furner's coaching record was a focus for discussion amongst the fans... and at season's end the club decided to hold an independent "high performance review". As a result, Justin Morgan was appointed as assistant coach, Andrew Dunemann took over the role of National Youth Competition coach, and David Hamilton was to focus solely on recruitment and development. A physiotherapist was to be based at Raiders HQ for one day a week.

TOP TEN CANBERRA RAIDERS STORIES ON THE GREENHOUSE IN 2011, BASED ON WHAT YOU CLICKED

Top ten stories based on daily site traffic:

1. Canberra Raiders held scoreless in 20-0 Round 9 loss at Brookvale, recording an eight game losing streak (May 9)
2. Raiders continue losing streak, with Wests Tigers taking a 49-12 win over Canberra in Round 8 (May 1)
3. Canberra Raiders lose four in a row, defeated by the Panthers in Round 5 at Penrith (April 9)
4. Losing streak continues, as North Queensland Cowboys defeat Canberra Raiders in Round 6 at Townsville (April 16)
5. Canberra Raiders break losing streak, with shock win over the Storm in Melbourne (May 14)
6. Canberra Raiders find a way to lose to the Gold Coast Titans in golden point at home, after crucial knock on from Matt Orford (April 2)
7. Canberra Raiders fall to Wests Tigers at Campbelltown in Round 3 (March 26)
8. Canberra Raiders get first back to back victory of the season, with Round 11 win over Canterbury Bulldogs (May 20)
9. Do you believe in hoodoos? Do you believe in miracles? Canberra Raiders get sixth and last win of the year, defeating Dragons in Round 20 (July 25)
10. Canberra Raiders win in Round 17 over Sydney Roosters at Sydney Football Stadium (July 4)

Top ten individual threads based on views:

1. Matt Orford
2. David Furner's coaching record
3. Canberra Raiders review announced
4. 2011 Rd 24 V Titans: Game Day
5. Daniel Vidot signs three year deal with Dragons
6. 2011 Rd 6 V Cowboys: Teams and Previews
7. 2011 Rd 1 V Sharks: Teams and Previews
8. Canberra Raiders rule out Todd Carney for 2012
9. 2011 Rd 13 V Cowboys: Teams and Previews
10. 2011 Rd 13 V Cowboys: Teams and Previews

Top ten individual threads based on replies:

1. 2011 Rd 10 V Storm: Game Day
2. David Furner's coaching record
3. Canberra Raiders review announced
4. 2011 Rd 6 V Cowboys: Game Day
5. 2011 Rd 3 V Tigers: Game Day
6. 2011 Rd 9 V Sea Eagles: Game Day
7. 2011 Rd 24 V Titans: Game Day
8. 2011 Rd 5 V Panthers: Game Day
9. Matt Orford
10. 2011 Rd 13 V Cowboys: Game Day

* Individual threads from the Canberra Raiders forum, excluding permanently stickied and recurring threads.
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Don Furner
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Re: Top ten Canberra Raiders stories of 2019: What you clicked on The Greenhouse

Post by greeneyed »

Top ten stories on The Greenhouse: What you clicked in 2012

2012: It was repeatedly referred to as a "rollercoaster". It had some massive lows, and some fantasic highs. So what were they, based on the stories you clicked on The Greenhouse in 2012?

The lows saw some of the worst performances in Canberra Raiders history, and there were none worse than the 40-0 loss to the Wests Tigers at Canberra Stadium. It was only the second time the Raiders had been held to nil at home, and it was the second time in two years. It was followed by intense speculation about the future of coach David Furner, who had set a number of unwanted records over the 2011-12 seasons. After reports of a press conference to announce Furner was resigning, he held a press conference to announce instead the team was heading into a secret camp somewhere near the Central Coast. It was a desperate bid to turn around the fortunes of the team, as they prepared for a clash with the Newcastle Knights. It worked, and the Raiders won. It would prove to be the turning point of the season. The other biggest loss? Terry Campese suffered a second serious knee injury in two years, lost for the season, as Canberra succumbed to the Broncos at Lang Park.



The highest point of the season was the Raiders qualifying sixth with a final round win over the Warriors in Auckland – and qualifying for a home final in week one of the play offs. Canberra Stadium was sold out, and the Raiders played some sparkling football on a brilliant Sunday afternoon in the national capital. It was surely one of the most memorable matches ever played at the Stadium. The match against the Rabbitohs in week two of the finals would prove to be one step too far for Canberra, but the atmosphere at the ground for the huge turnout of Raiders fans was electric. There were also some other great wins along the way – most notably against the two Grand Finalists, the Storm and the Bulldogs.

The future of coach Furner was the most discussed on-going story of the season. Performances on the field led to the intense speculation the coach would stand down after the loss to the Tigers. That was then followed by persistent reports linking former halfback, Ricky Stuart, to the Raiders’ coaching position. The reports continued until the Eels sacked their own mentor, and appointed Stuart as Parramatta head coach. A finals finish for the season saw coach Furner secure in his job – and with new assistants installed for 2013, in Andrew Dunemann and Brett Kimmorley. Other stories about signings had happy endings – Josh Dugan signing up for a two year deal and Huawei signing on as major sponsor – and others not – with the Raiders pursuit of Manly hooker Matt Ballin proving to be unsuccessful. The re-signing of Sandor Earl – the surprise packet mid season addition to the club – just missed out on a top ten finish as one of the most clicked stories.

TOP TEN STORIES ON THE GREENHOUSE IN 2012, BASED ON WHAT YOU CLICKED

Top ten stories based on daily site traffic:
1. Canberra Raiders lose 40-0 to Wests Tigers at home (2 June, 2012)
2. Sold out Canberra Stadium and Raiders beat Sharks in final (9 September, 2012)
3. Pressure on coach Furner intensifies as reports emerge he's about to resign (3 June, 2012)
4. Raiders humbled by Rabbitohs on Friday Night Football (25 May, 2012)
5. Raiders in secret camp as speculation on Furner’s future continues (4 June, 2012)
6. Raiders finals fever continues, and prepare to meet Rabbitohs (10 September, 2012)
7. Raiders lose to Broncos and lose Campese for the season (13 April, 2012)
8. Raiders lose to Cowboys on the road (23 June, 2012)
9. Raiders big win over Wests Tigers in Monday Night Football (26 March, 2012)
10. Raiders qualify for finals in sixth (2 September, 2012)

Top ten individual threads based on views:
1. Ricky Stuart linked to the Canberra Raiders
2. Josh Dugan re-signs with Raiders on two year deal
3. Canberra Raiders deny David Furner will stand down
4. Canberra Raiders sign new major sponsor
5. 2012 Finals Week 2 V Rabbitohs – Teams and Previews
6. Matt Ballin linked to the Canberra Raiders
7. 2012 Trial 1 – Canberra Raiders V Melbourne Storm
8. 2012 Finals Week 1 V Sharks – Teams and Previews
9. 2012 Trial 2 – Canberra Raiders V Canterbury Bulldogs
10. Canberra Raiders qualify sixth for finals – 2012 Rd 26 V Warriors – Game Day and Post Match

Top ten individual threads based on replies:
1. Ricky Stuart linked to the Canberra Raiders
2. Canberra Raiders deny David Furner will stand down
3. Canberra Raiders qualify sixth for finals – 2012 Rd 26 V Warriors – Game Day and Post Match
4. 2012 Finals Week 1 V Sharks – Game Day and Post Match
5. 2012 Rd 4 V Wests Tigers – Game Day and Post Match
6. 2012 Rd 13 V Wests Tigers – Game Day and Post Match
7. 2012 Rd 12 V Rabbitohs – Game Day and Post Match
8. 2012 Rd 2 V Titans – Game Day and Post Match
9. 2012 Finals Week 2 V Rabbitohs – Game Day and Post Match
10. 2012 Rd 3 V Roosters – Game Day and Post Match

* Individual threads from the Canberra Raiders forum, excluding permanently stickied and recurring threads.
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Don Furner
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Top ten Canberra Raiders stories of 2019: What you clicked on The Greenhouse

Post by greeneyed »

Top ten stories on The Greenhouse: What you clicked in 2013

2013: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... no, it was pretty much just the worst of times. 2013 was a tough year to be a Canberra Raiders supporter. Two high profile players sacked, players wanting out, a coach sacked, the Raiders' worst ever loss and a shocking losing streak to end the season. They all generated huge discussion, and some of the stories of 2013 were the biggest ever in the history of The Greenhouse. So what were the big stories, based on what you clicked on The Greenhouse in 2013?

