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Slick Roosters too good for Canberra

17/04/2010 10:33:06 PM Comments (0)

Todd Carney came back to haunt his former club with two tries in a 16-point haul as Sydney Roosters brushed aside Canberra 36-6 in Saturday's NRL clash at the Sydney Football Stadium.

It was welcome return to winning ways for the Roosters, in front of 9,308 fans, following last Sunday's poor performance in a 26-6 defeat at Penrith.

However, it was a disappointing evening for the Raiders, who slumped to their 12th successive defeat at the SFS, a record that stretches back to 1995, with David Furner's side looking a pale shadow of the team that beat Parramatta on Monday.

Carney, who was sacked by Canberra in 2008 following a series of off-field indiscretions, showed the Raiders exactly what they were missing with some superb footwork for his opening try in the 27th minute.

He pounced again seven minutes after the restart after good work from Mitchell Pearce found another former Raider Phil Graham, who popped a pass to Carney before the playmaker was forced off with a rib injury.

It was an outstanding first-half performance that laid the foundations for the Roosters' victory, with Anthony Minichiello opening the scoring when he crossed in the ninth minute following a well-weighted kick from the impressive Pearce.

Shaun Kenny-Dowall doubled the lead three minutes later following a great break from Nick Kouparitsas and Mitchell Aubusson.

The Raiders, who trailed 18-0 at the interval, also saw prop David Shillington put on report for a high shot on Jason Ryles just before the break, to end a miserable first half.

And the second period continued in a similar fashion with Carney darting over in the left corner, before Canberra finally troubled the scorers when the largely-anonymous Terry Campese's 55th-minute kick bounced favourably into the arms of Joel Thompson.

But that was to be as good as it got for the men from the capital, with Kouparitsas sprinting through to score seven minutes from time before powerful prop Frank Paul Nuuausala barged over from close range in dying seconds of the match.

The Raiders were forced to play the whole second half without halfback Josh McCrone, who sustained a neck injury, and they also lost Joe Picker with a head injury late on.

In addition to the injury to Carney, debutant Jared Warea-Hargeaves did not take the field in the second half due to concussion and a broken nose.

Smith was full of praise for Carney, who had to withstand a barrage of abuse from the Canberra supporters as he lined up to kick a sideline conversion following Minichiello's try.

"How cruel is footy," said Smith.

"Of all the places that a try could be scored, but that is him to a tee.

"You can only imagine what was coming out of the mouths of the Canberra fans, but it is all fun and part of footy.

"He's just got such a great demeanour and when he is like he is now, he is fun to be around.

"He is so committed to our footy club, a great teammate and great to coach. I am rapt for him, he is a great kid."

Smith was also confident the fullback would be fit to face St George Illawarra next Sunday after he decided not to risk any further damage to his ribs by withdrawing him from the action early in the second half.

"Rather than needle him and painkiller him up, we decided to get him off and the doc thinks he might be OK for next week," Smith said.

Canberra coach David Furner was furious at his side's performance and said he was concerned by the way his players started the game.

"It worried me, I thought our attention to detail wasn't there at the start, our line speed and our contact were poor," Furner said.

"We found it hard to get out of our half it was tough and we didn't handle it well.

"I am not going to blame the short turnaround ... you still have to start strong or you will get punished."

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