The Roosters have hit a problem only weeks before the NRL finals, copping a 34-12 loss to the Raiders at Canberra Stadium this afternoon – slumping to their 2nd consecutive defeat, but such was the way in which the Green Machine systematically dismantled the tri-colours that will have Rosoters management worried only weeks away from the NRL seasons big games.
The Roosters were not in the contest at any stage against a side that’s not even in the top eight, let alone a premiership contender.
Their trademark defensive intensity has gone missing in recent weeks, and their once-fluent attack hardly looked like engineering points at any stage of the afternoon.
To take nothing away from the Green Machine â€“ they played some of the most enterprising football seen from any team this season â€“ but Raiders tries either side of halftime told the story of the contest.
The Roosters failed to get to their kick on the last tackle as the clock would down to halftime, and the Raiders took advantage of the gifted field position, crossing through Marshall Chalk to deliver the ultimate coach-killer for Brad Fittler.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, Adrian Purtell easily won the race to a Colin Best kick for the Green Machine to go further ahead in the 44th minute â€“ but the most alarming aspect of the try was that it was Raiders first, second and third in the chase to the ball, with not a Rooster in sight.
It only took seven minutes for the rot to set in, a poor defensive read from Iosia Soliola gave the Green Machine a half-chance on their own 30, and that’s all the home side needed.
David Milne surged into space up over the half way, with the scintillating 70 metre movement finished off under the posts by Terry Campese to open the scoring.
The tri-colours had an opportunity to hit back courtesy of an Anasta 40-20, but the home side’s defence was proving hard to crack, and they continued to do everything right with the ball in hand, with Campese stepping up to nail the third 40-20 of the game in little over half an hour.
Canberra made the field position count, going over through Chalk off the back of a well-worked scrum play to extend the Raiders lead into double-digits.
Things were starting to get embarrassing for the visitors when Joel Monaghan latched onto a Carney cross-kick to make it 28-nil, before the Roosters finally found some attacking rhythm through Anasta.
A neat solo effort from the Blues pivot opened the scoring for the Roosters in the 57th minute, and Anasta then turned provider eight minutes later with a deft grubber for Amos Roberts to pull another one back for the visitors, but there was more hurt to come for the tri-colours.
Monaghan nabbed his second four-pointer in the shadows of full-time to complete a humiliating afternoon in the national capital.
Canberra 34 (M Chalk 2 J Monaghan 2 T Campese A Purtell tries T Carney 5 goals) bt Sydney Roosters 12 (B Anasta A Roberts tries C Fitzgibbon 2 goals) at Canberra Stadium. Referee: J Maxwell. Crowd: 13,100.