The Canberra Raiders NYC team have produced a stunning second half comeback to defeat the Sydney Roosters 32 points to 24 in Canberra this afternoon.
The Raiders came into the match having suffered a close one point loss to Parramatta last week as forward Emre Guler and Second Row Jack Murchie were absent due to Origin call ups.
The Roosters were coming off a strong thirty-point win over Canterbury last week, as both teams had five wins each coming into the match, with Sydney sitting in 8th on the ladder and the Raiders in 11th.
The opening ten minutes saw the Roosters capture most of the possession, however a strong Raiders defensive effort kept them scoreless.
After many chances for the Roosters went to waste the Raiders were first to jump on their attacking opportunities, when prop forward Fabien Kiri crashed over for the first try. The conversion from Andre Niko was unsuccessful as the Raiders led 4-0 after twenty minutes.
Six minutes later the Roosters finally capitalised on their opportunities when winger Kenneth Koro received a bullet pass to slice through the line. Halfback Sean O’Sullivan successfully converted the try as the Roosters took a two-point lead.
Basic errors were hurting the Raiders late in the first half as they struggled to get out of their own half, gifting the Roosters plenty of ball in dangerous areas.
The pressure was too much for Canberra to handle as forward Luke Chalker barged over to extend the Roosters lead. O’Sullivan converted giving the Roosters a 12-4 lead late in the first half.
With five minutes to go before half time Roosters fullback Kiah Cooper went agonisingly close to extending Sydney’s lead as he dropped the ball over the line.
However, this close attempt would be soon forgotten as Sydney Five-eighth Lachlan Lam stretched out to score after a strong run. The score was 18-4 in favour of the Roosters going into the break.
The second half started opposite to the first as this time it was the Raiders who had most of the ball early. The Roosters though were up for it defensively keeping their opposition scoreless in the early stages of the second half.
This strong defence was rewarded as centre Jarred Anderson crossed over for the Roosters in the 53rd minute. O’Sullivan made it 4/4 with the boot, extending Sydney’s lead to 24-4.
Fatigue started to settle in for both team throughout the middle stages of the second half as poor attacking options from both teams failed to lead to points.
The Raiders second try eventually came however, as centre Sebastian Kris found some space on the left edge to cut back in field and score. Niko converted the try to make it 24-10 in favour of the Roosters with fourteen minutes remaining.
With ten minutes to play in the match Raiders substitute Same Finnegan scooted from dummy half to cross over and give the home side hope. Niko missed the conversion and the score was 24-14 in favour of the Roosters with nine minutes to play.
The very next set the Raiders put the game right back in the balance as fullback Harry Van Dartel was there in support of a line break to cross over under the posts. Niko made no mistake from in front and the Roosters lead was cut to four with seven minutes to play.
The next set it was deja vu for the Roosters as the Raiders went up field and scored yet again, this time through Andre Niko. He held his nerve and successfully converted his own try to put the Raiders ahead by two with three minutes remaining.
Yet again the Raiders momentum was too much for the away team as captain Jarred Tuite crossed over to seal a memorable comeback win for the home side. Tuite was named man of the match in the win.
Canberra Raiders 32 (Kiri, Kris, Finnegan, Van Dartel, Niko, Tuite, Niko 4/6) defeat Sydney Roosters 24 (Koro, Chalker, Lam, Anderson, O’Sullivan 4/4)