Sydney Roosters 26 (D Tupou 3 tries, J Maloney; J Maloney 4 conversions, 1 penalty)
Canberra Raiders 12 (P Vaughan, A Mil ford tries; J Croker 2 conversions)
A scrappy affair has seen the Sydney Roosters convincingly beat the Canberra Raiders 26-12 at Allianz Stadium, in front of 11,815 fans, thanks largely to a stand out performance from James Maloney, and a hat trick from Daniel Tupou.
Tupou was the beneficiary of Maloney’s tricks, the Roosters five eighth laying on two tries through for Tupou through cut out passes, one from a cross field bomb, while also scoring one himself.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the home side though, who appeared to switch off for large a large period of the second half, dropping the ball on numerous occasions and giving Canberra piggyback penalties.
For the Raiders, the loss dampens talk of a form reversal, their halves Terry Campese and Josh McCrone particularly struggling with the attacking kicking. This was highlighted when McCrone kicked out on the full early in the second half.
It took just over eight minutes for the Roosters to open the scoring, when Aiden Guerra batted back a Mitchell Pierce cross field kick to Maloney, who passed to Tupou who was to quick for the cover defence.
In the 18th minute, they extended their lead when Sam Moa got a quick play the ball ten metres out allowing Jake Friend to sniff out Maloney who again found a willing Tupou out wide. Maloney was perfect again with the boot to have the Roosters crowing at 12-nil.
Maloney then bagged his try as half time drew closer, stepping off his left through some soft Raiders defense before improving the kick position for an 18-nil lead at the break.
The second half started with both teams unable to complete their sets, Roosters only managing one completion in their first four, while the Raiders were only marginally better at two from five.
But when the Roosters held the ball they found their mark again through the Maloney-Tupou show, this time going the high road, with Tupou far to tall for Reece Robinson to compete.
At 24-nil, the game threatened to be blown wide open, however the Sydney side seemed to sleep, while their Canberra opponents found some possession and spark.
Mitchell Cornish was brought on and almost immediately had an impact, putting Maloney in two minds to create room for Anthony Milford who in turn found Jack Wighton, the Raiders future stars getting them their first points after 65 minutes.
The most bizarre moment of the game came just three minutes later when a big step from Mitchell Pearce allowed the Roosters’ halfback to put prop Sam Moa over for a try. The referee made an on field call, saying Moa had lost the ball, and the prop didn’t argue the point, despite replays showing he had clearly grounded the pill.
An improving Raiders forward pack kept the offloads coming, and the field position came as a result.
The green machine would cross the stripe through a rampaging Paul Vaughan, but it would be mere consolation with just six minutes to go.
A Maloney field goal on full time after a blatant Campese infringement in the ruck allowed the Roosters to take the game 26-12, their fourth win from their past five games.