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A very dour match of rugby league this afternoon has seen the Sydney Roosters hold the Canberra Raiders out 14-8 at Allianz Stadium in front of 10,434 fans.
In front of a typically sparse home crowd, the Roosters went from error to error in the first half. The Raiders were the first to get on the board, first through Shaun Berrigan, before Jarrod Croker doubled his side's score later in the half.
The big talking point of the first half however was the Raiders' injury toll, with fullback Josh Dugan (shoulder), lock Shaun Fensom (bicep) and utility Trevor Thurling all succumbing in the first half.
From there the Raiders ran out of steam - the Roosters finally on the scoresheet through Braith Anasta out wide, and unsurprisingly the try was just as scrappy as the countless errors they had made in the previous sets.
The Raiders held their 8-6 lead through halftime, but the 60-minute mark was when the Roosters finally got their noses in front. Mortimer became the beneficiary of a Shaun Kenny-Dowall break as the home side took the lead and Anasta converted. The 12-8 lead was extended to 14-8 by a Braith Anasta penalty goal inside the final ten minutes, and while the Raiders pushed the Roosters in the closing stages, it was the hosts who got home by six points.
The less said about the game the better - both sides will look for an improved performance in week four. The Roosters will need some fine tuning to match the might of the Melbourne Storm next Sunday at AAMI Park, while Monday week sees the Raiders head to face rivals the Wests Tigers at Campbelltown Stadium.
Sydney Roosters 14 defeated Canberra Raiders 8
National Rugby League - Round 3 - Sunday March 18, 2012 2:00pm
Venue: Sydney Football Stadium
Referee: Steve Lyons and Alan Shortall
Video Referee: Rod Lawrence
Touch Judges: Steve Carrall and Gavin West
Halftime: Sydney Roosters 6 Canberra Raiders 8
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Shaun Kenny-Dowall
2 Points - Braith Anasta (1 Try, 2 Conversions, 1 Penalty Goal)
1 Point - Daniel Mortimer (1 Try)
Sydney Roosters (14)
Tries: Braith Anasta, Daniel Mortimer
Conversions: Braith Anasta (2/2)
Penalty Goals: Braith Anasta (1/1)
Canberra Raiders (8)
Tries: Shaun Berrigan, Jarrod Croker
Conversions: Jarrod Croker (0/2)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Join the conversation - follow LeagueUnlimited on Twitter and tweet about the match using the Official Hashtag = #NRLsydcan.
You can also discuss the match with thousands of other fans in our Game Day Forums - click here. Game two of "Super Sunday", Allianz Stadium the venue. Raiders in green, Roosters in white. Both sides are 1-13 with some bench changes. See "Team Lists" for the lineups, including the Raiders' welcoming back #21 - Tom Learoyd Lahrs.
Game on! Roosters with first possession - and the sun is out!
1 min: Early error from the Roosters, spilled on halfway. Raiders scrum
3 min: Penalty Raiders. Another set in Roosters territory...
5 min: Neat break down the middle and Mitchell Pearce has the Raiders on the back foot. Last tackle and the ball is toed dead by the Roosters. Raiders 20m restart.
6 min: VIDEO REFEREE - possible try to the Raiders via Shaun Berrigan.
7 min: TRY
TRY Canberra Raiders
Scored by Shaun Berrigan. Conversion attempt by Jarrod Croker unsuccessful.
The ball goes high to the wing for Ferguson... he can't control it but it falls behind and Berrigan claims the ball and the try. Croker misses.
Canberra Raiders 4-0
10 min: Good defence from Canberra puts a Roosters player into touch on halfway. Raiders scrum.
16 min: TRY
TRY Canberra Raiders
Scored by Jarrod Croker. Conversion attempt by Jarrod Croker unsuccessful.
Croker is in out wide. The whole set comes from a very dubious penalty to the Raiders after Campese was "taken out" after a kick. He doesn't convert his own try.
Canberra Raiders 8-0
20 min: Despite conceding two tries, the Roosters still playing some enterprising footy.
