The Canberra Raiders have come from behind to clinch victory from the Sydney Roosters 24-22 in a close encounter at Canberra Stadium in front of 10,969 fans.
The win ends a streak in which the Roosters had not conceded a point for 5 halves of football. The Roosters led at the half time break 16 - 0 and looked set to continue the run of good fortune in holding out the opposition before the Raiders ran in 24 points to clinch the win with a minute left on the clock.
The first try of the game came after 21 minutes of relentless Raiders attack, however it was at the opposite end of the field when Maloney crashed over the line to score beside the posts that put the Roosters in the lead. Maloney converted his own try to take the lead to 6 - 0.
Ten minutes later and the Roosters were in for the second try of the night. Pearce passed the ball to Maloney who managed to get the ball out to Oldfield to score in the corner for his first try in the tri-colours. Maloneys goal attempt hit the posts and bounced out. The next try came in the 35th minute after Sonny Bill Williams almost barged his way over the line. Pearce took the ball from dummy half and grubbered into the in goal for Aubusson to plant his hands on the ball over the line for their third try. Maloney successfully converted the try and the score was out to 16 - 0 at half time.
The second half started with a bang for the Raiders seeing Edrick Lee score off a nice flick pass from Croker in the corner. Croker converted the try from the sideline to take the score to 16 - 6.
After a number of barnstorming runs from Learoyd-Lahrs, Sam Williams saw an opportunity from Dummy half and took the ball to the line to crash over for a quick second try to the Raiders. Croker kicked the conversion nad the scores had narrowed to 16 - 12. Shortly after, Sonny Bill Williams made a break at the other end of the field and charged through several defenders to then get an offload to Minichello who ran in next to the posts for a return fire try. Maloney converted to take the score to 22 - 12.
The next try came in the 66th minute when Sandor Earl took an outstanding high ball from above Oldfield off a Sam Williams bomb to crash down for a try over the line. Croker made the conversion and it was a 4 point ball game with 15 minutes to go.
The Raiders threw caution into the window in the final minutes of the game and went all out to try and score, and it paid off in the 77th minute. Croker passed out to Lee, who managed to angle back in until Croker was on his outside in support, and got the pass away for the try. Croker never looked like missing the conversion and the Raiders sealed the win with 90 seconds to go.
This really was a game of two halves, with a lot of errors from both sides taking away from what would have otherwise been a great game.
The Roosters play the Bulldogs at home on Friday night while the Raiders play the Warriors at home on Saturday.
Canberra Raiders 24 Sydney Roosters 22
Venue: Canberra Stadium
Halftime Score: Roosters 16 - 0
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Jarrod Croker
2 points - David Shillington
1 point - Sam Williams
CANBERRA RAIDERS (24)
Tries: Edrick Lee, Jarrod Croker, Sam Williams, Sandor Earl
Conversions: Jarrod Croker (4/4)
SYDNEY ROOSTERS (22)
Tries: James Maloney, Michael Oldfield, Mitchell Aubusson, Anthony Minichiello (5)
Conversions: James Maloney (3/4)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
Raiders - 1. Reece Robinson, 2. Sandor Earl, 3. Jarrod Croker, 4. Jack Wighton, 5. Edrick Lee, 6. Josh McCrone, 7. Sam Williams, 8. David Shillington, 14. Matt McIlwrick, 10. Brett White, 11. Josh Papalii, 15. Joel Edwards, 13. Shaun Fensom
Interchange: 16. Dane Tilse, 17. Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, 18. Anthony Milford, 20. Joe Picker
Roosters - 1. Anthony Minichiello, 22. Michael Oldfield, 3. Michael Jennings, 4. Shaun Kenny-Dowall, 5. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 6. James Maloney, 7. Mitchell Pearce, 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 9. Jake Friend, 10. Sam Moa, 19. Luke O'Donnell, 12. Sonny Bill Williams, 13. Boyd Cordner
Interchange: 11. Mitchell Aubusson, 14. Daniel Mortimer, 15. Martin Kennedy, 16. Isaac Liu
1 min: Raiders will kick off and run right to left.
