NRL: Fast starting Raiders see off Broncos

Raiders players celebrate after a try by Joel Thompson. Photo /Getty Images
Raiders players celebrate after a try by Joel Thompson. Photo /Getty Images

Canberra burst out of the blocks with four first half tries and survived a late Brisbane fightback to win 30-18 in their NRL clash at Canberra Stadium.

The game was built up as the perfect State of Origin audition for Josh Papalii.

However the Canberra enforcer had a mixed night, making a whopping 151 metres in attack yet making several unexpected errors and being put on report for a lifting tackle on Josh Hoffman with just 10 seconds left on the clock.

A crowd of 10,419 braved chilly single figure temperatures at Canberra Stadium and Brisbane's start couldn't have been much colder.

The Raiders' early 24-point lead was directly reflected in their 94 per cent first half completion rate, failing just once in 18 sets.

It was a piece of aerial magic from in-form centre Blake Ferguson in his 100th NRL game that led to the opening try in the 12th minute.

The NSW Origin representative plucked a Terry Campese bomb out of the air on the 10m line before offloading inches from the ground to a perfectly placed Josh McCrone.

Three more Raiders tries to Joel Thompson, Jarrod Croker and man-of-the-match Edrick Lee looked to put the game out of reach before Brisbane snapped out of hibernation on the cusp of halftime when five-eighth Scott Prince scored and converted to reduce the score to 24-6.

The Broncos were then first to score after the break, Matt Gillett outleaping a hesitant Robinson to score under the posts.

However a barnstorming try from Canberra's Joel Edwards - more a noted defender - put the game out of reach for the visitors, despite a late consolation try to Mitchell Dodds.

The win puts the Raiders up to eighth place, while the Broncos find themselves struggling in 11th place with just five wins from 13 matches.

Raiders coach David Furner didn't seem too concerned about Papalii's tackle on report, nor his captain Campese's when he slid into Reed in the 37th minute.

"Have a look at the conditions," Furner said.

"The dew on the ground, you could slide from 30 metres out and end up there, please."

Furner was also unimpressed about the 6-1 penalty count against his side in the second half.

"That's going to bring any team back into the game," he said.

"We were obviously trying to play a faster brand of game against the Broncos, and if anything we were probably getting held down a little bit longer."

Broncos coach Anthony Griffin said it was always going to be tough to fight back from 24-0 down.

"We were starting to come over the top of them there. But you're playing from too far behind and then a very f***ing soft try that last one," he said.

Broncos captain Sam Thaiday said it wasn't the cold conditions that were to blame for his team's poor start.

"We just weren't prepared to roll our sleeves up early enough," he said.

- AAP

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