Anthony Milford

The Anthony Milford saga was the biggest story of 2013. First he wanted to stay in Canberra long term, but then shortly after he was homesick and wanted an early release so he could return to family in Brisbane... and sign with the Brisbane Broncos. Along the way, Milford's manager Sam Ayoub said the Raiders were bullying Milford and that Milford was prepared to sit out 2014 rather than play with Canberra. It was not all settled until Milford returned from the World Cup, when it was announced he would see out his contract with Canberra and join the Broncos in 2015. Even then, however, Milford made public comments suggesting he still didn't want to play for the Raiders in 2014. Only when he made a flying one day visit to Canberra for training was it confirmed he would be in green for one more year.

Dugan and Ferguson

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The Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson sagas rivaled the Milford saga. After the Raiders' Round 1 defeat and a blow up between Dugan and coach David Furner, the Raiders fullback and Blake Ferguson decided to climb on the roof, drink cruisers and threaten on social media not to turn up again for Raiders training. Dugan followed through and the Raiders, in the end, had no choice but to sack him. The NRL allowed him to very quickly sign up with another club, the Dragons.


Image

Ferguson did come back to Canberra Raiders training and, earned a second chance. He seemed to redeem himself, fighting back to win State of Origin selection for the Blues. But the night before he went into Origin II camp, he met up with Josh Dugan for a drinking session - and it ended with Ferguson being charged with indecent assault after an incident involving a woman in a Cronulla bar. Ferguson was suspended by the NRL. He eventually made a short lived comeback for Canberra before he went off the rails entirely. Relation Anthony Mundine took over his management, and Ferguson went missing, forcing the Raiders to terminate his contract. Bizarre boxing matches and press conferences ensued before Ferguson was found guilty of the charge of indecent assault. He's awaiting sentence, with the prospect of an appeal in sight.

Worst day in Australian sport

The year started in a blaze of controversy, with the AFL and NRL implicated in ASADA's Drugs in Sport report. The investigation dragged on for most of 2013, and it is still not finished. Canberra was one of the clubs mentioned in the ASADA report, but it took some time to emerge that the Raiders' supplements regime was not under any question. It was just one player, winger Sandor Earl, who was involved - and only while he was playing at the Penrith Panthers. Earl, who had already announced he was leaving the Raiders for French rugby union, was issued with an infraction notice carrying a four year suspension late in the season.

Papalii backflips

Anthony Milford was not the only Raiders player who was linked to other clubs during the season. Josh Papalii actually signed with the Parramatta Eels, but then backflipped and decided to remain with Canberra. It was one of the few feel good stories of the year for the Green Machine. Other players, however, did move on, notably Joel Thompson and Sam Williams, who both decided to join Josh Dugan at the Dragons.

On the field

While all that was happening off the field, the performances on field left something to be desired. There were a few good wins - one over the eventual premier club, the Roosters, one over the Storm in Melbourne, and some hoodoo wins over the Dragons. But the wheels fell off towards the end of the season. The Raiders suffered their biggest ever loss to the Storm and went on a six game losing streak to end 2013 - despite being in a position to make a charge at the finals, they finished in 13th.


The Raiders Round 5 win over the Roosters was one of the best wins of the season.


The Raiders get the win over the Storm in Melbourne in Round 8.


The Raiders were aiming for a thirteenth straight win at Canberra Stadium in Round 21 against the Storm, but suffered a record 68-4 loss instead.

David Furner sacked

It was all capped by the sacking of coach David Furner, who had struggled to achieve consistent performances with Canberra over his five year term. It was the first time that a Raiders coach had been sacked mid contract. The sacking happened amidst reports of player unrest about how discipline issues had been handled by Furner and how promised changes from an end of season "High Performance Review" had not been fully implemented. It left assistant Andrew Dunemann in charge for the last few games of the season.

Ricky Stuart re-joins the Green Machine

The final big story of the year was the appointment of former legendary Raiders halfback, Ricky Stuart, as coach of Canberra on a three year deal. Dunemann heard he had missed out on the head coach job from the media on the night of the Meninga Medal presentation and that Stuart had won the role. Stuart took advantage of a clause in his contract with the unstable, wooden spooner, Parramatta Eels, which allowed him to give notice at any time. He left after just one season with the Eels, finding the opportunity to coach his hometown team, and return to family, too good to pass up. Dunemann and the club parted ways quickly, and Stuart brought his two Parramatta assistants, Dean Pay and Matt Parish, with him to Canberra.

TOP TEN STORIES ON THE GREENHOUSE IN 2013, BASED ON WHAT YOU CLICKED

Top ten stories based on daily site traffic:

1. Coach David Furner sacked by Canberra Raiders (August 20)
2. Josh Dugan stood down by Canberra Raiders as a result of Cruisergate (March 13)
3. Blake Ferguson charged with indecent assault after Cronulla nightclub incident (June 17)
4. Canberra Raiders defeated by Bulldogs, while Anthony Milford threatens to sit out 2014 if not released (August 17)
5. Canberra Raiders amazing win over Sydney Roosters at home (April 7)
6. Canberra Raiders defeated by Storm, record ever loss (August 4)
7. Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson climb on the roof and Cruisergate starts (March 11)
8. Cruisergate continues (March 12)
9. Canberra Raiders defeated by Sea Eagles, while Blake Ferguson goes missing (August 25)
10. Canberra Raiders sign Ricky Stuart as coach, while Anthony Milford wins Meninga Medal (September 12)

Top ten individual threads based on views:

1. Anthony Milford signs with Brisbane Broncos from 2015
2. Josh Dugan sacked by the Canberra Raiders
3. Blake Ferguson sacked by the Canberra Raiders
4. Ricky Stuart signs three year deal to coach Canberra Raiders
5. Canberra Raiders re-sign Josh Papalii on three year deal
6. Blake Ferguson involved in incident in Sydney nightclub
7. Sandor Earl suspended for illegal drug use
8. Canberra Raiders named in ASADA Drugs in Sport report
9. Coach David Furner sacked by Canberra Raiders
10. Sam Williams signs with Dragons

Top ten individual threads based on replies:

1. Anthony Milford signs with Brisbane Broncos from 2015
2. Josh Dugan sacked by the Canberra Raiders
3. Blake Ferguson sacked by the Canberra Raiders
4. Ricky Stuart signs three year deal to coach Canberra Raiders
5. Blake Ferguson involved in incident in Sydney nightclub
6. Canberra Raiders re-sign Josh Papalii on three year deal
7. Canberra Raiders Round 5 victory over Sydney Roosters
8. Newcastle Knights defeat Raiders in Round 4
9. Sandor Earl suspended for illegal drug use
10. Canberra Raiders worst ever loss... Melbourne Storm Round 21 defeat

* Individual threads from the Canberra Raiders forum, excluding permanently stickied and recurring threads.
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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Top ten Canberra Raiders stories of 2019: What you clicked on The Greenhouse

Post by greeneyed »

Top ten stories on The Greenhouse: What you clicked in 2014

2014: The fans hoped it would be a new start, but 2014 ended as the first time in forever that the Canberra Raiders had missed the finals two years in a row - well, since 1986 anyway.

Ricky Stuart joined the Green Machine once again, this time as head coach, taking advantage of a clause in his contract with the Eels that allowed him to walk out at any time. He brought his assistants Dean Pay and Matt Parish with him.

But as the season wore on, it became clear that it would take years to re-build the Canberra Raiders. 2013 had been full of turmoil, with coach David Furner sacked, and two high profile, Origin quality, players walking out. There's clearly a lot of work to do to make the Raiders a competitive force again.

So it is not surprising that the biggest stories of the year on The Greenhouse related to player movements.

