Papalii powers Raiders to victory

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Sydney Roosters v Canberra Raiders

A powerhouse performance from Josh Papalii has paved the way for the Canberra Raiders to upset the Sydney Roosters 24-20 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Defying an early head knock to run for over 200 metres and score the match-winning try, a man of the match performance from Papalii saw the Raiders record a famous win over the premiers in their first meeting since last year's premiership decider.

Striking an early blow after a dazzling run from Jack Wighton put the visitors on the front foot, front rower Dunamis Lui (11th minute) crashed underneath the posts on the next play to score his fourth career try.

Wasting little time in responding through prolific try-scorer Brett Morris (15th minute), a beautiful cut-out pass from James Tedesco saw the veteran speedster touch down to level the scores at 6-all.

Coming close to extending their lead through Jared Waerea-Hargreaves in the following set only for a double knock on to deny the Roosters hardman, a penalty in the following set saw Kyle Flanagan put the home side in front.

Continuing to build pressure on the Raiders' goal line, Morris (30th minute) was rewarded with his second try to move alongside Maika Sivo and Kyle Feldt as the competition's leading try-scorers.

Squandering an opportunity to strike back on the stroke of halftime, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad redeemed himself after the resumption with a superb grubber for Jarrod Croker (42nd minute) to lock the scores up once again.

Edging ahead with another Flanagan penalty goal, both teams exchanged the lead with George Williams (54th minute) taking on the line from close range, before Matt Ikuvalu (57th minute) took advantage of a flick pass from Josh Morris.

Forcing a turnover on the halfway line to set up the match-winning try, Papalii steamrolled through the Roosters' defence to give the Raiders their first win at the Sydney Cricket Ground since 1987.

Next week, the Roosters take on the Warriors on Saturday afternoon at Central Coast Stadium, while the Raiders host the Rabbitohs at GIO Stadium later in the evening. 

Sydney Roosters 20 - Canberra Raiders 24

Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground
Crowd: 3476
Halftime Score: Sydney Roosters 12 Canberra Raiders 6

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Josh Papali'i
2 points - James Tedesco
1 points - George Williams

SYDNEY ROOSTERS (20)
Tries: Brett Morris (2), Matt Ikuvalu
Field Goals:
Conversions: Kyle Flanagan (2/3)
Penalty Goals: Kyle Flanagan (2/2)

CANBERRA RAIDERS (24)
Tries: Dunamis Lui, Jarrod Croker, George Williams, Josh Papali'i
Field Goals:
Conversions: Jarrod Croker (4/4)
Penalty Goals:


See how it happened in our Match Centre