Josh Mercer reviews the grand final rematch between the Sydney Roosters and the Canberra Raiders. Here’s how the game went.
|10th||Try Dunamis Lui (Canberra)||Canberra 4-0|
|12th||Goal Jarrod Croker (Canberra)||Canberra 6-0|
|15th||Try Brett Morris (Canberra)||Canberra 6-4|
|16th||Goal Kyle Flanagan (Sydney)||Scores tied 6-6|
|19th||Goal Kyle Flanagan (Sydney)||Sydney 8-6|
|29th||Try Brett Morris (Sydney)||Sydney 12-6|
|42nd||Try Jarrod Croker (Canberra)||Sydney 12-10|
|43rd||Goal Jarrod Croker (Canberra)||Scores tied 12-12|
|50th||Penalty Goal Kyle Flanagan (Sydney)||Sydney 14-12|
|53rd||Try George Williams (Canberra)||Canberra 16-16|
|55th||Goal Jarrod Croker (Canberra)||Canberra 18-16|
|57th||Try Matt Ikuvalu (Sydney)||Scores tied 18-18|
|58th||Goal Kyle Flanagan (Sydney)||Sydney 20-18|
|65th||Try Josh Papalii (Canberra)||Canberra 22-20|
|66th||Goal Jarrod Croker (Canberra)||Canberra 24-20|
After some early pressure from the Sydney Roosters, the Canberra Raiders were able to draw first blood in the grand final replay when a quick play the ball from Jack Wighton got them on the front foot, with hooker Silvia Havili getting a pass to Joe Tapine who was able to offload to Dunamis Lui to score.
The Roosters hit back four minutes later when a nice set play down the left hand side saw James Tedesco throw a cut-out pass for Brett Morris to score and level the game at six-all. The Roosters then hit the lead kicking a penalty goal.
The back end of the first half saw a weight of possession go to the Roosters, but strong defence and some mistakes saw them hold on to a two-point lead. The Roosters were able to cross the line in the 30th minute when another set play down the right hand side saw Kyle Flanagan throw the cut-out pass for Brett Morris to score his second of the game.
The Raiders almost hit back before the end of the half with a nice play down their left hand side, but unfortunately Jarrod Croker lost the ball.
The Raiders started the second half strong with Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad putting a deft grubber into the in-goal area for Croker to score and level the game at 12-all. The Roosters kicked ahead by two points when they were awarded a penalty after a little scuffle between Josh Papalii and Angus Crichton.
The Roosters’ lead was short-lived however, as Raiders halfback George Williams sliced through the defence and beat James Tedesco to score. Like in the first half the Roosters’ reply was quick, with Josh Morris getting a miraculous flick pass to Matt Ikuvalu to score.
While both sides experienced some errors in the second half, the Roosters were finding it hard to hold on to the ball in slippery conditions. Josh Papalii sealed his team’s victory when he ran through some lazy defence to score.
Josh Papalii’s final try of the game was the highlight of a game with quite a few errors. After getting a very rough call earlier in the game when he was elbowed by Angus Crichton, Papalii was able to run through some lazy defence by Lindsey Collins and Mitch Aubusson and give his side a much-needed win.
Sydney Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Matt Ikuvalu 3. Josh Morris 4. Joey Manu 5. Brett Morris 6. Luke Keary 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Jake Friend 17. Lindsay Collins 11. Boyd Cordner 12. Angus Crichton 10 Siosiua Taukeiaho. Interchange: 14. Lachlan Lam 15. Sitili Tupouniua 16. Mitch Aubusson 20. Isaac Liu.
Canberra Raiders: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Nick Cotric 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Michael Oldfield 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Jack Wighton 7. George Williams 8. Josh Papalii 9. Siliva Havili 10 Dunamis Lui 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliot Whitehead 15. Kai O’Donnell Interchange: 13. Joseph Tapine 14. Tom Starling 16. Ryan Sutton 21. Semi Valemei.