The biggest flurries happened around the potential signings of Wests Tigers fullback James Tedesco, Penrith Panthers winger Josh Mansour, and Melbourne Storm forward Kevin Proctor - all mooted at around the same time.

Tedesco and Mansour made a high profile flying visit to Canberra with their manager, Sam Ayoub, and on May 27, the Raiders signed Tedesco on a three year deal - reportedly worth $1.9 million - to fill the vacant No. 1 jersey. And it had almost been a case of two signing coups in one day. But Kevin Proctor advised the Raiders just hours after the Tedesco signing that he was back flipping on a handshake deal he'd made with coach Ricky Stuart in Melbourne - and was staying with the Storm.

Then just a week later, Tedesco did his own back flip, turning his back on the Green Machine, to remain with the Tigers - for reportedly $150,000 a season less than his deal with Canberra. Ironically, Tedesco would go on to sustain another season ending knee injury, in the first minute of Canberra's clash with the Wests Tigers - and some have suggested Canberra had dodged a bullet.

But with Josh Mansour also declining the Raiders' offer, and deals not coming off with the likes of Glenn Stewart and Michael Ennis, Ricky Stuart's recruitment campaign looked more than a little frayed.

The biggest story of the year in 2013 was the Anthony Milford saga. He signed for the Broncos in 2013, hoping for an early release from the final year of his contract with the Raiders. However, Canberra stood firm, and insisted he play in green in 2014. Unfortunately, the saga dragged onto into the 2014 season, with the Raiders hoping he would back flip on his Broncos deal before the 30 June deadline - and offering big money to keep him long term. The Broncos dispatched Darren Lockyer to Canberra to convince Milford to go north, such was the concern Milford would remain in the national capital. But the "will he, won't he" speculation finally came to an end on May 12, when he confirmed he would be moving to Queensland as planned - reportedly backed by some large "third party" arrangements.

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Blake Austin in green. Source: Instagram.

While there were disappointments on the recruitment front, Raiders fans were excited by the prospect of signing Wests Tigers five eighth Blake Austin. This too was a long running saga - but the Wests Tigers finally agreed in October to Austin's early release, after he told new Tigers coach Jason Taylor that he did not wish to remain. The signing was a critical one for Canberra, with the club deciding to drop captain Terry Campese to NSW Cup side Mounties in the final rounds of 2014 - and making it clear he was not required in 2015.

After Campese did not return for pre season training for 2015, given extra "leave" by the club, it was finally confirmed on December 5 that he would be released to Hull KR in the English Super League. It was a sad end to Campese's career with Raiders, his body simply no longer up to the rigours of the NRL after two major knee reconstructions. Campese was largely responsible for some magnificent runs into the finals in 2008 and 2010, and at his peak form, he was amazing to watch. He was passionate about the Green Machine, it was his dream as a boy to captain the club, and every Raiders fan no doubt wishes him well in the next phase of his career in the UK.

Despite the wide criticism of Ricky Stuart's recruitment drive, it has ended solidly. Austin's signature has been supplemented by the signings of Storm winger Sisa Waqa, English hooker Josh Hodgson, forwards Sia Soliola and Frank Paul Nuuausala, and former Raiders half Sam Williams. It's a start at the re-build, at the very least - and season 2015 will also need the likes of Jarrod Croker, Josh Papalii, Paul Vaughan, Jack Wighton and Mitch Cornish to continue to grow into senior roles.


Round 8 loss to the Sea Eagles.


Round 21 loss to the Warriors.

On the field, it was fairly forgettable, the readers of The Greenhouse tuning into some big losses to the Warriors - one when the Raiders ironically wore their popular, new "Incredible Hulk" jersey - and the Sea Eagles. The big victory over the North Queensland Cowboys at home - with the Raiders playing in their one off gold jerseys - proved a winner. The inaugural Auckland Nines also proved popular, despite the Raiders choosing to send a weak squad. Strangely, good wins over the Rabbitohs and the Storm didn't feature in the top ten list. With poor performance on the field, some fans quickly pointed to the coach's record, but many others recognised he needs to be given time to rebuild.


2014 Auckland Nines.


Round 11 victory over North Queensland Cowboys.

So what will happen in 2015? Promisingly, 2014 ended with some confidence building wins under new captain Jarrod Croker. One notable change for next year is the return of assistant Mick Crawley to the club, following the departure of Matt Parish. Renowned for his attacking games plans, can he help make the difference? It's hard to foretell, but the fans are no doubt hoping the Raiders can at least be around the edge of the top eight. Dare we dream for that elusive premiership, 20 years since the last?

TOP TEN STORIES ON THE GREENHOUSE IN 2014, BASED ON WHAT YOU CLICKED

Top ten stories based on daily site traffic:

1. Canberra Raiders sign James Tedesco, Kevin Proctor backflips, linked to Mansour (May 26-27)
2. James Tedesco backflips on deal with Raiders (June 4-5)
3. Canberra Raiders smashed by New Zealand Warriors at Eden Park (May 10)
4. Canberra Raiders smashed again by New Zealand Warriors on "Incredible Hulk" day (August 3)
5. Sydney Roosters maintain hoodoo over Raiders at Sydney Football Stadium (May 31)
6. Canberra Raiders' huge win over North Queensland Cowboys, it's "gold"! (May 25)
7. Anthony Milford confirms he'll go to Brisbane Broncos in 2015, once and for all (May 12)
8. Canberra Raiders get walloped by Manly Sea Eagles (April 27)
9. Canberra Raiders edged out by Penrith Panthers at Canberra Stadium (May 18)
10. Canberra Raiders fail to fire against Brisbane Broncos (June 9)

Top ten individual threads based on views:

1. Blake Austin signs three year deal with Raiders
2. Anthony Milford will leave Raiders at end 2014
3. Ricky Stuart's coaching record
4. Josh Mansour rejects Raiders, re-signs with Panthers
5. Terry Campese released to Hull KR
6. Kevin Proctor backflips on signing with Raiders
7. Michael Ennis turns down Canberra Raiders, joins Sharks
8. Canberra Raiders Auckland Nines campaign
9. Raiders linked to Glenn Stewart
10. Tedesco backflips on Raiders deal, stays with Tigers

Top ten individual threads based on replies:

1. Blake Austin signs three year deal with Raiders
2. Ricky Stuart's coaching record
3. Josh Mansour rejects Raiders, re-signs with Panthers
4. Canberra Raiders Auckland Nines campaign
5. Kevin Proctor backflips on signing with Raiders
6. Round 16 Game Day Canberra Raiders V Wests Tigers
7. Raiders linked to Glenn Stewart
8. Round 1 Game Day Canberra Raiders V North Queensland Cowboys
9. Round 22 Game Day Canberra Raiders V Parramatta Eels
10. Round 10 Game Day Canberra Raiders V Penrith Panthers

* Individual threads from the Canberra Raiders forum, excluding permanently stickied and recurring threads.
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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Top ten Canberra Raiders stories of 2019: What you clicked on The Greenhouse

Post by greeneyed »

Top ten stories on The Greenhouse: What you clicked in 2015

2015: A remarkable thing happened. The Canberra Raiders fans started talking about the football! Sure, there was discussion about potential signings, and the actual signings. But unlike recent years past, there were no major scandals as a result of player behaviour, no high profile players walking out on the club. The squad has been re-shaped, almost entirely, by coach Ricky Stuart, in the space of just two years. The culture has been re-shaped as well. And nine of the top 10 peaks for site traffic on The Greenhouse were simply game days.

On the field

Things were certainly not all rosy. Season 2015 was the third in a row that the Canberra Raiders missed the finals. Incredibly, it is the first time in history that has happened - provided the finals playoff in 1984 counts as a shot at the finals.

The winning record at home was also the worst in history, with the Raiders winning just three of 12 clashes. Even in the club's inaugural season, 1982, with a team full of park players, the Raiders won four home games.

But nevertheless, there were some signs that the club is on the right path. The Raiders climbed the ladder to tenth place and finished just two wins out of the top eight. There were five losses of two points or less, and six of four points or less. Another loss, to the Bulldogs, was another last minute seven point loss.

