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The Raiders celebrate their 2013 win over the Roosters.

Since the Canberra Raiders entered the competition in 1982, they've staged some memorable clashes against the Roosters. Both clubs have enjoyed success over the years and also endured some tough seasons they'd rather forget. Here are the top 10 matches between the teams.

Top 10 clashes: Roosters v Raiders

10. Finals Week 1, 2004: Roosters 38 - Raiders 12

This was the most recent meeting of these in a finals game, when the Ricky Stuart-coached Roosters flogged Matt Elliot's Raiders 38-12. The Sydneysiders finished the season as minor premiers while the Raiders just scraped into the eight, and the favourites ran in seven tries to Canberra's two and never looked like losing. The Roosters led 14-0 at half-time with tries to Craig Fitzgibbon, Chris Walker and Justin Hodges. They ran away with it in the second half, scoring four more tries while the Raiders scored twice in the closing stages of the match through winger Nathan Smith and Marshall Chalk. The Roosters went on to lose the grand final to the Bulldogs. 

9. Finals Week 2, 2000: Roosters 38 - Raiders 10 

After thrashing Penrith in the first week of finals, Canberra came into this match with plenty of confidence, coming up against a Roosters side that was embarrassed by Parramatta in a big upset the previous week and was looking to keep their premiership dreams alive. It was a tough start to the match and it took 33 minutes for the game's opening try via Craig Wing, then Ryan Cross scored the Roosters' second try three minutes later. They blew their opponents away after the half-time break with Matt Sing, Anthony Minichiello and Cross scoring to open up a 32-0 lead. The Raiders grabbed two consolation tries through Mark McLinden and Lesley Vainikolo while Minichello grabbed his second try to finish the match.

Roosters speedster Matt Sing.
Roosters speedster Matt Sing. ©NRL Photos

8. Round 2, 2016: Raiders 21 - Roosters 20

An injury-hit Raiders side overcame the odds to steal a come-from-behind win against the Roosters 21-20 as the Tricolours' terrible form in Canberra continued, having not won there since 2010. With Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer sidelined the Raiders lacked a bit of creativity and went into half-time trailing 16-6. Two tries from Canberra and one from the Roosters made it 20-14 before Joey Leilua added to the home side's headaches when he was sin-binned for striking Dylan Napa. Yet the Raiders defied the odds to pull off a superb finish as Jarrod Croker scored in the corner to level the scores and then with five minutes remaining Josh Hodgson kicked a brilliant 40/20 to set up Sam Williams' winning field goal.

7. Round 9, 2019: Roosters 30 - Raiders 24

The Roosters held off a defiant Raiders side in a Magic Round thriller to hold on to a 30-24 win. The Roosters raced to a 30-6 lead in the first half as the Raiders struggled to contain the magic of Latrell Mitchell and James Tedesco. Canberra bounced back in the second half and scored three second-half tries through Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Jack Wighton and Michael Oldfield and almost levelled the scores in the 80th minute but a forward pass by Nick Cotric denied them a chance to take the game to golden point. 

Match Highlights: Roosters v Raiders

6. Round 5, 2013: Raiders 24 - Roosters 22

The Raiders produced a massive upset against a star-studded Roosters side that would go on to win the premiership. Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney laid on three tries to give the Roosters a 16-0 lead at the break and they looked like they would cruise to another win from there. But the Raiders came out of the sheds firing and scored two quick tries through Edrick Lee and Sam Williams to get them back in the game, before Anthony Minichiello scored to extend the Tricolours' lead to 22-12. But a stunning mid-air catch from Sandor Earl made it 22-18 before a short-side raid down the left edge saw Croker dive over to score the match-winner with five minutes left and they held on to win the match. 

 5. Round 23, 2018: Raiders 14 - Roosters 12

Coming into this game the Roosters were flying at the top of the table while the Raiders were coming off the back of four straight losses. But off the back of Sam Williams' boot, Canberra produced one of the upsets of the year – despite scoring fewer tries than the Tricolours. The Raiders were able control possession early and by half-time they completed a perfect 19/19 sets, and they reaped the rewards as a Jordan Rapana try and three Williams penalty goals gave them a 12-0 lead heading into half-time. Tries to Boyd Cordner and Victory Radley levelled the scores with 20 minutes remaining until another Williams penalty goal gave the Raiders a two-point lead and they held on to win the match.

4. Finals Week 1, 1987: Roosters 25 - Raiders 16

It was 2nd vs 3rd as the Raiders played their first finals game against the Roosters, with the Tricolours winning a tough game 25-16. The teams had actually met a week earlier in round 26 with Canberra prevailing 22-18, and they came into this match full of confidence. Scores were locked up at 12-12 at half-time as both sides played tough football and made the most of their opportunities. Steve Morris gave the Roosters a six-point lead early in the second half, and then a dropped ball from Gary Belcher off a scrum gifted Hugh McGahan a simple try to extend the Roosters' lead to 12 points. A short-side raid saw Chris O'Sullivan dive over to make it 24-16 to give the Raiders some hope of a comeback with 11 minutes left, but a field goal from Tony Melrose sealed the deal for the Roosters.

3. Round 5, 1990: Raiders 66 - Roosters 4

Mal Meninga ran riot over on this day as he scored a club record 38 points in a 66-4 humiliation of the Roosters. Meninga toyed with the opposition, scoring five tries and kicking nine goals from 12 attempts. Winger John Ferguson scored a hat-trick while Gary Belcher, Mark Bell, Ricky Stuart and Laurie Daley also got on the scoresheet. Tim Dwyer scored the Roosters' only try in what was the club's biggest loss since 1908 at the time. It was also Canberra's biggest win in their history. 

Raiders legend Mal Meninga.
Raiders legend Mal Meninga. ©NRL Photos

2. Round 21, 2019: Roosters 22 - Raiders 18

Late in the 2019 season the Roosters held off the fast-finishing Raiders who proved they were serious title contenders in a close game that could've gone either way. The Tricolours scored first but Canberra fought back with tries to Jordan Rapana and Jarrod Croker to lead 12-6. The Roosters scored two more tries before half-time to lead 18-12 at the break and then Daniel Tupou opened the scoring in the second half to give the visitors a 10-point lead. Elliot Whitehead scored off a Josh Hodgson grubber and set up a thrilling finish in the final 15 mins but the reigning premiers' defence was just too good and they held on for a 22-18 win. 

1. Preliminary Final, 1987: Raiders 32 - Roosters 24

Canberra were fired up for this clash and determined to qualify for their first ever grand final. Standing in their way was a tough Roosters side that had defeated them in the major preliminary semi-final only two weeks prior. Mal Meninga made a heroic comeback from a broken arm he had suffered in round 10, playing 64 minutes and inspiring his team to victory. It was the Roosters who started strong, leading 18-14 courtesy of a Steve Morris try two minutes into the second half, but then the Raiders ran riot with Gary Coyne, Matthew Corkery and Peter Jackson crossing in a devastating 12-minute burst to give Canberra a 32-24 victory.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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