The Canberra Raiders Holden Cup side have suffered a tough loss to the Sydney Roosters, going down 46-16 on a bright Sunday afternoon at Allianz Stadium.
A game where the Green Machine managed to start so positively, quickly turned into a one sided ball game. The Raiders showed glimpses of their dominating performance against the Dragons from last week in attack, but defensively they weren’t up to the task.
Canberra managed to catch the Roosters napping in both halves scoring convincing tries early, but they weren’t able to keep that strong momentum going forward as gaps opened up in the Green Machine’s defence.
Canberra simply couldn’t keep up with the pace the Roosters had set throughout the majority of the match, as they scored all of their seven tries late in both halves. The forward pack of the Roosters set the platform in the middle for their backline to take advantage of a visibly tired Raiders side.
The first 40 minutes started off with a bang after the Canberra Raiders managed to score in the 1st minute of the game.
Sydney knocked the ball on from kick-off and the Raiders made them pay just one tackle later when Chevi Ellis broke through the line to score next to the uprights. The extra points were added on by Lachlan Croker successfully converting giving Canberra the early 6-0 lead.
Croker then left the field for the rest of the half, with a bit of a shoulder niggle.
After the bright start Canberra made it was the Roosters that came back firing scoring multiple tries against what looked like a tired Raiders defence.
Joseph Manu opened the account for Sydney after shrugging off strong tackles from the Green Machine to score in the left hand corner. Jackson Hastings failed to convert allowing Canberra to hold onto a slim 6-4 lead.
The Roosters then piled on the points late in the half, with the first try through Johnny Tuivasa-Sheck exposing the right side defense of the Raiders. Then another try scored by Jack Hickson, as he showed off his speed, splitting the defense to score under the posts.
The half ended poorly for the young Raiders NYC side after conceding another try three minutes before half time to run into the sheds down 20-6.
The second half started brightly again for the Green Machine with Lachlan Croker returning to the field and the side managing to score early.
A brilliant grubber kick by Brenko Lee saw Cameron Booth make a blistering run down the sideline behind Sydney’s defence and score the try to peg the lead back to 10 points 20-10.
The last 40 minutes seemed like a duplicate of the first with the Roosters responding strongly, scoring numerous tries after the early points scored by the Raiders.
After receiving a new set of six in attack, the Roosters regained the advantage after a try by Taane Milne. The conversion was successful from Hastings extending the Roosters lead 26-10.
Poor discipline saw Sydney take a penalty kick to make the lead 28-10.
In the 45th minute the Roosters again broke through the middle of the Raiders defence and scored under the posts to dampen the Green Machine’s hope of a comeback, losing 34-10.
Sydney scored again in the 53rd minute, compiling Canberra’s tough outing, and putting the result out of question with a try from forward Willis Meehan next to the posts to make the score 40-10.
Canberra had no answer to the Roosters offence as they continued to pile on the points, when Milne scored his second try of the evening on the right hand side.
Against the run of play Canberra hit back by catching the Sydney defence off their guard. Connor Purcell made a strong run and scored the Raiders third try of the game whilst carrying three defenders over the line.
The Raiders managed to run the rest of the game out on a positive note, manning up in defence and scoring the last try for the match. Yet it wasn’t enough as the Roosters ran out heavy victors 46-16.
In worrying news for the Raiders Holden Cup side, after Croker came back on the field in the second half, he left shortly after and did not return. Clearly carrying a shoulder injury on the sideline, the loss of Croker for an extended period would be a huge loss to the young Raiders side.