It was seven games, fourteen competition points, that could have gone the other way. Five more wins was a top four finish. The missing ingredients were game management and consistency, the level heads and experience needed to win the tight contests.

The wins

The games that attracted most attention from the fans happened in successive weeks.

First, there was the record comeback win over the Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval in Round 7. The Raiders were down 22-0, and ran out 30-22 winners, eclipsing the previous biggest comeback of 18 points in 2005 and 1998.

Then the Raiders travelled to Cairns in Round 8 and came away with the best win of the year, a 30-22 victory over the 2014 premiers, the South Sydney Rabbitohs. The Rabbitohs led for most of the match, but Canberra stormed home in the second 40. A try to Blake Austin put the Raiders in front in the 66th minute, before the match was sealed by an Edrick Lee four pointer, three minutes from full time.

There was a lot of buzz at the start of the season as well, with the Auckland Nines campaign for 2015, the Raiders' trial match at the refurbished Seiffert Oval against the Knights, and the NRL season opener against the Sharks attracting attention. The fiery clash with the Sharks, saw Jack Wighton and Sosaia Feki come to blows, and the post match analysis showed it happened because of some very grubby Sharks tactics used through the match.

The losses

Then there were some games which were much discussed, where things did not go so well. In Round 3, the Raiders led the Dragons at home by 18-0 after 21 minutes, and somehow still lost 22-20. It was one of the worst losses of the season. The away clash with Dragons was also the centre of attention, because of a controversial "no try" ruling for a double movement against Jarrod Croker. Most of the league world thought he was not tackled, and it should have been ruled "play on", all except for the referees boss Tony Archer.

In Round 23, the Raiders were still in with a chance of a top eight finish. With just two minutes left on the clock, Brett Stewart scored a try from an offside position, which produced a last gasp 26-24 win for the Sea Eagles. It ended any chance at the finals for Canberra. The illegal play was first brought to light on The Greenhouse during the post match discussion. This time, referees boss Tony Archer begrudgingly admitted later that the referees were in error. It was one of the many times when the news broke first on The GH in 2015.

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Brett Stewart off side at the play the ball, and does not retreat before scoring.

The signings

Some of the Raiders' best in 2015 were Ricky Stuart's new recruits to the club - such as Josh Hodgson, Blake Austin, and Sia Soliola. Recruitment news for 2016 was positive too, with the signing of players like five eighth Aidan Sezer from the Gold Coast Titans, England second rower, Elliott Whitehead from the Catalan Dragons, and Joey Leilua from the Newcastle Knights mid year. The signing of Sezer was the biggest news of all, giving Raiders fans the hope of a top line halves combination.

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Elliott Whitehead

Players who didn't sign were big news as well. The speculation around the signing of North Queensland Cowboys prop James Tamou - possibly mid season - dragged on and on... and there's still some speculation he may yet sign for 2017. His wife has family in the Canberra district and wanted to move close to home, but Tamou himself was less convinced. Tamou got himself a premiership ring in the end, so staying in Townsville in 2015 was no doubt his wisest choice. The possible signing of Jared Waerea Hargreaves from the Roosters was also much discussed, just missing our top ten lists.

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Ricky Stuart

The final signing news that attracted attention was the contract extension for coach Ricky Stuart to end 2018. Stuart was originally signed for three years, to end 2016, and some Raiders fans are wondering if it was a decision taken too soon. While Stuart has been much lauded for his recruitment and retention decisions, the wins in his first two years have been thin on the ground. Canberra has won 18 of 48 games under Stuart, a win ratio of just 37.5 per cent.

However, most fans see a much brighter future under the legendary half back. Stuart now has the team he wants. It looks strong on paper, if not a little thin in depth in the backs... and probably short one top quality prop. And not only Raiders fans are tipping bigger and better things for the Green Machine in 2016. So are many of the out of town experts.

Let's hope they're right. A top eight finish and a chance at a long awaited premiership!

TOP TEN STORIES ON THE GREENHOUSE IN 2015, BASED ON WHAT YOU CLICKED

Top ten stories based on daily site traffic:

1. Canberra Raiders record comeback against the Wests Tigers (April 19)
2. Come from behind win for Raiders in Cairns over South Sydney Rabbitohs (April 26-27)
3. Canberra Raiders defeat Cronulla Sharks in season opener (March 8)
4. Aidan Sezer signs with Canberra Raiders on three year deal (April 9)
5. Canberra Raiders defeat Panthers at Penrith, after Josh Hodgson masterclass (July 26)
6. Narrow defeat at home to Storm, as Raiders farewell Dane Tilse (April 12)
7. Raiders defeat Gold Coast Titans at home 56-16 (May 9)
8. Illegal Brett Stewart try sees Manly Sea Eagles defeat Raiders at last gasp, ending the season (August 16)
9. Controversial Jarrod Croker "double movement, no try" in Wollongong, Raiders go down to Dragons (May 17)
10. Raiders run down by Dragons 22-20, after leading 18-0 (March 21)

Top ten individual threads based on views:

1. Canberra Raiders confirm Joey Leilua signing
2. Aidan Sezer signs with Canberra Raiders on three year deal
3. James Tamou linked to Canberra Raiders
4. 2015 Auckland Nines Game Day Canberra Raiders V Tigers, Warriors, Titans
5. Round 1 Teams and Previews Canberra Raiders V Cronulla Sharks
6. Round 8 Game Day Canberra Raiders V South Sydney Rabbitohs
7. 2015 Trial 2 Game Day Canberra Raiders V Newcastle Knights
8. Ricky Stuart re-signs to end 2018
9. Canberra Raiders sign Elliott Whitehead to end 2017
10. Round 1 Game Day Canberra Raiders V Cronulla Sharks

Top ten individual threads based on replies:

1. Aidan Sezer signs with Canberra Raiders on three year deal
2. 2015 Auckland Nines Game Day Canberra Raiders V Tigers, Warriors, Titans
3. Canberra Raiders confirm Joey Leilua signing
4. Round 8 Game Day Canberra Raiders V South Sydney Rabbitohs
5. Round 7 Game Day Canberra Raiders V Wests Tigers
6. Round 1 Game Day Canberra Raiders V Cronulla Sharks
7. Round 3 Game Day Canberra Raiders V St George Illawarra Dragons
8. Round 20 Game Day Canberra Raiders V Penrith Panthers
9. Round 10 Game Day Canberra Raiders V St George Illawarra Dragons
10. Round 26 Game Day Canberra Raiders V Parramatta Eels

* Individual threads from the Canberra Raiders forum, excluding permanently stickied and recurring threads.
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Badandmean
Gerry De La Cruz
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Re: Top ten Canberra Raiders stories of 2019: What you clicked on The Greenhouse

Post by Badandmean »

In retrospect I’m glad we missed out on Mansauce, Procter and Co. we wouldn’t be where we are now. It’s been a long wait but I think it’ll be worth it in 2020.

Also, a Christmas special (episode 2) of the Bad And Mean Podcast is now available on iTunes. As always, we’d love you guys to have a listen and follow us.
https://apple.co/2Z4tW2a

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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Joined: January 7, 2005, 4:21 pm

Re: Top ten Canberra Raiders stories of 2019: What you clicked on The Greenhouse

Post by greeneyed »

Top ten stories on The Greenhouse: What you clicked in 2016

You often hear that people are only interested in bad news. And it seems to be true. There are many psychological studies which show humans seek out things that are novel, but negative. Why? One theory is our brains are wired to focus on the dramatic, the negative - so way back in time we could survive the threats of bad things like... an attack from a sabre toothed tiger. And now we don't need to... well, we read bad news.

You hear posters on The Greenhouse say the same thing. "People only visit The Greenhouse when there's bad news," they say.

But guess what? That did not happen in 2016. Sure, there was drama, but the news was almost consistently good for the Canberra Raiders. And people were desperate to read about it.

Finals fever

The Raiders had not made the finals for three years. But when they did this year, we saw the re-emergence of green fever in the national capital. Who doesn't like green sausages? It seems like there are very few of you. Nine of the biggest days of the year for site traffic were in September.