2 min: Cordner drops the ball in the tackle and the Raiders are on the attack early. They are 30m out.
2 min: Williams kicks on the last straight into Pearce and the Raiders take him out over the dead ball line for a drop out.
3 min: PENALTY - Kenny-Dowell penalised for holding down the Raiders player.
4 min: VIDEO REFEREE - Williams puts up a kick and Lee takes it out of the air. It's lost on the way down and Croker cleans up and grounds the ball. They are checking to see if Tuivasa-Sheck got to it first. Verdict comes back NO TRY.
4 min: Roosters will bring it out of their own half.
5 min: O'Donnell knocks the ball on running onto a short pass. A scrum to the raiders on the halfway line.
6 min: A short bomb on the last and Lee knocks it on in goal so the Roosters will again bring it out from their own 20m line.
7 min: The Roosters complete a set as they kick it over the sideline 10 out from the Raiders line.
9 min: Raiders put up a bomb that is knocked back by Crocker however its cleaned up and thats a turnover to the Roosters on their own 20m line.
9 min: O'Donnell with another dropped ball from a Maloney pass.
11 min: SCRUM - Roosters defenders take Wighton over the line and into touch as he tried to get around the edges of the Roosters defence.
12 min: Shillington with a big hit on Moa and the ball is forced loose.
14 min: Robinson sends Wighton through a hole and hes off down towards the sideline. An attempted pass to Earl is out over the sideline.
15 min: The Roosters end another set with Maloney kicking the ball over the sideline for a scrum restart.
17 min: McIlwrick has lost the ball in a tackle after making a dash from an offload.
19 min: A towering bomb is put up by Peace and Tuivasa-Sheck and Lee both go for it but both miss. Croker cleans it up but is judged to have knocked on in the process. Roosters with the scrum feed i nthe Raiders 20.
21 min: Maloney in for a try! Friend scoots out from dummy half and crosses the field to find Maloney who crashes through defenders and puts the ball down over the line. He successfully converts his own try.
Sydney Roosters 6-0
21 min: Robinson restarts play from the kick off.
23 min: CHARGEDOWN! The Roosters block the kick form the Raiders and the ball only travels 20 metres. The Roosters will get another set deep in Raiders territory.
24 min: Lee takes the ball from the bomb put up by Pearce and gets a 20m restart.
24 min: PENALTY - Moa gives away a penalty for holding down a Raiders player.
25 min: PENALTY - Roosters markers going for the ball player too early and the Raiders get a restart of the set.
26 min: Wighton knocks on after a poor pass from McCrone to his feet.
28 min: Learoyd-Lahrs knocks on after running strongly onto a short pass.
31 min: Pearce passes out to Maloney who gets a quick pass off as he's tackled. It rolls along the ground to Oldfield who scoops up the ball and darts in to put the ball down over the line. Maloney hits the post on the conversion attempt and it bounces out.
Sydney Roosters 10-0
33 min: PENALTY - Kenny-Dowell penalised for holding down Lee as he brought the ball back on a kick return.
32 min: Tilse knocks on in the tackle and thats another mistake for the home side. Cordner has taken a hit to the head as he went in for the tackle.
33 min: PENALTY - Fensom pinged for a second effort in the tackle.
34 min: VIDEO REFEREE - Pearce kicks into the in goal area and Aubusson beats all of the defenders to get his hands to the ball first. Referees checking for an obstruction.
35 min: Williams almost crashes over but is stopped short of the line. Friend gets the ball out to Pearce who kicks a grubber into the in goal and Aubusson cleans it up to score the Roosters 3rd try of the night. Maloney converts easily.
Sydney Roosters 16-0
37 min: Friend ducks out from dummy half and kicks long and high.... out on the full. The Raiders will get a scrum feed on the Roosters 40m line.
38 min: Knocked out by Tuivasa-Sheck in the tackle and its another Raiders scrum feed.
39 min: Milford with a short pass to Wighton and he's knocked on another one on the Roosters 10m line.
