Mini injured as Roosters beat Raiders - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mini injured as Roosters beat Raiders

22/03/2009 07:05:09 PM Comments (0)

Sydney Roosters star Anthony Minichiello will be sidelined for at least a month after suffering a nasty ankle injury in Sunday's 28-4 NRL win over Canberra.

The luckless fullback - who has been restricted to just 25 games in the past three seasons - was rushed to hospital for x-rays after scoring the opening try at Canberra Stadium.

Although cleared of a fracture, the 2005 world player of the year is not expected back before round seven at the earliest.

"The docs are saying it's not fractured so that's great for us," Roosters coach Brad Fittler said.

"But he's looking at a minimum of a month (out), so we'll just cross our fingers."

Minichiello's latest setback - after three years battling back and neck injuries - soured the Roosters' stunning form reversal following their 40-point drubbing at the hands of South Sydney in round one.

The Roosters ran in five tries to one - including a double for captain Braith Anasta - in a comprehensive victory.

Only a last-minute try to Bronson Harrison saved the Raiders from their first-ever premiership whitewash at Canberra Stadium.

Minichiello suffered his injury early in the match, but still managed to cross for the opening try in the 26th minute before departing the field shortly after.

From then on, the Roosters were rarely challenged by a shabby Raiders outfit whose fumbling plays on attack and at times non-existent defence opened the door for the visitors to run away with the match.

Shaun Kenny-Dowall grabbed the Roosters' second try in the 54th minute while halfback Mitchell Pearce stretched the lead with another four-pointer in the 69th minute.

Two tries from Anasta in the 73rd and 76th minutes, the latter a 45-metre intercept effort, ended any hopes of a Canberra comeback.

Praising Minichiello's courage in opening the scoring, Anasta said he initially didn't think his lame teammate - stuck out on the wing - would manage to catch the ball, let alone put it over the line.

"It was awesome. We were saying at the end it wasn't a weak try, it was just a great effort," he said.

"We said, 'you'll have to come off,' and he said, 'No, I want to keep going,' stayed around and scored a try.

"So you can see how much it meant to him."

The Raiders, on the other hand, blew numerous scoring opportunities.

A certain four-pointer in the opening minutes went begging as a pass from five-eighth Terry Campese sailed through the open hands of centre Adrian Purtell and over the sideline.

In the 39th minute, a Marc Herbert pass to Justin Carney suffered the same fate 15 metres out.

Anasta said despite struggling with on and off-field dramas, including an alleged - and subsequently denied - spray from Fittler following their belting from the Bunnies and the suspension of Jake Friend after a high-range drink-driving offence, it was heartening to see the players lift in times of crisis.

"I was just proud of everyone. It was a huge effort from all the boys," he said.

"Last week was disappointing and everyone of us took ownership for it and knew it was poor.

"We also got hammered pillar to post all week, so for a team to show the character we did today, I think it's great.

"It's something we can build on."

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