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The biggest of the year was not a game day - it was September 6. The Raiders had finished in second place and were preparing for a finals match at home against the Sharks. The fans were still scrambling for tickets and information on how to get them. But that evening was one of high drama: Jack Wighton was facing the judiciary on a highly controversial citing for a shoulder charge. The fans were desperate for news and when the not guilty verdict came through, the all time record for users on the site at one time was smashed. Site traffic on that day was more than double any other day of the year.

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Of course, there were three finals matches that were the centre of attention in September as well, not to mention the Viking Clap. And the fans hung on the fitness of Blake Austin (broken hand) and Josh Hodgson (ankle) for the clash with the Panthers.

The wins, the losses

Every year, there's those games that are much discussed because things turned pear shaped, right? Sure the two narrow finals losses to the Sharks and Storm were there, but not because they were losses - they were going to be the focus of attention no matter what.

The only truly "pear shaped" loss on our top ten lists was the heart breaking golden point loss to the Dragons at Kogarah, in the darkness - when Jack Wighton threw a stray pass after the siren for the first period of extra time, resulting in a Euan Aitken golden try. There was also a "pear shaped" draw with the Newcastle Knights in Round 3, when the Raiders threw away a winning lead. But that is pretty much it.


2016 Round 10 Canberra Raiders V St George Illawarra Dragons

There were some amazing wins as well in 2016... but remarkably, the wins over the ladder leading Sharks and Storm in successive weeks did not make the top ten lists. The biggest buzz was around the final match of the regular season, when Canberra defeated the Wests Tigers, and the finals victory over the Penrith Panthers.


2016 Round 26 Canberra Raiders V Wests Tigers


2016 Finals Wk 2 Canberra Raiders V Penrith Panthers

The signings

Junior Paulo's signing - and his early release by the Eels - along with the signing of Joseph Tapine were also huge news - and again good news in the end. Both of the Paulo announcements coincided with game days, giving those game days an extra boost.

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2016 was the best season for the Canberra Raiders since 1995, more than 20 years. 1995 was the last time the Raiders finished in second position on the ladder and made a Preliminary Final in a full competition. In 2016, Canberra just missed a Grand Final appearance. Along the way, all sorts of records were broken. The Raiders won 10 matches in a row, the most in club history during a single season. They scored the most points ever in a season. Jarrod Croker broke the all time Raiders point scoring record; he scored more points than any other Raider in a single season. Jordan Rapana scored more tries than any other Raider in a single season.

2017 looks to be full of promise. Can the Raiders take that one extra step, make the Grand Final and take the title? Here's hoping so.

TOP TEN STORIES ON THE GREENHOUSE IN 2016, BASED ON WHAT YOU CLICKED

Top ten stories based on daily site traffic:

1. Jack Wighton not guilty (September 6)
2. Finals tickets frenzy (September 5)
3. Canberra Raiders meet Cronulla Sharks in Finals Week 1 (September 10-11)
4. Josh Hodgson suspended for grapple after stunning win over Melbourne Storm (August 16)
5. Raiders prepare for Panthers as fans left hanging on fitness of Hodgson and Austin (September 15)
6. Josh Hodgson and Josh Papalii jointly win Meninga Medal (September 19)
7. Canberra Raiders stage come back to defeat Canterbury Bulldogs as Eels release Paulo (May 29)
8. Canberra Raiders smash Wests Tigers at Leichhardt in final round (September 4)
9. Canberra Raiders defeat Penrith Panthers in Finals Week 2 (September 17-18)
10. Canberra Raiders defeat Sydney Roosters by a point as Paulo signs with Raiders (12 March)

Top ten individual threads based on views:

1. Junior Paulo signs with Canberra Raiders
2. Joseph Tapine signs with Canberra Raiders
3. Finals Week 3 Teams and Previews: Canberra Raiders V Melbourne Storm
4. 2016 Auckland Nines: Teams and Game Day
5. Wighton not guilty
6. Finals Week 2 Teams and Previews: Canberra Raiders V Penrith Panthers
7. Round 1 Game Day: Canberra Raiders V Penrith Panthers
8. Canberra Raiders finals tickets
9. Ricky Stuart
10. Finals Week 1 Teams and Previews: Canberra Raiders V Cronulla Sharks

Top ten individual threads based on replies:

1. Junior Paulo signs with Canberra Raiders
2. Wighton not guilty
3. 2016 Auckland Nines: Teams and Game Day
4. Round 2 Game Day: Canberra Raiders V Sydney Roosters
5. Round 3 Game Day: Canberra Raiders V Newcastle Knights
6. Round 10 Game Day: Canberra Raiders V St George Illawarra Dragons
7. Joseph Tapine signs with Canberra Raiders
8. Canberra Raiders finals tickets
9. Round 5 Game Day: Canberra Raiders V Canterbury Bulldogs
10. Round 14 Game Day: Canberra Raiders V Brisbane Broncos

* Individual threads from the Canberra Raiders forum, excluding permanently stickied and recurring threads.
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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Top ten Canberra Raiders stories of 2019: What you clicked on The Greenhouse

Post by greeneyed »

Top ten stories on The Greenhouse: What you clicked in 2017

When the sun rose on 1 January 2017, the Canberra Raiders were one of the NRL premiership favourites. They had finished second on the ladder in 2016, and a premiership window definitely looked to be open. What happened? The team finished 10th, missing the play offs. It was intensely disappointing for all members of the Green Nation, who have been waiting for over 20 years for a premiership.

So what did the fans discuss the most? What news did they crave? Today, we reveal the top ten stories on The Greenhouse of the year.

Focus on footy

In the past, the biggest Canberra Raiders stories of the year were often all about off field drama. Think Todd Carney, Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson. But not this year. It was all about the footy. Every one of the Top Ten threads, based on the number of replies, was a Game Day thread.

As mentioned, there were high hopes at the start of the season - with huge interest in the Raiders' trial at Seiffert Oval against the Newcastle Knights, the Auckland Nines and Canberra's first NRL match of the year against the Cowboys in Townsville. But sadly, as the season progressed, the focus was on the games where things turned pear shaped - narrow losses and matches that should have been won, but were not.

Eight of top ten days for the most site traffic coincided with surprising or frustrating losses. That list was headed by the big trial loss to the lowly Newcastle Knights, and included another loss to the Knights in Newcastle. It also featured the golden point loss to the Cowboys in Townsville, the loss to a Cowboys team missing Johnathan Thurston in Canberra, and two losses to the Panthers - one being the debacle in Bathurst. And the losses generated lots of discussion about what was going wrong - with focus on the form of the Raiders halves and on coach Ricky Stuart.



It was not all bad news, however. An inspiring win over the Sharks at Cronulla - one where where the Raiders strangled the team in sky blue while Josh Papalii was in the sin bin - and the golden point win over the Dragons were two of the most discussed matches of the season.

Dave Taylor

Usually, there's a lot of buzz around signings re-signings and player movement. In 2017, the buzz was all about Dave Taylor. He arrived in late 2016 on a train and trial deal - after a chance meeting in an airport with Ricky Stuart. Taylor was on his way back to central Queensland, his football career seemingly over. He was set to work in the mines until Stuart threw him a life line. He was a constant topic of discussion amongst Raiders fans: his pre season battle to get fit, his court appearance for drug possession while at the Titans, his part time job at Queanbeyan's Top Pub, his one year deal and the two match suspension required by the NRL.

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Two threads featuring Taylor made the top ten. Put together, there was no topic that was more viewed on The Greenhouse in 2017. The news that he would move to the Toronto Wolfpack in 2018 was another big story... just outside the top ten most viewed threads.

The decision to release Edrick Lee just before the start of the season was major news, as was the signing of Fijian rugby union sevens Olympic gold medallist Masivesi Dakuwaqa. But they were not big enough to make the top ten most viewed threads.

The world's a stage

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The World Cup effectively extended the rugby league season right up until early December. Some people would have us believe that the care factor was low - but there was great interest in the announcement of the World Cup squads in early October. In fact, it was the number two story of the year, based on site traffic. Josh Papalii was snubbed by the Kangaroos - with no Canberra Raiders players selected for Australia. His suspension from the Anzac Test after a drink driving incident earlier in the year also caused a splash... but not big enough to make the top ten most viewed threads.

