Roosters Victorious But At A Cost

The Sydney Roosters have kept their minor premiership hopes alive by defeating the Canberra Raiders 38-22 on a beautiful winter's day in the nation's capital.

Everything was going the Roosters way in the first 20 minutes as they raced away to a 22-0 lead and the Raiders were looking down the barrell of being on the end of a big thrashing.

But the Roosters went off the boil and the Raiders scored two tries before halftime to go to the break trailing 22-10.

Clinton Schifcofske then scored in the 59th minute to bring the Raiders to within six points and the Raiders were coming back.

But silly mistakes from Canberra resulted in the Roosters scoring three more tries while the Raiders crossed just one more time.

Today wasn't all peaches and cream for the Roosters as Craig Fitzgibbon was assisted from the field with an injury to his left ankle in the 8th minute. In addition, captain Brad Fittler may have a case to answer at the judiciary after he was penalised in the 42nd minute for a dangerous throw.

Canberra Stadium Referee: Jason Robinson

RAIDERS 22 Tries: Robertson, Gafa, Schifcofske, Drew Goals: Schifcofske 3/4 defeated by ROOSTERS 38 Tries: Ricketson, Fittler, Cross, Crocker, Hegarty, Robinson, Finch Goals: Walker 3/6, Fitzgibbon 2/2

By the clock: A major change for the Roosters as Adrian Morley is a late withdrawal with a corked thigh, meaning rookie sensation Anthony Topou gets a start at prop and Ned Catic is added to the bench. For the Raiders Mark McLinden is placed on the bench with Matt Gafa is selected at 5/8th with Jason Bulgarelli is selected at centre.

0 min: Kick Off

2 min: Try-Roosters: Roosters stalwart Luke Ricketson backs up a break made by Justin Hodges to score the Roosters 1st try of the afternoon. Craig Fitzgibbon is successful with the conversion. Roosters 6-0.

5 min: Try-Roosters: Roosters captain Brad Fittler runs onto a perfectly placed pass from Luke Ricketson to score. Craig Fitzgibbon is successful with the conversion. Roosters 12-0.

8 min: News: Roosters second rower Craig Fitzgibbon is being taken from the field with what appears to be an injury to his left ankle.

11 min: News: Raiders fullback Clinton Schifcofske is sent to the sin bin for back chat.

12 min: Try-Roosters: Ryan Cross runs onto a magnificent cut out pass from halfback Brett Finch to score. Chris Walker is unsuccessful with the conversion attempt. Roosters 16-0.

14 min: News: Raiders captain Simon Woolford saves a certain try by ankle tapping a runaway Ryan Cross and then tackling him into touch.

19 min: Try-Roosters: Michael Crocker runs onto a perfectly placed chip kick from Chris Walker to score under the posts. Walker is successful with the conversion. Roosters 22-0.

23 min: Try-Raiders: Winger Michael Robertson sprints 75 metres to score in the corner on the back of a mistake by the Roosters. Clinton Schifcofske is unsuccessul with the conversion. Roosters 22-4.

33 min: News: In a rare occurence the Raiders win a scrum against the feed 20 metres out from the Roosters line.

40 min: Try-Raiders: 5/8th Matt Gafa runs onto a nice inside pass from centre Jason Bulgarelli to score right on the stroke of halftime. Clinton Schifcofske is successful with the conversion from a difficult angle. Roosters 22-10.

Halftime Report: After an opening 20 minutes where everything was going their way the Roosters have gone off the boil and as a result the Raiders have scored 2 tries to give themselves a chance of winning despite missing 7 forwards through injury or suspension.

42 min: News: Roosters captain Brad Fittler is penalised for a dangerous throw on Terry Martin.

45 min: News: Ryan Cross is denied a try after the video referee refers the decision to refereen Jason Robinson who said that Cross was held up over the line.

50 min: News: Chris Walker misses an attempt at penalty goal from a simple angle by hitting the posts.

51 min: News: Roosters fullback Anthony Minichiello is being looked at by the Roosters trainer after he collided with teammate Chris Walker.

55 min: News: The Raiders seem to be having the better of the second half.

59 min: Try-Raiders: Fullback Clinton Schifcofske beats a tackle of Brad Fittler to sprint through a gap to score under the posts. Schifcofske is successful with the conversion. Roosters 22-16.

65 min: Try-Roosters: Winger Shannon Hegarty sprints 50 metres to score under the posts. Chris Walker is successful with the conversion. Roosters 28-16.

68 min: Try-Raiders: Halfback Brad Drew spilts the Roosters defence from close out to score under the posts. Clinton Schifcofske is successful with the conversion. Roosters 28-22.

70 min: Try-Roosters: Interchange forward Chad Robinson pounces on a mistake made by Raiders interchange forward Alan Rothery to run 20 metres to score in the corner. Chris Walker is unsuccessful with the conversion. Roosters 32-22.

78 min: Try-Roosters: Halfback Brett Finch dummies his way through the Raiders defence to score under the posts. Chris Walker is successful with the conversion. Roosters 38-22.

Fulltime Report: Despite an excellent start to the match which yielded 22 points in the first 20 mintues the Roosters went off the boil and the only thing that stopped the Raiders from scoring a great come from behind victory was silly mistakes. ---------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - B Finch (Roosters) 2 - L Ricketson (Roosters) 1 - R Cross (Roosters) -----------------------------------------

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