Full Time: CAN 24 - SYD 22

It was a story of taking your opportunities in the opening half at Canberra Stadium tonight, with both sides awarded a handful of chances on the opposition line however the Roosters the only successful of the two register three tries in the opening forty minutes.


The opening minutes of the Canberra Stadium clash was all the home team with a handful of opportunities to cross the Roosters line, but again the boys from Bondi held strong to continue their solid start to the season defensively. At the half time break they were at 206 minutes without a point scored against them.


However the side who just five days ago put 50 points on Parramatta was struggling to emulate the same form in attack, with just one complete set out of four in the opening 10 minutes seeing them hand the Raiders chances inside the Roosters half.


The first points may have taken 20 minutes to come, but it was worth the wait.


After a good bomb from Mitchell Pearce wasnt controlled by the Raiders, the scrum was packed and off just the next tackle Jake Friend drifted across field from dummy half and found Jimmy Maloney in space who pushed his way over to score.


After another period of sloppy football from both sides, in which a handful of scrums were packed thanks to loose carries and misguided passes, it was the thirty minute mark when we had our second.


Mitchell Pearce headed to the left side, taking the ball from Friend at dummy-half to find Maloney who moved it wide quickly and found debutant Michael Oldfield in space. Oldfield headed for the corner, only to step in at the last minute off the left and dot down for his first try in the Tricolours.


With the Roosters well in control it was the Raiders who began to hurt themselves, with errors creeping into their game and their big men unable to dominate the midfield due to a lack of possession.


Just five minutes before the break, off the back of a penalty on their line, Pearce managed to find some space on the outside of the Raiders defence and drop a neat little grubber in for a flying Mitchell Aubusson who dived on the ball to register the Roosters third of the evening.


SECOND HALF


The opening ten minutes of the second half was all Canberra, with the home side flying out of the blocks to cross twice through Edrick Lee in the corner first and Sam Williams in the midfield in the space of just five minutes.


However after composing themselves and finding repeat sets inside the Canberra half, it was a moment of brilliance from new recruit Sonny Bill Williams in the 55th minute that saw the fourth Roosters try of the night.


Off the back of a Raiders knock-on the former All Black picked the ball up 30 metres out, stepped inside and out and threw a no-look ball inside for captain Anthony Minichiello to pick up by his boot laces and dive over to extend the lead to 10 points with Maloneys conversion successful.


Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Sam Moa were injected back into the match after just 10 minutes in the second half, with the Roosters book-ends finding the boys from Bondi some momentum and matching it up front with the Raiders big pack.


It was the Raiders however who were the next to score with Sam Williams sending a bomb high to the right wing for former Chook Sandor Earl to leap over Oldfield and score in the corner. Croker converted to make it a four point game with just 15 minutes remaining.


The Roosters had a near chance just five minutes later after a JWH short-ball found Jimmy Maloney flying through, only for his pass to Pearce to find the hand of Reece Robinson and then the Canberra Stadium turf.


With just five minutes remaining and all the momentum, the Raiders left edge again found space and Edrick Lee picked up a loose ball to break the line and find Croker on his outside who crossed to make it a level game.


After adding the extras, from just to the left of the uprights, Croker in his 100th NRL game took the lead for his side.


And that was where it stayed after the final minutes were played out by the home side, through the middle of the field to take the win and the 2 competition points.



FULL TIME: Canberra 24 Roosters 22