There was still strong Raiders representation in other World Cup squads. Josh Hodgson and Elliott Whitehead were selected for England; Jordan Rapana and Joe Tapine for New Zealand; Papalii, Junior Paulo and Joey Leilua for Samoa; and Kurt Baptiste and Kato Ottio for Papua New Guinea. It kept Raiders fans engaged right through to the World Cup final, with Elliott Whitehead starring in England's narrow loss to Australia.

Injury and suspension

Sia Soliola's five week suspension for a late tackle on Melbourne Storm fullback Billy Slater contributed to one of the biggest days for site traffic of the year. While the five week penalty was probably not too far wide of the mark, the handling of the case by the NRL was poor - with Tony Archer issuing a statement to the effect that Soliola should have been sent from the field, prejudicing the judiciary hearing.


Sia Soliola's late tackle on Billy Slater a big talking point from the loss to the Storm

The injury suffered by Josh Hodgson in England's World Cup semi final win over Tonga was big news, along with Jarrod Croker's knee injury while playing for the World All Stars during the pre season... with both stories just outside the top ten most viewed threads of the year.

Field of dreams

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Finally, the debate about the need for a new Canberra Stadium continued to rage through 2017. The mooted, new, covered stadium in Civic has been put on the back burner by the ACT government. Indeed, one has to wonder whether it will happen at all. The proposed site is a difficult one, and will likely need to be built in part, over Parkes Way. The orientation of the stadium would not be ideal either, and might not support a natural grass surface. Then there's the financial problems and questions as to whether likely usage can justify the costs. Despite all that, a new stadium of some sort is going to be needed soon - with stadium developments in Sydney and Queensland set to leave the existing stadium in the shade.

So that was the news that was. Raiders fans will probably be happy to leave 2017 behind, and will be hoping for a much better 2018. Will it be the year of the Raider?

TOP TEN STORIES ON THE GREENHOUSE IN 2017, BASED ON WHAT YOU CLICKED

Top ten stories based on daily site traffic:

1. 2017 Trial V Knights (February 18)
2. Papalli snubbed by Kangaroos for World Cup as RLWC2017 squads announced (October 2-4)
3. Raiders fall to Panthers at home (August 20)
4. Raiders lose to Cowboys in golden point in season opener (March 4)
5. Raiders lose to Cowboys without Thurston (July 1-2)
6. Raiders lose to bottom placed Knights in Newcastle (May 14)
7. Dave Taylor heads to Wolfpack, aftermath of Soliola suspension (July 26)
8. Raiders leak two tries in final two minutes to lose to Panthers in Bathurst (June 10)
9. Raiders fall to Broncos in Canberra (June 24)
10. Raiders lose to Storm outfit with Smith and Slater off the field (July 22)

Top ten individual threads based on views:

1. 2017 Auckland Nines: Teams and Game Day
2. Dave Taylor deal registered by NRL
3. 2017 Rd 1 V Cowboys: Teams and Previews
4. 2017 Trial V Knights: Teams and Game Day
5. Canberra Raiders offer Dave Taylor NRL lifeline
6. Canberra Raiders need new stadium
7. The elephant in the room: the Canberra Raiders halves
8. 2017 Rd 19 V Dragons: Teams and Previews
9. 2017 Rd 3 V Wests Tigers: Teams and Previews
10. Is Ricky Stuart the right coach to take the Raiders forward?

Top ten individual threads based on replies:

1. 2017 Rd 1 V Cowboys: Game Day
2. 2017 Rd 22 V Sharks: Game Day
3. 2017 Rd 19 V Dragons: Game Day
4. 2017 Auckland Nines: Teams and Game Day
5. 2017 Rd 4 V Broncos: Game Day
6. 2017 Rd 13 V Sea Eagles: Game Day
7. 2017 Rd 17 V Cowboys: Game Day
8. 2017 Rd 16 V Broncos: Game Day
9. 2017 Rd 24 V Panthers: Game Day
10. 2017 Rd 20 V Storm: Game Day
* Individual threads from the Canberra Raiders forum, excluding permanently stickied and recurring threads.
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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Top ten Canberra Raiders stories of 2019: What you clicked on The Greenhouse

Post by greeneyed »

Top ten stories on The Greenhouse: What you clicked in 2018

2018. Another disappointing season for the Canberra Raiders. The Raiders have now made the finals in just one of the past six seasons, three times in the past decade. If it is not the worst period in Canberra Raiders history, it is very close. Next year, it will be 25 years since the Raiders won their last premiership. Only the Eels have experienced a longer premiership drought.

2018 season was always going to be tough, with star hooker Josh Hodgson on the sidelines for half the season with an ACL injury, suffered in England's World Cup semi final. And as it would turn out, another key player in the Raiders' spine, Jack Wighton, would also spend half the season on the sideline.

So what did the fans discuss the most? What news did they crave? Today, we reveal the top ten stories on The Greenhouse of the year.

Jack Wighton

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There is no doubt about the No. 1 story of the year. It is one that unfortunately spanned most of 2018. It started in early February, a birthday celebration gone wrong in the early hours of the morning outside the Academy nightclub in Civic. In June, Jack Wighton pleaded guilty in court to six charges of assault and urinating in public - and he was stood down by the Canberra Raiders for six matches. That was an insufficient penalty for the NRL - and they came over the top of the Raiders and imposed a 10 week ban and a $30,000 fine. It essentially ruled Wighton out for the remainder of the season. The unhappy story reached its conclusion in mid November, when Wighton was sentenced in the ACT's Galambany Court. He was handed a suspended two-month jail sentence, a one year good behaviour bond and a $3,500 fine.

Wighton admitted it was a "big muck up on my behalf". He apologised to his victims outside the court.

"I'd like to take the opportunity to apologise to the victims of the incident for any pain I may have caused them and their families," he said. "There are no excuses for my behaviour. I want to let them know that I'm truly sorry for what happened that night."

Big names depart

2018 was a year which saw some big changes in the Canberra Raiders squad - with three big names departing the club. The Raiders took some hard nosed decisions, electing not to match big offers from other clubs for props Shannon Boyd and Junior Paulo - while they ultimately decided not to re-sign Blake Austin.

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Shannon Boyd was the first to confirm his departure on 16 May. He played his best game of the season against the Gold Coast Titans in Round 9 - and ironically signed with the Titans shortly after that match - on a four year deal reportedly worth $650,000 a season. The Raiders offered a three year deal, but that was knocked back by Boyd.

Boyd later admitted he had been "playing for a contract" in that Round 9 match - and claimed his switch was not all about the money.

"I was always going to try to be a one-club player and stay at Canberra but I think my football was a little bit stale down there," he said in December. "It wasn’t so much the contract itself, I was happy to stay at Canberra for less money, it was just that I needed to start playing some better footy and I needed a fresh start."

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Junior Paulo was next, announcing his decision to return to the Parramatta Eels on 21 May. Paulo had joined the Canberra Raiders from the Eels in the middle of the 2016 season, amidst the Parramatta salary cap scandal and after being involved in a number of off field controversies. He had been issued a warning by police for consorting with criminals, and his own manager urged him to leave the Eels and western Sydney for the sake of his own welfare.

A little over a year later, Paulo was awarded the 2017 Meninga Medal - the player judged by his peers to be the Canberra Raiders Player of the Year. He appeared to be well settled with the Green Machine, having left his off field issues behind him. However, from early in the season, there was considerable uncertainty surrounding his tenure at the Raiders for 2019 and beyond - with reports indicating a return to Eels was in the offing. He ended up signing a four year deal with the Eels, reportedly worth $3 million.

On announcing the signing, Paulo said he was not concerned about returning to the environment of western Sydney.

"I was getting into trouble and I was a bit immature at the time," Paulo said. "My move to Canberra [was] beneficial for me away from the footy field and helped me mature as a person and as a father."

"But I feel I'm [now] a lot more mature, and you can't let things get in the way of your career. I'm looking after my family, that's what the move is about. I've secured our future financially and we'll also be around that family support."

