The game began harmlessly enough, with both teams settling in before the first try was scored by Alan Tongue for the Raiders in the 14th minute. The home side responded shortly after through Iosia Soliala to take a 6-4 lead. A further two tries to the Raiders and another to the Roosters had the score reading 14-10 to the visitors at the break and the game appeared to be shaping as a good old fashioned arm-wrestle.
Canberra scored shortly after the resumption of play, taking a 20-10 lead and an upset was on the cards with the Raiders looking like they�d spoil the party for the Roosters, following on from their disappointing loss to the Storm last week. But no one could imagine what was about to happen, with the Raiders seemingly doing a good job of exorcising the demons of last week�s 70-32 annihilation at the hands of Newcastle.
As though a switch had been flicked inside the collective brains of the Sydney Roosters, they bulldozed their way to 8 (yes, 8) unanswered tries within the remaining 30 minutes of play to record an impressive 56-20 victory over Canberra, inflicting as yet unknown psychological scars on an already emotionally unstable Green Machine.
It didn�t end there for Canberra, with injuries to Lincoln Withers (eye) and Terry Martin (ribs) adding more frustration to a team that has conceded 126 points in the past two weeks. It brings into question the tenure of current coach Matt Elliott, who is leaving the club at the end of the season to take up a post at the Penrith Panthers, whom they face next week. With reports circulating that Chris Anderson is in the running to assume the position from next season, no one could blame the club for looking to the future and getting a new coach in there to begin rebuilding the club with a view to still making the finals this season.
For the Roosters, they must be pretty happy. A big victory is always a good tonic when there are suggestions about your players leaving the club for Union (Minichiello and Cross) and some disharmony in the ranks (Finch at hooker, Wing on the bench). They can now travel to Brookvale next week full of confidence in what will surely be a cracking match-up.
Scorers: Sydney Roosters: 56 Tries:, Anthony Minichello(2), Amos Roberts(2), Anthony Tupou(2), Iosia Soliola, Ryan Cross, Brett Finch, Ashley Harrison Goals: Craig Fitzgibbon 6/8, Amos Roberts 2/2 Canberra Raiders: 20 Tries: Alan Tongue(2), David Howell, Lincoln Withers Goals: Clinton Shifcofske 2/4
Aussie Stadium Referee: Shayne Hayne Crowd: 9,826
Great day out here at the SFS with both teams ready to take the field.
And we're underway in the first half!
5 min: NEWS No score as yet. Both teams feeling the game out against one another.
14 min: TRY Canberra Raiders. Powerful back-rower Tongue gets the Raiders on the board with a bustling try. The Schif fails to convert. Raiders 4-0
17 min: TRY Sydney Roosters. The Roosters hit back at home through centre Iosia Soliala, who breaks through the Raiders defence to level the scores. Fitzgibbon converts and the Roosters hit the lead. Roosters 6-4
20 min: NEWS Some big hits and open play dominating the game at the moment. Quite an entertaining spectacle as both teams realise there's a lot at stake. Good handling and a low error rate also featuring.
27 min: TRY Canberra Raiders. Raiders centre David Howell steps up and scores a try for the visitors as consistent pressure finally pays off. He's having a good year so far. The Schif misses another. Raiders 8-6
32 min: TRY Sydney Roosters. The home side nudges back in front. Conversion unsuccessful. Roosters 10-8
38 min: TRY Canberra Raiders. The Raiders hit back again to take the lead with another try. Conversion successful. Raiders 14-10
40 min: NEWS Close contest here at the SFS with both teams playing great footy.
And we're underway in the second half here. This one could go either way.
45 min: TRY Canberra Raiders. The visitors open their account in the second half to push further ahead. Conversion successful. Raiders 20-10
48 min: NEWS Plenty of biff and bash out here today. There seems to be a bit of spite in the contest.
51 min: TRY - Sydney Roosters. They're not giving up without a fight the home team after posting another meat pie. Conversion successful. Raiders 20-16.
59 min: TRY Sydney Roosters. The Chooks are surging home with another try and successful conversion. It's setting up a grand finale here at Aussie Stadium. Roosters 22-20
61 min: TRY Sydney Roosters. They're storming home now the Roosters, opening up an 8-point lead through another great try and conversion. Roosters 28-20
64 min: TRY Sydney Roosters. They're running away with it here. Conversion unsuccessful. Roosters 32-20
66 min: TRY Sydney Roosters. Rubbing salt into the wounds of the Raiders. Conversion successful. Roosters 38-20
70 min: TRY Sydney Roosters. They're making things embarrassing for the Raiders again as they start to pile on the points. Conversion successful. Roosters 44-20
76 min: TRY Sydney Roosters. The floodgates have opened. There must be plenty of happy Roosters fans out there, and likewise some very frustrated Raiders fans. Conversion successful. Roosters 50-20
80 min: TRY Sydney Roosters. The home team complete a flogging of the Raiders on fulltime, for the second week in a row. Conversion successful. Roosters 56-20
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - Amos Roberts 2 - Anthony Minichello 1 - Anthony Tupou -----------------------------------------