The Raiders don’t offer much in round 4.
The Canberra Raiders have faltered in their biggest test of the year so far, slumping to a third loss in-a-row after being hammered by one of the Premiership favourites in the Sydney Roosters, 34-6 at Allianz Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
An optimistic start to the year for Canberra, with an opening round win and two close losses, has quickly turned into a season that is in danger of starting to go down the drain.
The Green Machine was almost unrecognisable in its ridiculous yellow jersey, and any semblance the side had of being an effective machine was just as hard to see. Errors punctuated their play, and the home side took full advantage.
It didn’t take long for the mauling to begin, with a classy string of passes across the field putting Shaun Kenny-Dowall over in the corner after only three minutes. James Maloney nailed the sideline conversion and the Roosters were out to a quick 6-0 lead.
The hyphenated surnames were having a field day when that lead was extended to 12-0 soon after by Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. His splitting of the line made Canberra’s defence look feeble, and their hopes for the game dire.
Then it was the former Canberra Raider Blake Ferguson who extended the lead to eighteen. His try came against the same left-edge defence that was beginning to seem like it had a permanent hole in it.
The Raiders were able to go to half-time with some optimism for the second stanza, when Jarrod Croker was able to chase down a deft Mitch Cornish grubber to score and make the score 18-6 at the turn.
But any hopes of the visitors mounting a comeback akin to what the Dragons did to them last round were soon dashed. It only took four minutes for the Roosters to extend their lead, this time scoring down the Raiders’ right-hand side through Michael Jennings.
Then in the 48th minute the Roosters also showed off their aerial prowess, with Daniel Tupou outleaping Jordan Rapana to continue the embarrassment.
There weren’t many boxes that the Roosters hadn’t ticked from the playbook in the game, but they were yet to score a long-range try. That all changed in the 70th minute when Jennings, Tupou and Maloney combined to run eighty metres and achieve the final score of 34-6.
The Raiders were about as flat as the two-dimensional Simpsons family they looked like, while the Roosters raced to second on the competition ladder and showed the gulf between the top and bottom sides.
Roosters: 34 (Tries—Kenny-Dowall, Tuivasa-Sheck, Ferguson, Jennings, Maloney, Tupou; Goals—Maloney 5/6)
Raiders: 6 (Tries—Croker; Goals—Croker 1/1)