The Canberra Raiders have held on for an impressive victory against the Sydney Roosters, coming away 22-16 victors at GIO Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
In cold and windy conditions, it was a brilliant 80-minute performance from the Green Machine, with everyone contributing to a vital win.
Forwards Ryan Sutton, Joe Tapine and Corey Horsburgh were all stand outs, each running over 100 metres. Xavier Savage was again at his scintillating best, whilst centres Matt Timoko and Sebastian Kris were both able to score.
It was the Roosters who thought they had gotten off to the perfect start, with Sitili Tupouniua crossing over in the fifth minute. An obstruction in the lead up saw the try disallowed, with it instead being the Raiders who got the first points on the board.
A beautiful pass from Zac Woolford out of dummy-half found Adam Elliott, with the lock running the perfect line from close range. He was able cross over under the posts almost untouched, giving the Raiders a 4-0 lead in the eighth minute.
Jamal Fogarty was able to convert his first effort of the afternoon, extending the home side’s lead to 6-0.
Mistakes plagued both teams over the following 10 minutes, with half chances often resulting in errors in trying conditions.
Despite holding out the Roosters on their line for multiple sets, Canberra’s defence finally broke in the 25th minute, as Tupouniua burst over to get his first try of the afternoon.
Sam Walker would add the two points, leaving the scores tied at 6-all.
The Roosters ill-discipline would soon catch up with them, handing the Raiders perfect field position after multiple penalties. Following a solid set, it was a moment of magic which gave Canberra back the lead, with Ryan Sutton finding room to offload.
Young gun Savage was able to collect the pass almost at his toes, gathering to dive over and score in the 29th minute. Fogarty made no mistake with the conversion, giving the home side a 12-6 lead.
Despite having multiple sets on the Raiders goal-line the Roosters could not break through, with the home side scrambling brilliantly to hold them out. This defence carried them through to the half-time break, with Canberra leading 12-6 as both teams went to the sheds with it all to play for.
Starting for the first time this year, Horsburgh produced yet another miraculous moment for the Raiders, charging down a Luke Keary kick near halfway.
The prop was able to gather the ball, sprinting away before passing to Sebastian Kris who scored under the posts in the 42nd minute. Fogarty was able to convert his third of the evening, leaving the Raiders with an 18-6 lead.
It was the Roosters who would score next after Angus Crichton broke the Raiders line. Running three players at Savage, the second rower was able to find Paul Momirovski who was in support, with the centre scoring in the 61st minute.
Walker was able to comfortably convert, with the Raiders still leading 18-12.
It wouldn’t take long for the Roosters to score yet again, with Joseph Suaalii collecting a bomb off the boot of Luke Keary in the 65th minute. Walker would be unsuccessful with the conversion, leaving the scores at 18-16.
With the match in the balance, it was Matt Timoko who would be the Raider to seize the moment, with the centre comfortably getting on the outside of Momirovski after collecting the ball 15 metres out.
He would break his opponent’s tackle, diving over to score in the 70th minute. Fogarty would miss his first of the evening, leaving the score at 22-16.
Despite the Roosters having chances late the Raiders would hold on, recording a 22-16 win.
The Raiders will be looking to continue their momentum when they come up against the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium next Saturday night, whilst the Roosters will be looking to get back to winning ways against the Melbourne Storm.