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NRL: Raiders bandwagon hanging over the fences at Canberra Stadium | One Herald
Home / Health / NRL: Raiders bandwagon hanging over the fences at Canberra Stadium

NRL: Raiders bandwagon hanging over the fences at Canberra Stadium


The Canberra Raiders bandwagon is set for a long drive home.

That’s the message coming from Woy Woy’s Gavin Bridge, who was joined at an overflowing Canberra Stadium by fans from as far away as Hong Kong.


Ennis goads Canberra crowd with Viking clap

Michael Ennis risked earning the wrath of Canberra locals, goading them with their own Viking clap after the Sharks’ victory.

The second largest home crowd in Raiders history clamoured to find the best vantage point at Canberra Stadium as the Raiders fell agonisingly short of their first preliminary final berth since Super League 19 years ago.

But they’ve got a second chance, and now the club will be hoping to have all 25,592 fans back next weekend against the winner of the Canterbury’s date with Penrith on Sunday.

NRL Qualifying Final Canberra Raiders v Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at GIO Stadium Canberra. Crowds and Fans.
NRL Qualifying Final Canberra Raiders v Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at GIO Stadium Canberra. Crowds and Fans.  Photo: Jay Cronan

As the clock wound down with the hosts two points behind, Sutton’s Mary Read couldn’t even stay in her seat.

“I felt sick, I had to jump up and walk up and down,” Read said.

“I couldn’t cope very well at all. I don’t cope very well at home with the TV let alone here. It’s just too much for me.”

But while “sheer nerves” had her stomach churning, the long term club member says she will be back next week – she simply can’t stay away.

“How silly is that. I never would [stay away], I love those boys.”

Canberra’s return to the finals marked the return of the famous viking clap, with the roar of over 50,000 hands clapping in unison heard from outside the stadium.

Canberra shot out of the blocks and brought the crowd to their feet with the viking clap followed by a “Raiders” chant within 30 seconds of kickoff.

Bridge said even he was feeling pumped up by the viking clap.

“We’d like to see it just like they did it today as the players run out,” Bridge said.

“I reckon they would have loved it.”

While in years gone by a deficit late in the match could have seen Canberra fans all but lose hope, Bridge says “Ricky the redeemer” has turned that attitude around.

“Things were tight but everyone still had their spirits up,” Bridge said.

“We still believed we were going to win the game.”

For most rugby league fans in the Hunter Valley, 2016 has been a very long year.

That isn’t the case for Raiders season ticket holder Tony Igglesden, making the trek to cheer the green machine on 10 times this season.

But too many more close calls like that could make things a little bit more difficult.

“I thought I was going to have a heart attack towards the end of the game,” Igglesden said.

A Raiders supporter since the dawn of the glory days, Igglesden is hopeful he can make a return for next week’s sudden death showdown.

With the opportunity to throw his hands together in another viking clap amongst a sell-out crowd, he would be crazy not to.



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