The Canberra Raiders’ 2021 season has come to an end after going down to the Roosters 40-16 at BB Print Stadium Mackay on Thursday night.
The Raiders came out firing early on in the first half, but errors and ill-discipline let the Green Machine down, as they were unable to keep up with Roosters potent attack as the game wore on.
It only took five minutes for the Raiders to get on the board, with Elliott Whitehead barging over from close range, capitalising off a Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad offload. Jordan Rapana converted the try to give the Raiders a 6-0 lead.
The Roosters looked to hit back almost immediately, but Adam Keighran knocked on in the process of grounding the ball.
But it was only minutes later that Matt Ikuvalu crossed the line for the Roosters after some crisp passing down the right-hand side found the winger unmarked.
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad was put on report for illegal contact on Ikuvalu as he scored, and the Roosters were awarded an extra shot at goal. However, Adam Keighran only kicked one out of the two shots at goal to level the scores at 6-6.
Needing a response, Josh Papalii crashed through the Roosters defence to score under the posts in the 18th minute. Rapana converted a chip-shot at goal to give the Green Machine a six-point lead.
Angus Crichton scored for the Roosters in the 24th minute after Drew Hutchison faked a kick into the in-goal to catch the Raiders off-guard before setting up Crichton for the try. Keighran converted to tie up the scores at 12 all.
The Raiders were in hot water again after Jordan Rapana was put on report for shoulder charge on Sitili Tupouniua. Drew Hutchison put in a pinpoint kick in the ensuing set for Adam Keighran to score. Keighran converted his own try to give the Roosters an 18-12 lead.
An illegal strip by Elliott Whitehead in the 38th minute gave the Roosters a shot at goal, and Keighran converted to give the Roosters a 20-12 going into halftime.
James Tedesco broke the Raiders line early in the second half, laying the groundwork for Adam Keighran to score his second try in the 46th minute.
Keighran got his hattrick in the next set after he and Tedesco combined again for another long-range effort.
The Raiders tried to get themselves back into the game but struggled to find consistency or build pressure due to multiple errors and lapses in discipline.
With 15 minutes to go, the Roosters took their lead out to 22 points through a Ben Marschke try to put to any hopes of a Raiders’ comeback to bed. Lachlan Lam then scored to take the score out to 40-12.
The Raiders scored a consolation try right at the death through Harley Smith-Shields.
Roosters 40 (Tries: M Ikuvalu, A Crichton, A Keighran 3, B Marschke, L Lam; Goals: A Keighran 2, S Taukeiaho 2; Penalty Goals: A Keighran 2) d Raiders 16 (Tries: E Whitehead, J Papalii, H Smith-Shields; Goals: J Rapana 2)