Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
5 days ago
Canberra Raiders 42 v Sydney Roosters 10
at Canberra Stadium
Referees: Jason Robinson
In a match that ultimately failed to live up to any real expectations, the Canberra Raiders have put away the Sydney Roosters comprehensively at their home ground of Canberra Stadium, belting the Bondi boys to the tune of 42-10.
The game began slower than the final scoreline indicates, and it was the Roosters who crossed first after an intercept saw Roberts then Soliola streaking away. Soliola was dragged down, but some quick hands across the field saw Cross go over in the other corner. The Roosters led 4-0 for a while before a Canberra try to Schifcofske saw the home side open their account.
From there it was all downhill for the visitors. Canberra crossed again moments later through Withers, and then again with a bizarre try to Croker before the break. They led 18-4 at the siren.
The second half then became a rout. Canberra peppered the Roosters with tries, scoring another three unanswered (to Chalk, Carney and Tilse) before a consolation try to Finch for the Roosters brought a small degree of respectability to the scoreline. A late try to Raiders & Queensland centre Adam Mogg put Canberra over the 40-point mark. Schifcofske wrapped up the afternoon with a try and a perfect kicking record of 7/7, picking up 18 points in a spirited man-of-the-match performance.
With the win, Canberra now push the North Queensland side out of the top eight, and sit in that eighth position, looking at securing a finals berth in the coming months. The Roosters now look at long odds to be there in September, and based on todays performance, probably don't deserve to be.
Canberra Raiders: 42
Tries: Todd Carney, Marshall Chalk, Jason Croker, Adam Mogg, Clinton Schifcofske, Lincoln Withers, Dane Tilse
Goals: Clinton Schifcofske 7/7
Sydney Roosters: 10
Tries: Ryan Cross, Brett Finch
Goals: Craig Fitzgibbon 1/2
Halftime: Raiders 18-4
By the Clock:
0 min: NEWS We're underway! For Canberra, Frawley will start and Tom Learoyd-Lahrs drops to the bench, while for Sydney, Mickey Paea replaces Mellars, who drops out.
6 min: TRY Sydney Roosters
Carney's passing becomes the first victim today, Roberts taking an intercept off a floater and running 30m before offloading for Soliola. Soliola was dragged down 10 out, and on the next play the ball shifted across the field to Cross who barged over in the corner. Canberra had all the attack but silly passing out wide has cost them. Fitzgibbon's conversion is waved away.
10 min: NEWS The Raiders still looking like dominating but the Roosters hold the upper hand on the scoreboard. Silly mistakes costing both sides early. Canberra currently on the attack.
19 min: NEWS The Roosters get out of jail after more careless play on the last by Canberra. Now the Roosters giving it a shot. Michael Weyman is on for Canberra.
21 min: NEWS Roosters denied a second Ryan Cross try by Video Referee Graeme West. He is deemed to have knocked it on over the line.
25 min: TRY Canberra Raiders
Brilliant flick ball from Jason Smith puts the Canberra captain Schifcofske over the line. From practically in front, the man has no trouble converting his own try, and Canberra now lead by 2.
26 min: TRY Canberra Raiders
Another quick try, this time to Withers and Canberra now running amock here. Schifcofske converts easily.
32 min: TRY Canberra Raiders
The Roosters inability to wrap up the ball carrier has cost them dearly as Croker scores a freakish try, ending in him rolling over the line sideways. Schif converts and Canberra are now flexing their muscle against an out-of-sorts Roosters.
HALFTIME: Canberra Raiders 18 Sydney Roosters 4
We've finally hit Halftime at Canberra, and the home side are currently dominating the Roosters. An early try that resulted from an intercept was unable to kick-start the visitors campaign, and the Raiders as a result put 3 great tries in, ultimately giving them a 14 point buffer at the break. The Roosters will need to muscle up in defence and keep the ball wrapped up in tackles, and in attack try to cut out the silly errors that have plagued them in the first half. If they fail to do so, Canberra have the personnel and commitment to take the Roosters to the cleaners here.
41 min: NEWS Proceedings resume, Roosters with the first set of the 2nd half.
50 min: NEWS The Roosters have stepped up so far, looking better in attack and defence, but are yet to cross.
58 min: TRY Canberra Raiders
A dithery last tackle play sees Canberra in out wide after a bit of wandering around. Chalk crashes in out wide. Schifcofske converts brilliantly from close to touch and the game looks done and dusted now.
67 min: TRY Canberra Raiders
The Raiders finish the Roosters off with a soft try to Todd Carney. Schif converts easily and the Raiders now look like they've faced no challenge in wrapping up their top eight berth.
73 min: TRY Canberra Raiders
Tilse crashes over and the game becomes a bit of a free-for-all. Clinton continues his perfect record with the boot.
76 min: TRY Sydney Roosters
NSW Origin hero-turned-villain Brett Finch crosses for his club in the number 9 jumper. Fitzgibbon converts his first of the day and the scoreline looks slightly more respectable.
79 min: TRY Canberra Raiders
The players let loose in the final minutes and QLD Origin call-up Mogg scores for Canberra. Schifcofske converts and the rout is complete.
FULLTIME: Canberra Raiders 42 bt Sydney Roosters 10
In the end an easy easy victory for Canberra, who never really were challenged by the Roosters after an initial try saw the visitors lead 4-0. Schifcofske led brilliantly from fullback, and the side just put away a Bondi club that has now truly sunk into crisis mode. The Raiders forge into the eight now, while the Sydney Roosters RLFC will be looking at making preliminary bookings with QANTAS for the second week of September.
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 - Clinton Schifcofske
2 - Jason Smith
1 - Lincoln Withers