Raiders v Broncos: Five key points
Broncos produce a classic try, Raiders' defence out wide a worry, Papalii stops McGuire in his tracks and what else we learned from Brisbane's win in Canberra on Saturday.
Brisbane scored one of the best tries ever
With the Raiders attacking the Broncos' line with repeat sets to close out the first half, it looked as though they would be taking the advantage into sheds as time wound down.
On the final play of the half Edrick Lee was cornered and threw a desperation ball back infield which went unclaimed. What happened next was amazing.
Darius Boyd scooped the ball up next to his own line and passed to Ben Hunt. After some brilliant offloading between the pair Hunt then kicked to middle of the field. Eventually the ball found Lachlan Maranta 90 metres downfield with just Sisa Waqa in front of him. Maranta got around Waqa to finish off one of the greatest rugby league tries in recent memory. Even Wayne Bennett smiled!
Bennett a happy man
In a rare sight for the typically stoic mastercoach, Bennett was caught by Fox Sports cameras smiling and laughing at half-time – and it wasn't just because of the Broncos' incredible length-of-the-field try.
Without two of Brisbane's six Origin stars, Justin Hodges and Sam Thaiday, Bennett's understrength team was still able to get the better of an almost full-strength opponent.
Bennett will also be buoyed by the fact that he has now won eight of nine matches against Ricky Stuart. The Broncos are also sitting pretty at the top of the NRL table, and they face strugglers Manly next week.
For his part, Bennett said after the match he wasn't smiling at the amazing try but at a fan saying, "Loved your work in Gran Torino, Clint."
Canberra need to start better
After going down 12-nil in the opening 18 minutes against the Broncos the Raiders have now lost the opening 20 minutes of their matches by a combined 50-nil over their past three games.
It's a stat that will worry Ricky Stuart as his side has repeatedly been forced to chase down big leads just to stay a chance in games.
Meanwhile the Broncos' opening try to Jack Reed marked the 10th time in 12 rounds this season Wayne Bennett's men have scored the first try of the game.
Ricky Stuart wouldn't be happy with his side's performance but he didn't stick around very long in the press conference to let anyone know about it.
His appearance in the post-match media conference lasted just 29 seconds.
The Broncos know how to close out a game
The Brisbane Broncos showed for a second week in a row that they are experts in closing games out after once again denying their opposition second half points.
Much of that can be attributed to the form and composure of their diminutive halves who were almost faultless in leading their side in the second half.
Both halves were also extremely dangerous, especially Hunt who was pivotal in their try-of-the-season contender and also notched two try assists and three line-break assists. Anthony Milford meanwhile had six tackle busts.
On the other hand, Raiders duo Sam Williams and Blake Austin seemed too desperate at times and failed to provide the control to put the Broncos under sustained pressure.
Papalli put on one of the hits of the season
Midway through the second half Raiders hitman Josh Papalii absolutely ironed out fellow big-bopper Josh McGuire.
With his side struggling for momentum the ex-Kangaroos second-rower took it upon himself to lift his teammates with the huge shot which shook the Broncos prop.
If McGuire wasn't already sore from Origin a few days ago, he certainly will be now.
Despite the enormity of Papalii's hit it still isn't the biggest of his career. That accolade goes to his 2013 hit on Jamie Buhrer which shook the foundations of Brookvale Oval.