The Raiders finally won a close one, recording a 14-12 upset over the Roosters in Canberra.
The first half belonged to the Raiders. The opening 10 minutes saw Jordan Rapana grab their first and only try of the match. For once they didn’t need to rely on attack though as poor discipline from the Roosters gave Sam Williams the chance to boot 3 penalty goals while their defence deprived the Roosters of attacking opportunities.
Things looked to be getting back on script when Boyd Cordner crossed 2 minutes into the second half. A try to Victor Radley in the 60th minute set up what was looking to be another Raiders implosion.
However the Raiders defied their season long flaw of imploding in the final 10 minutes. One final penalty goal saw the Raiders take a 2 point lead into the 70th minute and they defended it until the end.
Close losses are finally a thing of the past
The Raiders have lost 7 matches this year by a margin of 4 points or less. They finally got that monkey off their back against the Roosters and they didn’t even need to score more tries than the opposition to do it.
The Raiders scored one less try than the Roosters but a strong defensive effort saw them come away with victory. Too little too late perhaps but it showed that the Raiders have some solid performances in them to end their year on a good note.
Roosters continue run of losses in Canberra
The Roosters haven’t won a game in Canberra since 2010. The loss saw them become the first Top 8 team the Raiders have defeated all year.
It’s not time to panic yet but the Roosters are going to be hoping to get Keary and Waerea-Hargreaves back as soon as possible. They bring immense energy to the side and it was noticeably lacking against the Raiders.
Hold the ball, win footy games
The Raiders finished the match with an exceptionally high completion rate of 96%. By their standards it was as disciplined a game they have played in years.
Channel 9 commentary noted how patient and calm the Raiders played in contrast to the frantic nature of previous matches. Long-suffering Canberra fans would be wondering what may have been had they played closer to this level all year.
Perhaps it was a once-off but Ricky Stuart can use the match as an example for his side to build on in the future.
Battle for Minor Premiership closer than ever
The Roosters wasted the opportunity to take a clear lead ahead of the Storm and Rabbitohs for first position. 3 teams now sit on 32 points and with only two rounds to go, it’s wide open for any of those teams to claim.
Tries: Jordan Rapana (9m)
Goals: Sam Williams 5/5
Tries: Boyd Cordner (42m), Victor Radley (60m)
Goals: Latrell Mitchell 2/2