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On July 10, it was announced Blake Austin would be heading to the English Super League - on a three year deal with the Warrington Wolves. Austin was the Dally M five eighth of the year in 2015. But by 2018, his contract was ultimately not renewed by the Green Machine. Austin was offered a significant new contract by the Raiders in 2017, but he turned it down - with some reports suggesting he wanted to demonstrate on field he was worth an even bigger contract. Austin said later it was not about the money, but being sure he was happy at the club. In any event, subsequent offers from Canberra were reportedly lower than the initial offer - and eventually, the Raiders took their offer off the table.

Austin had been linked to Parramatta, and he said he gave serious consideration to the Eels' offer.

"A lot of people thought we were looking to get closer to family [in western Sydney]", he said. "[The Eels] were an option and one I considered pretty heavily. I would have been 10 minutes from mum and dad and I supported the club as a kid. But weighing everything up, I’m really excited about heading to the Super League and seeing what it’s all about."

Papalii a Raider for life

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On the positive side of the ledger, on 15 June, the Raiders announced the re-signing of star forward Josh Papalii - and he will now likely end his career with the Green Machine. A Raider for life.

The rumours around Papalii started in earnest in February this year.

"Which club is making a huge play for Canberra Raiders off contract second rower Josh Papalii for 2019 with an offer Ricky Stuart will find hard to match?" The Sunday Telegraph reported.

It was far from clear Papalii wanted to leave the nation's capital. Papalii returned from a World Cup stint with Samoa well out of condition - and he was concerned he'd jeopardised his contract negotiations with the Green Machine.

"I think my manager has spoken to [Ricky Stuart] once or twice but that was before the World Cup," Papalii said in February. "Obviously I didn’t have a strong World Cup, so I think that's still up in the air. It'd be nice to get it done before the season starts, but these things can drag on."

They certainly did. The club making a "huge play" for Papalii was variously reported to be the Warriors, the Titans... and most notably, the Rabbitohs. One journalist even claimed Papalii had signed with South Sydney.

But Papalii eventually signed a four year contract extension with the Raiders in June, tying him to the Green Machine until the end of 2022.

"Security was the biggest key behind my contract but like I said from the start of my career, once a Canberra Raider always a Raider," Papalii said on re-signing.

"So, I'm happy to sign again for four years and keep the green jersey on my back. That will be me to 30 and hopefully I'll still be getting better as age goes on."

He admitted there had been strong interest from the Rabbitohs.

"I had my options there, but I've got two kids and a partner myself and you take that into perspective and the best option for them and my footy career was to stay here. It wasn't hard at all."

The Raiders also signed half Aidan Sezer on a two year deal, while Sia Soliola also re-committed to the club. The club also signed English forwards John Bateman and Ryan Sutton - but those stories featured just outside the top ten.

Raiders interest in Shaun Johnson

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The biggest signing story in 2018 related to a player who ultimately signed with the Cronulla Sharks. Half Shaun Johnson had long been the face of the New Zealand Warriors - and he was under contract to the Auckland based outfit for the 2019 season. But the Warriors had made it clear to Johnson that no new deal was on the table at present - and that a pay cut was in prospect for the $1 million player if he were to be re-signed.

Press reports emerged at the end of October that the Raiders were interested in Johnson for 2019... and the news spread like wild fire amongst Raiders fans. The amount of interest reflected the lack of depth in the Raiders halves - and the fact that the Green Machine has been searching for over two decades for a half who might come close to matching the legendary Ricky Stuart.

Now the coach, Stuart confirmed the club's interest in Johnson publicly, but it all proved to be a pipe dream within a month. Ultimately, Johnson and the Warriors agreed to part ways - but the Raiders salary cap proved too tight in 2019 to get the Kiwis half to the national capital. Instead, Johnson agreed to sign a three year deal with the Cronulla Sharks - a club under a financial cloud, a club under investigation for salary cap breaches... and a club with a coach who would soon be facing de-registration by the NRL for failing to comply with the terms of a drugs ban.

On the field

On the field, the news was almost all bad. So it is not surprising that Ricky Stuart's coaching record was a major topic for discussion amongst Raiders fans. In five years as head coach, Ricky Stuart has led the team to its most successful season in 20 years, reaching the Preliminary Final in 2016. But it is the only season the club has made the finals under his tenure. 2019 looms as a huge test.

As always, interest at the start of the season was high. The Raiders trial against the Bulldogs on the Sunshine Coast attracted a lot of attention. However, the Raiders lost the four opening matches of the season - with the narrow, last gasp losses to the Titans and the Warriors and the thrashing at Brookvale by the Sea Eagles featuring in our top ten lists. In particular, Ricky Stuart created waves when he labelled his team "soft" after the loss to Manly.









On the plus side, the breakthrough win in Round 5 over the Bulldogs, the landmark win over the Cowboys in Townsville, the last gasp win over the Sea Eagles at Canberra Stadium and the big Round 15 win over the Tigers also featured on our top ten lists.









Sadly, two of the best performances of the year - wins late in the season against premiership contenders, the Rabbitohs and the ultimate premiers, the Roosters, did not attract the attention they deserved. By then, the season was already over.

So that was the news that was. Raiders fans will probably be happy to leave 2018 behind, and will be hoping for a much better 2019. Will it be the year of the Raider?

TOP TEN STORIES ON THE GREENHOUSE IN 2018, BASED ON WHAT YOU CLICKED

Top ten stories based on daily site traffic:

1. Jack Wighton in alleged night club fight (April 3)
2. Canberra Raiders record first win of the season against Bulldogs (April 5-6)
3. Signing news swirls as Raiders prepare for the Sharks - Soliola commits to Raiders while Sezer linked to Storm (May 8)
4. Jack Wighton facing nine charges after night club incident (April 7)
5. Narrow loss to the Warriors... third in a row to start the season (March 24)
6. Raiders last gasp loss to the Titans in season opener (March 11)
7. Raiders say they'll stick by Wighton (April 9)
8. Coach Ricky Stuart labels Raiders as soft after loss to Sea Eagles... the fourth straight to start the season (30 March-April 1)
9. Blake Austin signs with Warrington Wolves, after starring role in miracle at Belmore (July 10)
10. Bulldogs want Sezer, while Raiders deny interest in Robbie Farah (March 28)
10. Raiders defeated by the Sharks at home (May 13)

Top ten individual threads based on views:

1. NRL bans Jack Wighton for 10 matches, impose $30,000 fine
2. Ricky Stuart's coaching record
3. Raiders express interest in Shaun Johnson, but signs with the Sharks
4. Canberra Raiders prop Shannon Boyd signs with Gold Coast Titans
5. Junior Paulo to depart Canberra Raiders at end of 2018, signs with Parramatta Eels
6. Blake Austin signs with Warrington Wolves
7. 2018 Rd 1 V Titans: Teams and Previews
8. 2018 Trial: Canberra Raiders V Canterbury Bulldogs
9. Josh Papalii re-signs with Canberra Raiders on four year deal
10. 2018 Rd 1 V Titans: Game Day

Top ten individual threads based on replies:

1. NRL bans Jack Wighton for 10 matches, impose $30,000 fine
2. Ricky Stuart's coaching record
3. Raiders express interest in Shaun Johnson, but signs with the Sharks
4. 2018 Rd 15 V Tigers: Game Day
5. 2018 Rd 14 V Panthers: Game Day
6. 2018 Rd 4 V Sea Eagles: Game Day
7. 2018 Rd 12 V Sea Eagles: Game Day
8. 2018 Rd 8 V Cowboys: Game Day
9. 2018 Rd 20 V Storm: Game Day
10. 2018 Rd 5 V Bulldogs: Game Day
* Individual threads from the Canberra Raiders forum, excluding permanently stickied and recurring threads.
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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Top ten Canberra Raiders stories of the decade: What you clicked on The Greenhouse

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Top ten Canberra Raiders stories of 2019: What you clicked on The Greenhouse

2019. It was the best season for the Canberra Raiders in 25 years. The Raiders had not made the Grand Final for a quarter of a century - and the Raiders got "oh so close" to a fourth premiership. The wait for a title continues - for a club that has waited longer than any other, apart from the Eels. However, Raiders fans were left bursting with pride after the Grand Final - a match in which the Raiders were the better team everywhere but on the final scoreboard.

