The Canberra Raiders NYC team weren’t able to recover from a slow start as they went down to the Sydney Roosters 22-32.
The Roosters were fortunate to take the lead when a cross field kick hit the posts. The ball came back into the field of play where Sydney number nine Grant Garvey gathered the ball to score underneath the posts.
There was nothing fortunate about the Roosters next try. Five-eighth Connor Watson drew in two defenders before offloading to unmarked winger Johnny Tuivasa-Sheck.
Struggling to get a foothold into the game, the Raiders made plenty of errors giving the Tricolours most of the football. Luke Chalker muscled his way over the line for a four-pointer before Connor Watson scored another try one minute later.
Not to be deterred, the Raiders showed plenty of character to fight their way back into the game. Five minutes before halftime, the Green Machine were able to force a Roosters line drop out. Making the most of the opportunity, Tre Williams ran onto a lovely cross-field grubber kick to score the Raider’s first points of the game.
Under pressure, the Roosters gave away back to back penalties giving the Raiders one last chance to end the half. Debutant halfback Zeik Foster showed plenty of creativity throwing an inside pass onto rampaging prop Daniel Dole, who forced his way over the line. Captain Zac Woolford made no mistake with the conversion to make the score 22-12.
Two minutes into the second half, Raiders centre Nick Cotric limped off the field clutching his left knee. His replacement, second rower Jack Williams, made the most of his enforced position change scoring a try eight minutes later. Ten meters out and with three defenders to beat, Williams barged his way over the try-line.
In good news for Green Machine, Nic Cotric came back onto the field ten minutes later with his knee heavily strapped and was able to see out the game.
The Raiders brought parity back to the scoreline at the 68-minute mark with captain Zac Woolford. 10 metres from the try line, Woolford darted from dummy half weaving his way through the Roosters defense. A successful conversion from the try scorer made it 22-22.
However, the Roosters managed to claim a try against the run of play with ten minutes of play remaining. An inside pass allowing Connor Watson to claim his second four-pointer.
Joseph Manu put the result beyond doubt for the Rooster with a try in the corner making it 22-32 to the Roosters two minutes from full time.
Roosters 32 (Watson 2, Garvey, Tuivasa-Sheck, Chalker, Manu Con Steadman 4/6) defeated Raiders 22 (T. Williams, Dole, J. Williams, Woolford Con Woolford 3/4)