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Rugby League

Roosters defy Raiders to win dramatic grand final

October 6, 2019 11:30 pm

The Raiders, the better team for the majority of the match, denied their fourth title after a series of controversial calls in a heart-stopping 14-8 loss at ANZ Stadium.

None more controversial than the officials calling six-again to the Raiders on the attack, only to change their minds without the Raiders realising the call had been amended.

What the Raiders thought would be a fresh set attacking the Roosters line at 8-8 with less seven minutes on the clock, became the start of a nightmare for the men in green.

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Referee Ben Cummins ruled six-to-go and then changed that to a last tackle ruling. The Raiders were forced to hand the ball to their opposition.

From the ensuing set, Luke Keary scampered out of dummy half to link with Latrell Mitchell, whose incredible flick pass allowed Daniel Tupou to put James Tedesco over for the match-winner.

What the Raiders thought would be a fresh set attacking the Roosters line at 8-8 with less seven minutes on the clock, became the start of a nightmare for the men in green.

Referee Ben Cummins ruled six-to-go and then changed that to a last tackle ruling. The Raiders were forced to hand the ball to their opposition.

From the ensuing set, Luke Keary scampered out of dummy half to link with Latrell Mitchell, whose incredible flick pass allowed Daniel Tupou to put James Tedesco over for the match-winner.

It was a heart-breaking end to what was almost the perfect game from the Raiders, who also conceded the first try of the match after the Roosters benefited from a ball hitting their trainer.

The Raiders were on the right end of another controversial call in the second half, with Cronk sent to the sin bin for a professional foul, but they couldn’t capitalise.

This, as Trent Robinson enforced to his team when they returned for day one of pre-season, was not an extension of last year but an entirely new campaign.

And in front of 82,922 – they did it again.

The game began in the most dramatic of circumstances, with Raiders prop Sia Soliola charging down a Luke Keary kick that cannoned into Roosters trainer Travis Touma in back play.

Despite the Raiders coming up with possession, the referee deemed it a Roosters feed after telling Hodgson “it’s unfortunate but the team with a territorial advantage gets the feed”.

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