The Canberra Raiders defeated the Sydney Roosters 22 – 18 to end their season with a massive grandstand finish at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The win to the Raiders ended the Roosters hopes of three premierships in a row, almost one year to the day since they defeated the Raiders in the Grand Final.
There were battles all over the park with some huge try-saving tackles, several disallowed tries and a massive effort by the Raiders men in the middle to take home the win.
Josh Papalii crashed over for the first try of the night off the back of an early penalty just five minutes in. Jarrod Croker successfully converted to put the Raisers up 6 – 0.
Luke Keary copped a head clash making the tackle on Papalii and was pulled from the field in what would have been a devastating blow for the Roosters. Keary re-entered the game with 25 to go in the first half of the sudden death final.
The Roosters worked their way down the field and earned a penalty on the last to keep the pressure on. Joseph Manu’s try attempt was sent to the bunker but the Raiders goal-line defence was all over it as they held on for another set.
The Raiders maintained the pressure, moving the ball down the left with another good kick chase and a perfect record with 10 from 10 completed sets.
George Williams was next to score off the back of an offload from Papalii that opened up the Roosters defence. John Bateman, Jordan Rapana and Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad were all involved in the play, pushing up through the middle to get the ball away to Williams. Croker extended their lead to 12 – 0 with 19 to go in the first half.
A penalty against the Roosters helped the Raiders down the field as Siliva Havili crashed over but was held up in-goal. With a few tackles left in the set, they earned a set restart to maintain the pressure.
Joseph Tapine slipped through for a try in his 100th game as a Raider in what was a massive effort from him. The score remained 16 – 0 with a missed conversion by Croker.