Woes continue for Brisbane Broncos who lose their third game in a row.
The Canberra Raiders continued their unbeaten run at home this NRL season after securing a comprehensive 30-18 victory against the Brisbane Broncos.
Victory for the Raiders saw them snap a two-game losing streak and saw them climb into eighth spot on the ladder at the completion of round 12.
The news from the Brisbane camp is not so positive as they slumped to their eighth loss of the year, with the last two weekends seeing the Broncos give up a staggering 86 points to their opponents.
Canberra were desperate to not have a slow start to the game, which has often been their Achilles heel this season.
And Blake Ferguson, playing in his 100th NRL game, helped the cause after he reeled in an excellent take off the back of a high kick, before finding Josh McCrone for the first try.
The Raiders continued their red-hot start to the game when Terry Campese broke through some soft defence, before finding Joel Thompson for the easy four-pointer.
Jarrod Croker kicked his second conversion for the night to make it 12-0 for the home side after just 15 minutes.
The Raiders completed their first 10 sets as their defence also held up well when they were pressured off the back of penalties to the Broncos.
Edrick Lee set up the Raiders’ third try when he counter-attacked from his own half, as he set up Croker for the home side, with the game starting to get away from Brisbane.
Canberra converted again as they stretched their lead to 18 in what was nearly a perfect first 30 minutes of football.
Brisbane’s kicking game was below par as they failed to build pressure on the home side, despite
the fact they had been inside the Raiders’ 20 metre area significantly more in the first half.
Lee then scored a try of his own as he reached out and slammed the ball down after poor defence
Croker continued to pile on the punishment for the visitors as the score reached 24 points still with five minutes left in the first half.
But it was not all positive news for the Raiders in the first half, after Campese was put on report for leading with his knees into a tackle against Brisbane centre Jack Reed.
Off the back of the penalty for Campese’s sloppy effort, Brisbane finally had something to celebrate when Scott Prince dived over to cut the margin to 18 at half-time.
Canberra made every post a winner in completing 17-18 sets in the first half, while Brisbane looked sluggish as they failed to back up line-breaks and be desperate in defence.
Brisbane got the perfect start to the second half after Matt Gillett snatched the ball away from Blake Ferguson after a bomb, as the game became an interesting contest again at 24-12.
Brisbane’s third penalty of the second half continued to invite the away side back into the game and a break saw Josh Hoffman dragged down just short of the Canberra line as the home side continued
to hang on grimly.
Joel Edwards scored a vital try as be smashed his way through the Brisbane defence close to the line to stem the Broncos’ comeback effort.
Croker again was accurate with the boot to make the score 30-12 with 15 minutes remaining and the away side’s chance of victory running out.
Mitchell Dodds was given a fortuitous consolation try after he survived a video referee decision despite an obvious double-movement being shown on the replay, as the Broncos made the score 30-18.
But the game still had some drama left in the final 10 seconds as Josh Papalli was put on report for a lifting tackle.
Canberra will be out to continue their good form and consolidate their place in the top eight when they host the Penrith Panthers next round.
Brisbane will be desperate to get back in the winners’ circle given their recent average form and they will have a chance to, when the Wests Tigers travel to Suncorp Stadium.