Roosters back on top after win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roosters back on top after win

By Maria Hawthorne 22/08/2004 06:16:43 PM Comments (0)

The Sydney Roosters bounced back to the top of the National Rugby League ladder but could be without Craig Fitzgibbon and Anthony Minichiello until the finals following their bruising 38-22 away win over the Canberra Raiders.

The Roosters looked set for an easy win after bursting away to a 22-0 lead after 20 minutes against the depleted Raiders.

Canberra's spate of injuries and suspensions prompted coach Matt Elliott to borrow the term "annus horribilis" from the Queen, "Big Liz", to describe the season.

The Raiders, who needed a win to keep their finals hopes alive, fought back to be within a converted try at 28-22 with seven minutes to go.

But a series of mistakes cost Canberra dearly, with Raiders replacement player Alan Rothery to chiefly to blame.

He twice lost the ball on the second tackle on restarts after Canberra had scored - the second time leading to a runaway try by Chad Robinson which sealed the game for the Roosters.

By the time former Raiders halfback Brett Finch crossed for the Roosters' last try, the crowd of 15,312 was heading for the Canberra Stadium car park.

With the Bulldogs losing to Melbourne, the Roosters moved to the top of the table but coach Ricky Stuart would not be drawn on the prospect of taking out the minor premiership.

"That's nice but there's still two games to go. Every week's a tough week," Stuart said.

The Roosters will almost certainly be without Fitzgibbon next week as he limped off the field with an ankle injury in the first half next.

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