As the Vodafone Warriors head into their 12th encounter with the Raiders at Canberra Stadium (now GIO Stadium) on Sunday, their record in Australia’s national capital has been trotted out again, as it always is when they make this trip.
No wonder really given that they have won just once in 11 attempts at the Green Machine’s home ground, the only success coming 17 years ago in their second visit there.
It was in the 1997 Super League season at a time when John Monie was, as it transpired, in his final few weeks as the Warriors’ foundation coach.
This was a Monday night game, cold if the memory is correct. Isn’t it always in the footy season in Canberra?
The key contributor in the wash-up was former All Black Marc Ellis. Each team scored five tries but Ellis kicked five from six while the Raiders managed just two from six attempts. Critically, too, Ellis slotted a late field goal.
While this is the only time to date that the Vodafone Warriors have won at Canberra Stadium it’s not their only win in Canberra. In 2001 the venue was unavailable due to the Brumbies having a rugby union clash scheduled there; so the Raiders and the Vodafone Warriors met at Manuka Oval instead with the visitors prevailing 22-10.
April 7, 1997
Canberra Stadium, Canberra
Canberra Raiders 24 (Laurie Daley 2, David Furner, Geoff McNamara, Simon Woolford tries; David Furner 2 goals).
Auckland Warriors 31 (Stacey Jones, Bryan Henare, Sean Hoppe, Stephen Kearney, Iva Ropati tries; Marc Ellis 5 goals, field goal).
Referee: Tim Mander.
Canberra Raiders| Ken Nagas; Craig O’Neall, Brett Mullins, Ruben Wiki, Geoff McNamara; Laurie Daley, Ricky Stuart; Brett Hetherington, Luke Priddis, Luke Davico; Ben Kennedy, David Furner; Bradley Clyde. Interchange: David Westley, Jason Burnham, Simon Woolford, Todd Payten.
Auckland Warriors | Marc Ellis; Iva Ropati, Tea Ropati, Anthony Swann, Sean Hoppe; Gene Ngamu, Stacey Jones; Mark Horo, Syd Eru, Grant Young; Stephen Kearney, Denis Betts; Tony Tuimavave. Interchange: Joe Vagana, Bryan Henare.