Savage’s ‘glare’ on display for Raiders as Manu wears ‘frantic’ Roosters: 3 Big Hits

The Raiders have held on to beating a fast-ending Roosters outfit 22-16 on home soil at GIO Stadium.

The Roosters appeared to have got on the board first, only to overcome an obstruction, opening the door for the Raiders to score the first runs just four minutes later via Adam Elliott.

The Tricolors hit back via Sitili Tupouniua, who finally got his chance after being dismissed earlier, but the home side put up two tries to take an 18-6 lead.

After a clumsy first 60 minutes, the Roosters finally started clicking into gear, scoring two tries in four minutes.

But the Raiders sealed the win with a crucial try in the 70th minute.

MATCH CENTER: Canberra Raiders vs Sydney Roosters teams live scores

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The Raiders took an upset victory thanks to a strong tryline defense that was labeled “excellent” by Fox League commentators.

Trent Robinson’s side had several sets on the stroke of half-time hoping to get points back from the Raiders 12-6 lead.

But every time they tried to break the line, a Canberra defender was on hand to thwart the attack, with winger Kevin Naqaima swarming the space twice.

“The Raiders that really pushed the fans, the spirit that was shown there was outstanding,” said Fox League commentator Andrew Voss.

“Defending their tryline, that was brilliant, two full sets on their line…the scramble defense on their right was incredible, brilliant tackles throughout that passage,” said Fox League pundit Michael Ennis.

In the first half, the Raiders made 13 more tackles than their opponents, while also missing six fewer.

In the second half, they won the match with the very last tackle with a frenzied defensive set as young gunner Joseph Suaalii stormed down the sidelines and came desperately close to scoring.

“Canberra defenders, a limestone wall stops Suaalii in the corner, the Canberra Raiders did it,” said Andrew Voss.

“Criticized so many times for not finishing it, they did it today.”

In all, the Raiders made 329 tackles, 25 more than the Roosters in a massive game-winning defense attempt.


Xavier Savage will do everything in his power to hold on to the No. 1 jersey when Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad returns from a hamstring injury in round 18.

Savage moved to fullback on round 12 and recorded a solid 186 running yards. He backed it up over the weekend starring the Raiders’ victory over the Roosters.

The 20-year-old had an absolute field day in the first half, running 121 yards and getting an offload and linebreak on his stunning attempt.

The try came after he somehow picked up a pass that landed near his boots to cross over and give his side the lead.

“What do the judges who pick up score score? It’s a perfect 10 for Xavier Savage,” said Fox League commentator Andrew Voss.

“We have great young players in our game. There are others who excite me just as much, but nobody excites me more than Savage.

“He’s as exciting as any young player in the game. You’ll find others like Reece Walsh and Joseph Suaalii, but I don’t think there’s more than what he’s offering us.

“He teased us before the injury last year. He’s blessed with incredible speed and you could see the skills there.”

Michael Ennis was equally impressed, calling Savage’s pickup a “class of genius.”

“The boy is a star and gosh that was a great skill there from Xavier Savage who got this game off to a great start,” Ennis said.

“He has great speed, but his work ethic today, already 111 meters running… he’s done the hard stuff.

“Early performs from his half, helping his attackers, we all know he has that x factor and that was it. When his moment came, he delivered.”

Savage finished the game with a try, 172 running yards, three tackle busts, a linebreak and an offload.


Bow Joey Manu.

The 25-year-old was the hardest worker on the field, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to lead his side to victory.

With James Tedesco in camp with the Blues, Manu switched to fullback – a position he always blends into.

As expected, he was heavily involved, finishing with a stunning 15 tackle busts, six offloads, a try assist and a linebreak assistant at his 254 yards on 31 runs—the most all-time runs for the Roosters. †

Fox League commentator Andrew Voss highlighted the Roosters star’s efforts, saying he had “tried his heart”.

But as hard as Manu tried, it wasn’t enough to make up for the Roosters’ clumsy attack in the opening 60 minutes of the game.

The Roosters shot themselves in the foot several times in the first half with “un-Haan-esque moments” according to commentator Andrew Voss, while Michael Ennis thinks they looked “crazy”.

“The attack of the roosters right now, (they) are just struggling to find any consistency. They look a little frantic, they’re bouncing from side to side and it’s difficult what their plan is right now,” Ennis said.

“The Roosters’ attack has been very disappointing in this first half, their leading runners, their options, it’s all hectic. They just can’t get it right, the Roosters… They need a little more consistency.

“Their attack has not been smooth, they miss James Tedesco, there is no doubt about it. As good as Manu has been, they lacked a wide swipe – normally where Manu is. †


robbers: 1. Xavier Savage 2. Nick Cotric 3. Matthew Timoko 4. Sebastian Kris 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Matt Frawley 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Corey Horsburgh 9. Zac Woolford 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Adam Elliott 14. Tom Starling 15. Ryan Sutton 17. Trey Mooney 18. James Schiller. Substitute player: 19. Harry Rushton

cocks: 1. Joseph Manu 2. Billy Smith 3. Paul Momirovski 4. Kevin Naiqama 5. Joseph Suaalii 6. Sam Walker 7. Luke Keary 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho 9. Drew Hutchison 15. Fletcher Baker 11. Angus Crichton 12. Sitili Tupouniua 13. Nat Butcher 14. Connor Watson 16. Egan Butcher 17. Terrell May 19. Daniel Suluka-Fifita. Substitute player: 18. Lachlan Lam

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