The Canberra Raiders have used a dominant second half to smash the Brisbane Broncos 36-8 at GIO Stadium Canberra on Saturday night, 15 August.
After trailing 8-6 at half time, the Raiders scored 30 unanswered points in the second half to add further misery to the Broncos’ disastrous season.
The Broncos got away to a fast start after Kotoni Staggs made a break down the right edge and kicked in field for Jesse Arthurs to give them a 4-0 lead after just five minutes.
The Raiders hit back in the 12th minute after a beautiful pass from George Williams gave birthday boy Jordan Rapana a clear run to score in the corner to give the Raiders a 6-4 lead.
The Broncos dominated field position in the first half with the Raiders coming up with numerous try-saving tackles as they desperately defended their line.
The weight of possession eventually told as Nick Cotric failed to collect a grubber and Herbie Farnworth scored in the 36th minute to give the Broncos a deserved 8-6 lead at half time.
After defending for the majority of the first half, the Raiders came out in the second half and immediately took control of the match.
John Bateman went straight past Brodie Croft in defence to set up George Williams for a try to give the Raiders a 12-8 lead after 45 minutes and the floodgates opened from there.
Nick Cotric scored the simplest of tries after a defensive error from Darius Boyd left the Broncos short, to extend the Raiders’ lead to 18-8 after 52 minutes.
Williams then set up Bateman for a try with a pinpoint kick in the 59th minute to take the margin out to 24-8 as the Broncos became listless in defence.
With their very next set, the Raiders scored another try after Jarrod Croker made a break down the left edge and kicked in board to Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad to make it 30-6.
The Raiders then had their fifth try in 20 minutes after a 60 metre run from Corey Harawira-Naera saw Cotric score in the corner on the next play to make it 36-8, which is where it would remain.
Croker continued his strong goal kicking form, kicking a perfect 6 from 6, including several from the sideline. ead as the NRL’s best goal kicker with an 88% goal kicking record this season.
Bateman and Williams played together at Wigan before moving to the Raiders and their connection was on show in the second half as they were the best players on the field.
Harawira-Naera also showed how dangerous he can be running for 173 metres in just 35 minutes off the bench while Joe Tapine proved a handful for the Broncos off the bench as he ran for 175 metres.
The 36 points scored was the Raiders’ biggest score of the season and will hopefully ignite the Raiders’ attack as we approach the business end of the season.
The Broncos’ loss was worsened with a hand injury to Jake Turpin and their best player Payne Haas being put on report for a crusher tackle.
The Raiders remain fifth on the ladder but are now equal on points with the fourth-placed Roosters who have been struck with injuries. The Raiders’ next match is against the Gold Coast Titans at Cbus Super Stadium this Saturday afternoon, 22 August.