Roosters run riot against Raiders
Sydney Roosters have put on a show, defeating Canberra Raiders 34-6 in a faultless display that showcased their amazing attacking potency at Allianz Stadium on Sunday.
The Raiders fought hard but never looked like claiming victory, conceding points from just the third minute of the match and tackling themselves to a standstill. Six of the seven starting Tricolours backs scored four-pointers, constantly exposing a hapless Raiders defence with perfect passing and set plays.
Mitchell Pearce and Dylan Napa were especially outstanding throughout, Pearce with great playmaking skill to have a hand in each of the Roosters first five tries while Napa was a menace in defence.
The 22-year-old forward made some of his usual big hits, some brilliant cover defence and a try saver to stamp himself as one of the premier defenders of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
After the match, Roosters coach Trent Robinson said he was happy that his side threw the ball around as they gained momentum against the Raiders.
"The boys were experimenting with the footy and also playing some really strong footy," he said.
He also praised skipper Mitchell Pearce who had a standout game, setting up a number of tries for the Roosters.
"He was in control of our whole attack so he had to keep us on track while we were trying lots of different stuff... we were never lost at all and that's down to Junior (Pearce)."
Meanwhile Ricky Stuart lamented some pushed passes in the first half that cost his team the chance to put early points on the board.
"The first half we got down there seven times and didn't execute correctly... we dropped the ball five times out of seven," he said.
"There's no concern with me about the boys with their effort... they're a proud squad and they're disappointed with themselves."
Shaun Kenny-Dowall scored the first try of the match in just the third minute after some crisp passing across field put him into space. It was the first time the Raiders have conceded points in the opening 20 minutes of a match this year.
They would concede again just minutes later down the left side of their defence as Roger Tuivasa-Scheck ran through a gaping hole created by a smart double-decoy play. It was worrying signs for the Raiders left edge defence who were beginning to look hapless against the well structured Roosters attack.
And they would be exposed again in the 28th minute as the Roosters put on the same set play with decoy runners creating space for Blake Ferguson who had too much pace and size for Jarrod Croker to stop.
The Roosters were clearly dominating the first half and looked as though they could score at will against a vulnerable Raiders edge defence. In contrast, the Raiders were stagnant in attack, repeatedly throwing the ball away with pushed passes and desperate offloads when they found good attacking position.
However they were given immediate reward when they chose to kick early as Mitch Cornish put a midfield grubber through just before half-time. The ball bounced up for Jarrod Croker who was screaming through to open the scoring for the Raiders. Croker converted his own try to have the game at 18-6 at sheds.
Just five minutes into the second half the Roosters once again executed a perfect backline movement, this time with Michael Jennings scoring down the left side. Pearce and Maloney were central with perfect passing to create space on the outside of the defence.
Minutes later Daniel Tupou was in on the party, flying high over Jordan Rapana to claim a Pearce bomb and plant the ball down.
In the 70th minute, six of the seven Roosters backs had tries when Maloney finished off a long-range movement, showing great speed to beat Croker to the try line to score.
It started with the same beautiful footwork from Jennings who put Tupou in space before Maloney went tearing away downfield. Maloney converted from the sideline to make it 34-6 with 10 remaining.
Sydney Roosters 34 (Kenny-Dowall, Tuivasa-Sheck, Ferguson, Jennings, Maloney, Tupou; Maloney 5 goals) defeated Canberra Raiders 6 (Croker; Croker 1 goal) at Allianz Stadium. Crowd: 9,582