So what did the fans discuss the most? What news did they crave? Today, we reveal the top ten Canberra Raiders stories on The Greenhouse of the year.

Charge to the Grand Final... #Trainergate and #SixAgain



The number one story is obvious. The 2019 Grand Final. On 6 October, the supporters in lime took over Homebush, took over Sydney. A Viking Clap we will never forget. And the Raiders showed all the characteristics which got them to the Grand Final. They were resilient, composed, united and tough. Their defence was outstanding. However, fortune didn't smile on the Green Machine in some key moments, and the Roosters took their opportunities in a controversial match. #Trainergate and #SixAgain sent Twitter into meltdown... and were the subject of considerable debate on The Greenhouse in the aftermath of the game.





The Grand Final ranked sixth for site traffic... but that's not entirely surprising, given the large numbers of devoted Raiders fans at Sydney Olympic Park and the effective internet black out at the ground. When they renovate the stadium next year, a digital service that can handle a sell out crowd is surely a critical improvement. And while the two Grand Final threads on The Greenhouse did not rank first for views or replies, together they well exceeded any other thread.

There were some incredible victories in the Raiders' finals charge - including the two finals matches leading to the Grand Final. There is nothing more difficult than beating the Storm in Melbourne, and the Raiders did it twice in 2019, in the space of five weeks. The victory in Melbourne in Week 1 saw the Raiders qualify for the Preliminary Final at home. And what a match that was in front of a record crowd at Canberra Stadium. When Josh Papalii scored under the posts, there has never been such a wild outpouring of emotion at Bruce. What a sweet night it was. Canberra was swept up in green fever and we experienced a Grand Final week Raiders fans will never forget.





Building blocks for a top four finish

In recent seasons, some of the most discussed Raiders matches have been losses - when the Raiders have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. But those sorts of matches were nowhere to be seen in 2019. The fans clicked on The Greenhouse for news of some impressive wins.

It started in Round 1, when the Raiders held the Gold Coast Titans scoreless. Then there was the victory over the Panthers at Penrith in Round 19 - a match that all the Sydney critics were expecting that the home team, on a seven game winning streak, would win. Instead, the Raiders exposed the Panthers and it was the beginning of the end for Penrith.

In Round 22, Canberra produced one of its greatest ever comebacks. The Raiders trailed the Storm 18-0 after 30 minutes, with two players, Jack Wighton and Joe Tapine, sent to the sin bin. The Green Machine then scored 22 unanswered points to take victory.

In Round 24, the Raiders went to Cronulla to face the Sharks in the final home game for Cronulla captain Paul Gallen. It was a sell out, a cauldron, and the Raiders prevailed in golden point with Aidan Sezer's third field goal of the game.









As always, there was considerable interest in the pre-season trials on The Greenhouse, with big numbers of our readers clicking on our coverage of the Raiders' trial match against the Bulldogs from Bega. There were a few losses to feature in our top ten lists, but they were well down the lists - the narrow Magic Round loss to the Roosters in Brisbane; the final round loss to the Warriors, when the Raiders rested their stars; and the controversial Round 23 loss to the Sea Eagles, when the NRL later admitted Manly's winning try should not have been awarded.

Jack Wighton

Jack Wighton was the No. 1 story of 2018 on The Greenhouse, for all the wrong reasons. How he turned that around in 2019. News of his shift to five eighth at the start of the season was just outside the top ten most viewed threads. He went on to make his debut for the Blues and the Kangaroos and to win the Clive Churchill Medal, the best on ground in a losing team in the Grand Final.

When news broke in mid October that he was turning down an option in his contract with the Raiders for 2021, it sent shock waves through the fan base. There was no bigger daily spike in site traffic this year.

Wighton quickly explained he wanted to stay with the Green Machine.

"I'm 100 per cent there for next year [2020], and the option for the following year in my favour was signed under my old management, and that's the only reason I haven't taken it up,'' Wighton explained.

"That's all it is. I love Canberra. It's the place I call home. Sometimes I forget where I come from and say 'Canberra' rather than 'Orange'. I love the place, the community, the fans and the club.''

It looks very much like he will be staying, with news breaking before Christmas that the Raiders are set to offer Wighton a new deal worth $2.7 million over three years. That's $900,000 a season, compared to the $750,000 option for 2021 under his current deal. With payments for Origin and Test matches, Wighton could earn more than $1 million a season should he again be selected for representative honours.

Raiders snare George Williams

There is little doubt that the Canberra Raiders' biggest new signing for 2020 is George Williams. When news broke in March that the premierhip winning Wigan Warriors half had signed a three year deal with Canberra, we saw the second biggest spike in site traffic for the year. It took a while for things to become official, with negotiations between Canberra and Wigan on a transfer fee dragging out. But the deal was finally confirmed in early July.

Canberra has long struggled to put a winning halves combination together. They came close in 2016 and 2019, but for Raiders fans, Williams' became their great hope for the future. At the time, it was unclear whether Jack Wighton would make the transition to five eighth. In addition, one of the biggest question marks over the season was whether Aidan Sezer or Sam Williams should take the No. 7 jersey. Williams or Sezer? was the second most viewed thread of the year.

While the halves partnership of Sezer and Wighton ultimately took Canberra to the Grand Final, George Williams will be the No. 7 in 2020 after Sezer was released to join the Huddersfield Giants.

Other signing news to make the top ten was the departure of winger Jordan Rapana to Japanese rugby union - while the recruitment of Melbourne Storm centre Curtis Scott and the contract extension for fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad were stories not far outside the top ten most viewed of the year.

So that was the news that was in 2019. Raiders fans will be hoping that the Green Machine can go just that one step further in 2020. Will it be the year of the Raider?

TOP TEN CANBERRA RAIDERS STORIES ON THE GREENHOUSE IN 2019, BASED ON WHAT YOU CLICKED

Top ten stories based on daily site traffic:

1. Jack Wighton tests market after turning down option for 2021 (October 16-17)
2. George Williams reported to have signed three year deal, while Raiders announce team for season opener (March 12)
3. Canberra Raiders defeat Melbourne Storm in Week 1 of the finals (September 14-15)
4. Canberra Raiders qualify for the Grand Final, defeating South Sydney Rabbitohs in Preliminary Final (September 27-28)
5. Canberra Raiders golden point Round 24 win over Cronulla Sharks (September 1)
6. Canberra Raiders defeated in Grand Final, while controversy rages over #Trainergate and #SixAgain (October 6-7)
7. Canberra Raiders defeat Panthers in crucial Round 19 clash at Penrith (July 28)
8. Canberra Raiders finish fourth, despite Round 25 loss to New Zealand Warriors (September 7)
9. Jordan Rapana officially announces departure from the Raiders, while 2020 draw announced (October 29-30)
10. Ticket frenzy as Grand Final week kicks off (September 30)

Top ten individual threads based on views:

1. Canberra Raiders sign Wigan Warriors half George Williams
2. Williams or Sezer?
3. 2019 Grand Final V Roosters: Game Day
4. 2019 Grand Final V Roosters: Teams and Previews
5. Jarrod Croker
6. 2019 Preliminary Final V Rabbitohs: Teams and Previews
7. 2019 Rd 1 V Titans: Teams and Previews
8. Canberra Raiders offering Jack Wighton close to $3 million, after he goes on open market for 2021
9. 2019 Trial 2 V Bulldogs: Teams and Game Day
10. Canberra Raiders rewarded with representative honours

Top ten individual threads based on replies:

1. Williams or Sezer?
2. 2019 Rd 22 V Storm: Game Day
3. 2019 Grand Final V Roosters: Game Day
4. 2019 Finals Wk 1 V Storm: Game Day
5. Canberra Raiders sign Wigan Warriors half George Williams
6. Jarrod Croker
7. 2019 Rd 9 V Roosters: Game Day
8. 2019 Rd 24 V Sharks: Game Day
9. 2019 Preliminary Final V Rabbitohs: Game Day
10. 2019 Rd 23 V Sea Eagles: Game Day

* Individual threads from the Canberra Raiders forum, excluding permanently stickied and recurring threads.
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