Harold Matthews (Under 16’s)
Canberra Raiders 30 defeated Sydney Roosters 28 at Seiffert Oval
The Canberra Raiders Harold Matthews side has trumped the Sydney Roosters by two points to secure their first win of the 2015 season.
Although they hadn’t been able to register a victory in their previous two encounters, Coach Adam Kyle has been particularly impressed with the unrelenting effort of his troops no matter the situation of the match and this was the case again in Round 3.
“We couldn’t be happier to get our first win of the year,” Kyle said. “All week we asked the boys to replicate the effort of the first two weeks and it was great to see us come out and perform the way we wanted to. It’s been a hard few weeks with some close games, so we knew if we could keep that standard up it wouldn’t be long before we got a win.”
The Green Machine got off to a good start with two quick-fire tries however several unforced errors invited the Roosters back into the contest and the boys from Bondi subsequently made the Raiders work hard for the win.
“We kicked away early in the game, but some unforced errors allowed the Roosters back into the match,” Kyle said. “Credit to the Roosters as they were as desperate as we were and kept at us right until full-time.
“We have talked the last few weeks about our desperation on our goal line, so it was fantastic to see the boys hold the Roosters out. We held them up over the goal line three times. I thought our composure on their line in attack was also great. We played with good shape and boys were in the right position at the right time.
“However, we still have improvement in us. We need to keep working on bringing our unforced errors down. We had a few on the weekend and the Roosters capitalised on them. That comes down to composure and making sure we concentrate on the job, not worrying about the next play. But this all comes from learning, and as long as we keep progressing then we are happy as a group.”
Standouts for the Raiders were hooker Jesse Dent and back-rower Tristan Aurisch who each scored two tries in the win.
Canberra Raiders 30 (Jesse Dent 2, Tristan Aurisch 2, Alifeleti Ngahe, Seb Kris tries; Kris 3 goals) def. Sydney Roosters 28 (Ethan O'Neill 2, Kyle Lowe, Lincoln Stewart, Shannon Gardiner tries; Gardiner 4 goals)
SG Ball (Under 18’s)
Canberra Raiders 20 drew with Sydney Roosters 20 at Seiffert Oval
After two resounding wins in the opening two rounds, the Canberra Raiders have succumbed to a 20-all draw with the Sydney Roosters following a horrific injury crisis.
The Green Machine had already been struck hard by injuries leading into the match with Coach Dean Souter forced to select several inexperienced players in key positions.
This state was worsened when Jacob Field pulled out before kick-off with an injured knee. Sebastian Kris was subsequently called into the side from the Harold Matthews after already having played a game.
Things then went from bad to worse during the match when hooker Jesse Martin, whom scored two tries in the previous match, got knocked out after 19 minutes and centre Kody Parsons was carried off in a stretcher.
This left just two players on the bench when the game was on the line, one of which was a 16 year old.
Given the monumental uphill battle that the Raiders were forced to confront, Souter was extremely pleased with the staunch defensive effort and toughness that his side portrayed.
“I’ve been impressed with the effort in defence each week but this match was very impressive,” Souter said. “I wouldn’t say that we excelled in any particular area of play, but we didn’t give up for the entire 70 minutes and that’s what I am very proud of. This is a very tough football team.”
Souter highlighted the efforts of Connor Brebner and Kalani Going in defence and Sam Finnegan’s performance in attack.
Finnegan scored two tries in total, the final one allowing centre Nick Cotric and opportunity to clinch a draw. Cotric calmly stepped up to the plate and slotted the conversion from the sideline.
Whilst the defensive effort was there, the regular fluency in attack was absent due to the injuries faced by the side.
“There were a lot of inexperienced guys who stepped into key roles,” Souter said. “We had one player that wasn’t a regular half and in attack we were going to the regular half’s side too many times and that made our attack easy to read. We’ve got to be better at counting numbers and taking the right opportunities in attack.
“We’ve got a really tough team here and I’m confident that we will come good in the end though.”
Canberra Raiders 20 (Sam Finnegan 2, Andrew Niko, Lachlan Cooper tries; Nick Cotric, Cooper goals) drew with Sydney Roosters 20 (Zane Blake 2, Ben Vaituutuu, Jarred Anderson tries; Jesse Marschke 2 goals)