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Roosters Unable to Overcome Raiders Despite Strong Second Half Showing

A second-half surge by the Sydney Roosters wasn't enough to overcome the Canberra Raiders in Angus Crichton's 150th NRL match at Allianz Stadium on Sunday evening. 

A far from ideal start from the Tricolours saw Canberra claim three tries in the opening 28 minutes, before a stellar effort from Luke Keary set up Joesph Manu twice to bring the game back into the balance in front of 13,326 fans. 

Wearing Crazy Socks in support of the Family of League Foundation, the Bondi Wall met the Raiders with force early, as Angus Crichton, Jake Turpin and Lindsay Collins combined to flatten a storming Corey Horsburgh in his first carry. 

But an infringement in the seventh minute from the Tricolours gave Canberra the chance to claim points through a Jarrod Croker penalty goal from close range. 

A high-bomb from Jamal Fogarty staged a one-on-one aerial contest between James Tedesco and Jack Wighton nine minutes later, with the Raiders' five-eighth successful in claiming possession of the ball mid-air and crawling his away over the tryline. Croker failed to add the extras, leaving the score as 6-0. 

Jordan Rapana couldn't gather the ball off the restart, resulting in an error by Emre Guler, gifting the Roosters an opportunity in their attacking half with a goal-line drop-out, but the hosts couldn't find points on the ensuing play. 

One minute later, Croker sent Hudson Young through the line on the left edge. The backrower connected with winger Albert Hopoate for the Raiders' second try, with the Canberra captain kicking the conversion from touch to cement a 12-point lead. 

Brilliant defence from Egan Butcher halted the visitors as they raced towards the stripe chasing a Fogarty grubber, with the 23-year-old trickily squeezing his knees together to trap the ball in the defensive line. 

But the Raiders made no mistake when the opportunity presented itself once more, after a Fogarty kick set up another one-on-one in the air, this time between Tedesco and Sebastian Kris. 

Successfully batting the ball back to his centre, Kris set up Matthew Timoko for Canberra's third try of the half, with Croker slotting the goal from in-front to make it 18-0. 

A clunky period of back-to-back errors from both sides was put to bed after Luke Keary created a marvellous play to set up Joseph Manu for the Tricolours first try, with an offload on the 20 metre line. 

The New Zealand International sprinted towards the tryline, outpacing Horsburgh and bumping off Kris to cruise over despite further contest from Timoko. Sandon Smith converted the try, reducing the margin to 12 points after the half-time siren. 

Manu Hits Back

The hosts came out of the sheds firing, with Keary chipping the ball over the defensive line to set Manu up against Croker, with the Golden Boot winner pinching the ball out of the air and planting it on the stripe. Smith made no mistake with the conversion, bringing the Roosters within six. 

Manu Goes Back to Back

Daniel Tupou produced an outstanding try-saving tackle on Fogarty, grasping onto the jersey of Canberra's halfback to bring him down metres from the tryline after Kris broke through the defence. 

Tupou Diving Try Saver

Granted a set restart after the hosts were offside on the resuming play, Victor Radley raced out of the line to knock down Fogarty, halting any attacking momentum for the Raiders. 

Scramble defence from the Roosters resulted in a double knock-on, with Tedesco's hands touching the ball first. On the ensuing scrum, Keary was ruled offside, giving Croker the chance to put Canberra eight points ahead with a penalty goal. 

Roosters Show Some Stout Defence

Clawing their way into their attacking half after Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was tackled dangerously, a Radley linebreak and quick play the ball allowed Smith to put returning Maroons Player of the Match Collins over under the posts, breaking a 30-match drought. 

Collins Makes It A Thrilling Finish

But the Raiders held on, maintaining possession in their attacking half as the clock wound down.

Sydney Roosters 18 (Lindsay Collins, Joseph Manu 2 tries, Sandon Smith 3 goals) def by Canberra Raiders 20 (Jack Wighton, Albert Hopoate, Matthew Timoko tries, Jarrod Croker 4 goals) 

Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.