The Broncos have had to kiss their 18-straight finals streak goodbye after they failed to get the better of the Raiders of Friday night, Canberra securing their spot in the September semis with a narrow two point win over Brisbane.
Needing to win by at least 15 points to get into the top eight, the Lockyer-less Broncos were always going to struggle in this one.
The massive home crowd at Suncorp Stadium weren’t concerned with how much their mighty maroon and golds won by, they just wanted to farewell Folau with a win by any amount.
It wasn’t to be, however, as even with Peter Wallace risking his injured shoulder and making a last minute appearance, the Raiders were just too strong.
Canberra extended their end of season winning streak to five straight and pushed themselves up to seventh on the ladder, with Ladbrokes.com.au shortening their odds to win the Premiership into $16.
Ladbrokes.com.au shortened the Raiders odds to win the Premiership into $16 but fans that got in early locked them in at up to $101!
In a gritty start to the much anticipated showdown on Friday night, the first points didn’t get up on the board until the 18th minute when the Raiders opened their account via a Daniel Vidot four-pointer off a bomb, the try converted by Jarrod Croker.
After gaining the upper hand and some momentum Canberra took full advantage and scored again just three minutes later through fullback Josh Dugan, who wasn’t popular with the crowds as he seemingly targeted Wallace and his shoulder all night.
Another successful kick by Croker pushed them in front 12 – nil and had the 38,870 plus Broncos’ fans sitting back in their seats.
Brisbane eventually answered back when young hooker Andrew McCullough scored their first in the 27th minute after he dummied and sidestepped the Raiders’ defenders.
In an embarrassing gaff, Corey Parker missed a seemingly easy conversion from just off-centre and the Broncos still trailed by eight heading into halftime.
Back from the break the Raiders were able to score once more with Vidot making it a match double in the 59th minute and Croker making it three from three to give them 18 points in total.
Staging a comeback the Broncos scored twice more before the game’s end, with winger Jharal Yow Yeh (68th minute) and Matt Gillett (72nd minute).
Parker booted both, but after missing the initial conversion it wasn’t quite enough to give Folau a winning send off and the home team lost by two.
In the first week of the finals the Raiders must play the Panthers at CUA Stadium but the TAB won’t have the best odds on the game. For a better price on every match all throughout the finals sign up to Ladbrokes.com.au and enjoy a free $100 bet to get you started!