Canberra Raiders vs Sydney Roosters: Five things we learned

The Canberra Raiders have accounted for the Sydney Roosters in the nation's capital with a fourteen points to twelve win.

  1. 1 Winning and losing streaks broken

    Coming into this clash the Roosters were on a five-game winning streak to soar to the top of the table and the Raiders a four-game losing streak that ended their season. Whilst many including myself expected the streaks to continue for both clubs it was snapped in superb fashion as a resolute defensive performance from the Raiders stunted the Roosters attack. 

    With the Roosters streak beaten it ends having to win nine or ten straight to then win the major premiership as the Melbourne Storm did last year. So with Keary yet to come back, this loss to the Raiders could have come at a crucial time, only time will tell. 

  2. 2 Raiders avail of the penalty kick to seal victory

    The Raiders scored just the solitary try on Sunday and kicked the rest of their ten points from a conversion and penalty kicks. Whilst the Bledisloe got off to a poor start on Saturday night, Sam Williams showed the Wallabies how it's done from the spot, nailing four spot kicks which made the two-point difference. 

    Predominantly not a League tactic to take the two, sides have switched to taking the points on offer as defences back themselves on their line and give away cheap penalties in order to have their defensive line set. 

  3. 3 Minor premiership race still wide open

    The Roosters came into this match with the chance to open a two-point buffer at the top of the table and push for the minor premiership. Instead, the Roosters now sit level with the Storm and Rabbitohs with two rounds left in the National Rugby League competition. 

    Coming into this match most had the Roosters as favourites despite the attacking threat of the Raiders and it would have presented the chance to push for a fourth minor premiership in six years. However, there won't be alarm bells going off just yet as they have the chance to bounce straight back at home against the finals-bound Broncos on Saturday. 

  4. 4 Raiders defence stands tall

    In what was their most complete performance of 2018 the Raiders defence and not their attack led them to victory against the table-topping Roosters. Wave after wave attack constantly relented by a Green Raiders wall as they produced the performance that left encouraging signs for next year with captain Croker also yet to come back for next season.

    Whilst they missed 36 tackles they made only 7 ineffective tackles and everyone was willing to put their body on the line. Exemplified in the second half when Rapana surged onto a Latrell Mitchell grubber to defuse an attacking raid.

  5. 5 Roosters beat themselves with errors

    The Roosters ended the match with 9 errors and 10 penalties conceded compared to Canberra's 4 and 8 respectively. Add in the Raiders completion rate and the Roosters were up against it all afternoon. In their last attacking set the Roosters lock Radley produced a poor pass that Cordner could not reel in and it ended a match that the Roosters never deserved to win. 

    Whilst it wasn't a dire performance by the Roosters it showcased an example of finals football in that the Raiders completed 34 of their 36 sets and the Roosters had to be perfect to win. If the Roosters are up against a side completing like that come finals time they cannot produce as many errors and expect to win the match. 

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