NRL talking points: Raiders fans got nuts for 'Viking Clap' and the Josh Hodgson effect

NRL talking points: Raiders fans got nuts for 'Viking Clap' and the Josh Hodgson effect

The Canberra Raiders will finish the season in the top four for the first time in 13 years after they beat the Parramatta Eels on 28-18 on Sunday.

Here are the talking points from their second-half comeback at Canberra Stadium.


The Raiders bandwagon was in full-swing when the Green Machine trialled an Iceland soccer-style Viking clap before kick-off.

Brenko Lee celebrates one of his four tries for the Raiders.

Brenko Lee celebrates one of his four tries for the Raiders.Credit:Jay Cronan

Almost 19,000 fans watched the clash against the Eels for Canberra's last home game of the year.

It was the biggest regular season crowd for a Raiders match since 2010, and the Viking clap was enough to make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.

Fans jumped to their feet before the game to clap in rhythm in scenes made popular by Iceland's stellar run at the Euro 2016 soccer competition in France earlier this year.

Iceland humiliated England at the Euros and the bandwagon followed them into the semi-finals, but some argued their greatest legacy was the Viking Clap.

The video of the Raiders' 'Viking Clap' had almost 100,000 views on Sunday night and could feature at future home games if the crowd is big enough.

Raiders fans were silenced early against the Eels but started to roar for a second-half comeback and a 10-point win to secure a top four berth.


If Canberra are to have any chance of toppling the competition heavyweights in the finals, they need Josh Hodgson on the field.

That was obvious for everyone to see in the first half of the clash against the Eels as the Dally M hopeful left a gaping hole in the Raiders line-up while serving a one-game suspension.

Hodgson's average of more than 70 metres per game wasn't matched by either back-up hooker in Adam Clydsdale and Kurt Baptiste, with the pair combining for 38 running metres.

Often coach Ricky Stuart will toss Baptiste on in place of another forward to give his side a fourth creative option, but was reduced to three playmakers in the Englishman's absence.


Canberra skipper Jarrod Croker has made a habit of breaking club records this season and added another one to the list on Sunday.

Croker became the most prolific point scorer in a single season for the Raiders when he scored a try and then converted in the 46th minute.

The try triggered a Raiders' fightback but also lifted Croker to 246 points for the year to pass Clinton Schifcofske's previous record of 245 set from 2001.

Croker is already the highest point scorer in Raiders history and is the leading scorer of all teams in the competition this year.

At just 25 years old, Croker has now racked up an astonishing 1376 career points, meaning the Goulburn lad is well on his way to passing Bulldogs great Hazem El Masri's record of 2418.


Raiders winger Brenko Lee must not have read the script before the game about the mouthwatering battle between "Leipana" (Joey Leilua and Jordan Rapana) and Eels duo Semi Radradra and Michael Jennings.

The Bulldogs-bound winger scored Canberra's only try of the first half and then touched down for another three tries after the break.

It was the first time Lee had scored four tries in one game. Had the bunker not denied Lee another first-half try, he would have equalled the greatest Raider of all, Mal Meninga, for the most tries scored in a game for Canberra.

Lee faces a challenge just to keep his spot in the team with cousin Edrick Lee almost ready for a comeback.


Meanwhile, Leipana got dirty and did the tough stuff but didn't get the try-scoring rewards that we're used to seeing from the bromance duo.

Parramatta coach Brad Arthur even tried to move Jennings to the opposite side to try to stop Croker and Lee, but it didn't work.

Caden Helmers is a sports reporter for The Canberra Times

Most Viewed in Sport