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The Canberra Raiders have defeated the Sydney Roosters 37-28 in a gritty contest at Canberra Stadium. For a match that was labelled "The Battle for the Wooden Spoon", both sides showed just what they are really capable of, with neither showing the consistency of a premiership winning side.
The match looked fairly even in the opening minutes as both sides muscled up, setting the scene for an intense battle. For the first time this season, The Roosters looked to have some confidence and structure in their play , with Braith Anasta setting the benchmark. His line break in the 6th minute to put Kenny-Dowall over the line showed the world a glimpse of the former-Roosters side, with Anasta playing undoubtedly his best game for the side in a very long time.
However, it appeared short lived for an exhausted Roosters outfit that gave away too many penalties and dropped the ball in key field positions. Despite the fact that Canberra made more errors in the match (13 - 10) and had more missed tackles (37 - 31), they made better use of the football and capitalised on the ill-disciplined play that the Roosters seemed fixed on playing throughout the match.
Todd Carney silenced critics and showed his true ability with a tremendous performance, scoring two tries and orchestrating others as he showed some leadership in the absence of Michael Dobson (back injury). Carney caught the Roosters defence napping in the 14th minute, strolling over to score his first try, changing the momentum of the game. The lead increased in the 21st minute as Adrian Purtell was awarded a benefit of the doubt try. The Roosters hit back with Braith Anasta scoring in the 30th minute to make it 12-12, but laziness and complacency by the Roosters allowed the Raiders to score 14 unanswered points in the remaining 10 minutes of the first half.
The Roosters needed to start the second half well, but gave away an early penalty which led to a Raiders try which looked to seal the game. However the Roosters soldiered on and were within 4 points of snatching their fairy tale 1000th win. Poor ball security and the fact the Roosters basically threw away three certain tries led to their downfall, and a gritty win by the Raiders.
The Roosters are now staring down the bottom of the barrel as they continue to scratch their heads to find a way to get their first win of the season. While they looked good in some aspects of tonight, they couldn