Home Rugby ANALYSIS: Roosters hopes hanging by thread as Raiders sneak dwelling

ANALYSIS: Roosters hopes hanging by thread as Raiders sneak dwelling

ANALYSIS: Roosters hopes hanging by thread as Raiders sneak dwelling


The Roosters’ finals hopes are hanging by a thread after one other dispiriting defeat, this time 20-18 by the hands of Canberra.

It was usual, usual for Trent Robinson’s males in 2023: their assault was off, James Tedesco didn’t make an influence they usually conceded sufficient tender tries to make sure that they misplaced the sport. 

Now, with seven wins on the board and a possible 13 wanted at a minimal, they will need to have subsequent to no margin for error. Subsequent week’s journey to Manly may see their season over earlier than the Origin interval is accomplished.

Joey Manu was their solely shining gentle, with two wonderful tries, however past him, there was little else. Luke Keary and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves had a crack, however the attacking points which have plagued all of them yr have been on full show.

“I feel we’re getting nearer to nailing it,” stated Robinson on their faltering assault. “We’ve recognized what we expect it’s. If it was fully clear, we’d have had it fastened by now. There’s a number of timing points which are simply barely out of sync. It’s price us this yr, however I do know it’ll open up.

“We simply need to hold perception in the way in which that we’re making ready our system, after which loosen the grip. We’re choking the membership in the mean time attempting to get it proper. We have to enable a bit extra freedom.”

Their opponents, nonetheless, march on. This was removed from classic stuff from the Raiders both, however they’ve turn out to be specialists in profitable video games the place they don’t have a look at their greatest. It’s a very good talent to have.

On this event, they have been indebted to the boot of Jamal Fogarty. His first spiral bomb brought on Tedesco untold issues and, not for the primary time, the majority of their factors got here from his kicking. 

Canberra raced into an 18-point lead earlier than the Roosters had fired a shot, then managed the sport from there.

After a poor defeat to the Warriors final outing, this was precisely what Ricky Stuart wanted. It’s now 9 shut video games that they’ve gained this yr.

“You’ll be able to have a look at it as expertise,” replied Sticky when requested why his aspect have been so profitable in tight fixtures.

“A number of the boys know how one can maintain on to a lead and run a sport down. They play slightly extra patiently.

“There’s so many aspects to that sport tonight – shedding Papa so early and enjoying with one center on the bench put plenty of additional pressure.

“There have been guys that have been wounded however performed on tonight, and it exhibits nice resilience and character within the staff.”

The harm toll from this sport may hang-out each side with essential fixtures arising. Josh Papali’i left early with a hamstring harm that would rule him out for a number of weeks, whereas Angus Crichton additionally departed with an MCL subject.

Egan Butcher went off with a head knock and Jake Turpin with a rib grievance, so as to add to Nat Butcher’s Achilles subject and Sitili Tupouniua’s nerve downside. Dangerous as they’ve been at occasions, the harm toll can also be a significant subject for Robinson, particularly in key backbone positions.

The Roosters have to make a name on James Tedesco

It’s hardly information at this level, however the Roosters assault is completely dreadful. The dearth of inventiveness is staggering for a aspect that continues to discipline Manu, Keary and Tedesco.

They’d loads of alternative right here, however created subsequent to nothing. It was all aspect to aspect, no help runners and no deception.

Canberra, like so many earlier than them in 2023, have labored out that the old-school umbrella defence can merely funnel Tedesco again into the center, particularly when Victor Radley is doing the ball-playing.

It calls into query the route going ahead.

Final week, Manu was a revelation on the again and the spark of the whole lot good that the Roosters did, whereas tonight, again out within the centres, he barely touched the ball.

The primary time he acquired the ball in something like an honest state of affairs, he scored. That got here from Keary participating the road, a runner being in movement to maintain the defence trustworthy, plus a late offload from the 5 eighth. Briefly, it was all of the stuff that the Roosters haven’t been doing of late.

Then, Manu grabbed their second with a trademark leap for a kick. It was if he was auditioning to be concerned extra. The Kiwi centre ended the sport with 12 possessions, ten runs and over 100m. When he acquired the ball, he was usually threatening. However he acquired nowhere close to sufficient.

Issues have been much less rosy on the again. Tedesco, the 2023 model at the least, appears predictable and brought on the Raiders no hassle in any respect. Defensively, he was answerable for a number of tries, being outjumped by each Jack Wighton and Seb Kris.

Teddy has all of the runs on the board that he may need, however one thing has to offer as a result of what’s at present occurring is unsustainably dangerous.

Why are Canberra good?

Canberra are, unquestionably, a very good soccer staff. They’re sixth within the ladder, forward of the much-vaunted Rabbitohs and Sharks, each of whom they’ve overwhelmed this yr.

But in addition they have a strongly unfavorable factors distinction and, on a efficiency stage, have typically underwhelmed. Once they’re dangerous, they’re actually dangerous.

Ricky Stuart has been in cost since endlessly, however there’s probably not a discernable model of play that one would affiliate with the coach. The Raiders are extra a vibe, all effort and niggle. They have to be a nightmare to play once more.

The kicking of Fogarty helps, as a result of he’s frequently capable of punt them out of hassle, and certainly, over the tryline. Wighton, who scored tonight, periodically does one thing spectacular but it surely’d be a push to say he’s been at his greatest.

As an alternative, there’s an entire lot of nuggety, awkward gamers – Jordan Rapana, Corey Horsburgh and the chief, Joseph Tapine – who usually play actually robust and make life extremely troublesome for his or her opponents.

In plenty of methods, they do bear the mark of their coach. They play just like the world is in opposition to them, with an actual chip on their shoulder, a need to make issues uncomfortable. We’ll go there, are you able to include us?

Possibly because of this they get whacked: if the depth isn’t there, then nothing else is. It would show a limitation in opposition to good groups with deeply realized programs.

Nevertheless it’ll additionally carry them boilovers – consider the maintain they’ve over Melbourne – and win them a heap of scraps like this one tonight. 

Canberra are the NRL’s final counter punchers, blissful to take no matter kind their opposition least wish to see. They gained this on factors in a stinker, and Ricky will take that each one day lengthy.



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