The Canberra Raiders NYC team has suffered a heart breaking loss against the Roosters going down 30-29 at Allianz Stadium this afternoon.
Canberra took the lead for the first time all afternoon after Lachlan Croker was able to kick a field goal with a minute and a half left in the game. A penalty for lying in the play the ball area gifted the Roosters a penalty after the siren and Tyler Cornish kicked the match winning goal.
It was a game of two halves and at times it looked like the Raiders were going to be blown out of the water when they trailed 24-4 at half time, before they outplayed the Roosters comprehensively in the 2nd half taking the lead before the Cornish penalty to win the game for the Roosters.
The Roosters were first on the board when some nice backline play led to Arthur Currie crossing in the corner. Tyler Cornish the younger brother of Mitch missed the conversion to give the Roosters a 4-0 lead after six minutes.
It didn’t last long with the Raiders hitting right back after Lachlan Lewis found a hard running Luke Bateman who crashed through two Roosters defenders to tie the game up. Doyle couldn’t convert leaving scores tied up at 4 all after 10 minutes.
After that it was all the Roosters who scored four unanswered tries to finish off the first half to take a commanding 24-4 lead into half time.
The Roosters took the ascendancy in the game through two quick tries with the first off a Garard error and Jack Goodsell scored. On replay it clearly showed the ball bounced out of Goodsell’s hands but the Raiders failed to use the Captain’s challenge for the try.
Cornish again missed the conversion to continue the poor start both sides were having with the boot.
The next try was scored by Brendan Elliot who made the most of the Raiders being too wide defending a scrum going straight through an open gap to score. Cornish added the extras to give the Roosters a 14-4 lead after 23 minutes.
Canberra was their own worst enemy again with errors creeping into their game which allowed the Roosters good field position. Nene McDonald coming back from first grade was causing the Raiders a world of problems with the Roosters’ five-eighth doing as he pleased in the first half.
He scored the next try after he brushed off four Raiders like they were ragdolls, powering his way to the line. There was some fortune for the Raiders with Cornish leaving his kicking boots at home as he was again unable to convert the try.
McDonald was in again from what looked to be an off-side position off a Cornish kick, but the video ref ruled that there wasn’t enough evidence to overturn the decision of the try. Cornish added the extras to give the Roosters a commanding 24-4 lead at half time.
24 missed tackles and a 38% possession rate for the Raiders was a contributing factor in the Roosters big lead at half time.
It looked like the Raiders were going to get a repeat set to start the second half, but McDonald again was phenomenal for the Roosters grabbing a ball that looked to be going dead before beating five Raiders on his way out of the in goal area.
Croker was determined to keep the Raiders in the game after he was able to break the Roosters line and offload the ball. After some good scrambling passing Doyle was able to score in the corner, Croker missed the conversion but the Raiders showed signs of life down 24-8 after 45 minutes.
Sydney were next to score with Elliot collecting a grubber and score under no real pressure. Cornish again missed the conversion and the Roosters took a 28-8 lead after 50 minutes.
Croker was getting more confidence as the game wore on, he put Doyle through a hole and Garard was able to take the pass from Doyle and score in the corner. Croker missed the conversion reducing the Roosters lead to 16 with 26 minutes left on the clock.
Elliot was able to break the line for the Roosters, but multiple scrambling tackles from Garard and a try saving tackle from Doyle and Croker held the Roosters out.
The Raiders struggled to get out of their own half but an error from Elliot gifted the Raiders another set. Jared McIlwrick made some good metres leaving the Roosters at 6’s and 7’s.
Garard made the Roosters pay as he was able to steamroll through Cornish and Goodsell to get his double. Croker converted the try to take the Roosters lead back to 10 after 60 minutes.
Canberra was surging in the second half and having a heap of success on the left hand side. This time Croker was able to find debutant Jack Williams who charged over to find the line and suddenly it was the Roosters with hands on their hips.
Croker converted the try to bring the margin back to just 4 with 12 minutes left in the match.
Then the match was level, a backline play from Kent who passed to McIlwrick and he was able to find Creith in the corner to level the game. Croker missed the conversion leaving scores level with just three minutes to go.
Then on the next set it was all set up as Frawley was able to find Croker who nailed the field goal to put the Raiders in front with a minute to go.
A late penalty for a lying on the tackler allowed Cornish a chance to have a shot for goal after the siren. Cornish was able to nail the penalty to give the Roosters a 30-29 victory in a heartbreaking loss for the young Canberra Raiders.
In the loss the Raiders were sparked by Croker who was superb in the second half, Garard who was able to make good metres and find the try line and Barnett and Bateman were both tireless in the forwards working hard to give the Raiders good metres.
The Raiders return to GIO Stadium next Monday to take on the Broncos.
Sydney Roosters 30
Tries: McDonald 2, Elliot 2, Currie, Goodsell; Cornish 3/7 Goals
Canberra Raiders 29
Tries: Garard 2, Bateman, Doyle, Williams, Creith; Doyle 0/1, Croker 2/5 Goals
Field goals: Croker 1