24 min: Strong stuff from the Roosters to make in-roads but they're panicking inside the Raiders' 20m line and coming up with error after error.
27 min: Another break, another error for the Roosters inside the Raiders 20.
34 min: The Sydney Roosters with another chance at the Raiders' line here. Solid defence from the Raiders so far...
36 min: TRY Dewsbury Rams (NL1)
TRY Sydney Roosters
Scored by Braith Anasta. Conversion attempt by Braith Anasta successful.
Some scrappy play out wide, almost a knock on, but the Video Referee gives Braith Anasta a try in the corner. Lama Tasi set it up with a deft pass. Braith converts his own try, margin down to two.
Canberra Raiders 8-6
37 min: Penalty from the kickoff (chasers in front of the kicker) against Raiders, Roosters to start inside Raiders' territory.
38 min: Knock on Roosters. Again.
39 min: Campese with a massive kick inside his own 40m... finds the Roosters in-goal before Minichiello brings it back.
First half done and dusted at Allianz - it's Raiders 8 Roosters 6. Roosters the better side in open play, but the Raiders better inside the opposition 20. If the Roosters can perfect their finishing, they'll get home today.
41 min: Play resumes at Allianz, Raiders leading 8-6.
42 min: Roosters ruled to have knocked on. Didn't appear so at first, although it was... now Anasta is blowing up. Raiders scrum 40m from the Roosters line.
47 min: Roosters with another knock-on deep inside the opposition half, just as they looked likely. Raiders scrum.
50 min: Oooh dear, Justin Carney puts the ball into touch for the Roosters. Raiders scrum now on the Roosters' 30m line. Error count now reads 13 for the home side.
52 min: The Roosters hold the Raiders out, but lose it two tackles in as they work it off their own line. Another Raiders scrum.
57 min: You better believe it - the Roosters got through a full set of six without dropping the ball!
60 min: TRY
TRY Sydney Roosters
Scored by Daniel Mortimer. Conversion attempt by Braith Anasta successful.
Shaun Kenny-Dowall turns on the pace, gets inside a few defenders and finds Daniel Mortimer - young Morts has the try and the Roosters have the lead. Anasta adds the extras.
Sydney Roosters 12-8
64 min: Line wide open... Mortimer to go in for a second... knock on. Minichiello collects the loose ball but no try will be given. Aubusson down on the ground... just winded though.
64 min: Injury update from this game - Dugan went off early - he's injured his left shoulder. Shaun Fensom may return to the field after a bicep injury. Trevor Thurling is also off the park.
69 min: Roosters - they're in front but still spilling it far too much for a professional first grade outfit. Still anyone's game, too. Raiders with a scrum just short of halfway.
72 min: VIDEO REFEREE - possible try to the Raiders but it looks like Ferguson has knocked on. Berrigan got the ball down but it's a changeover to the Roosters instead. Eight left.
75 min: Canberra spreading the ball looking to get the better of the Roosters outside men... sorry Campese, forward pass. Allianz celebrates that one, the Roosters with the ball now on halfway with five to go.
76 min: Not the best day for Blake Ferguson, he's spilled the ball on his own line, in the face of a superb Roosters chase. Scrum to the home side just 10 metres out from the Raiders line!
78 min: VIDEO REFEREE - possible Roosters try. Jake Friend claiming the four pointer but he may have lost it in the put-down...
78 min: NO TRY is the ruling. PENALTY Roosters though, inside the ten. Anasta to put his side six in front with a penalty goal attempt...
78 min: PENALTY GOAL Dewsbury Rams (NL1)
PENALTY GOAL Sydney Roosters
Penalty goal attempt by Braith Anasta successful.
Anasta adds the two.
Sydney Roosters 14-8
79 min: Raiders' short kickoff is good. Third tackle see the Roosters run away with a loose pass intercept to SKD but he's offside - penalty Raiders! More pressure in the final 60 seconds!
80 min: Roosters hold on with some solid defence. That's the game!
Fulltime at Allianz - the Roosters 14-8 winners. A low scoring, dour affair which neither side would be terribly proud of.