40 min: The siren sounds and thats the first 40 minutes done and dusted. An error riddled half saw the Raiders have a lot of ball in the Roosters half, however the Roosters capitalised on the ball they did have, and ran in 3 unanswered tries. We'll be back shortly for the second half.
40 min: Maloney gets the second half underway from the kick off.
41 min: A high bomb is put up by the Raiders and it's knocked on by Minichello in his own goal area. Raiders will get the repeat set from the drop out.
42 min: Williams kicks on the last with a little grubber into the in goal and its taken dead by Minichello. Another set for the Raiders from the Roosters drop out.
44 min: McCrone from dummy half close to the line passes to Croker who gives a flashy flick pass out to Edrick Lee who scores in the corner for the Raiders. The stadium is dead silent for Crokers kick and he nails it from the sideline.
Sydney Roosters 16-6
47 min: PENALTY - The ball comes loose from Learoyd-Lahrs and Williams is penalised for holding him down too long.
48 min: Milford with a deft grubber into the in goal and Minichello once again cleans up the loose ball but is trapped in goal.
48 min: Learoyd-Lahrs makes another barnstorming run.
50 min: Learoyd-Lahrs makes his 5th run in 3 sets and is brought down 20 out from the try line. Sam Williams from dummy half runs through the defense and throws a dummy before the line to score next to the posts. Croker converts.
Sydney Roosters 16-12
52 min: The Raiders make good metres from the ensuing set and the kick chase from Williams kick is excellent.
53 min: A midfield bomb sees the Roosters get another set of 6 to attack with in the Raiders half.
55 min: TRY! Minichello is in to the right of the posts after a monster run from Sonny Bill Williams. An off load by Williams was picked up at Minichellos feet and he dives over the line. Maloney converts and they lead by 10.
Sydney Roosters 22-12
57 min: The Roosters make 80m metres from their set and Maloney puts in a grubber which is cleaned up by Robinson and run back out to the 20m line.
58 min: Milford trapped on the last with the ball. Turnover to the Roosters.
59 min: PENALTY - Learoyd-Lahrs pinged for interfering with the play the ball.
60 min: The Roosters move to the left to attack however Minichello has put the ball over the sideline.
63 min: Milford kicks the ball out over the sideline for a Roosters scrum on their own 10m line.
64 min: PENALTY - Kennedy penalised for being too slow getting of Wighton in a tackle.
66 min: Williams with a high bomb to the wing and Earl leaps high over Oldfield to take the ball and crash to the ground with ball in hand for a try! Croker curves the ball nicely through the posts to bring them back within 4 points.
Sydney Roosters 22-18
68 min: Oldfield is smashed bringing the ball back from the kick return by Wighton and White.
69 min: Warea-Hargreaves throws a no look pass to Maloney who breaks through the line. He passes to a support player but it's knocked down by Robinson. Roosters with the scrum feed 30m out from the Raiders line.
71 min: Kenny-Dowall throws a forward pass to his winger after the Raiders defensive line came rushing up to pressure him into the mistake.
74 min: Scrappy sets from the Raiders here. They look disjointed and rushed in attack but are making some great tackles in defense. The Roosters are starting to look tired .
77 min: TRY! The desperation pays off and the Raiders are in through Croker! Croker passed to Lee who angled in from the sideline to pass back outside to Croker in support who ran through and scored the try to level the game up. Croker kicks the conversion and they're in the lead!
Canberra Raiders 24-22
78 min: The Roosters with a short kick off but they've knocked it on. The rush in to form a scrum and stop the clock with 90 seconds on the clock.
79 min: Milford puts in a grubber that comes off a Roosters foot and thats been played at. Raiders get 6 more with 50 seconds left.
80 min: Papalii knocks on and the Roosters form a scrum up quickly with 15 seconds left. They make a break from the scrum and Oldfield kicks over the top but its picked up by a Raider and the siren goes off to screams from the crown.
80 min: That's full time here and the Raiders have ruined the Roosters' party. The Raiders were desperate, and the desperation paid off as they clinched the win at the death.