St George Illawarra Dragons 14
Tries:Ben Creagh, Gerard Beale, Nathan Green
Goals:Gareth Widdop 1/3
Sydney Roosters 34
Tries:Daniel Tupou, Aiden Guerra Shaun Kenny-Dowell, Boyd Cordner, Jake Friend, Anthony Minchiello
Goals:James Maloney 5/5, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 0/1
The Sydney Roosters have claimed the ANZAC Day Cup with a convincing 34-14 win over the St George Illawarra Dragons at Allianz Stadium this afternoon in front of 38,784 fans.
The Roosters led 18-8 at half time and 24-8 early in the second half against a Dragons side that lacked direction in attack.
The Roosters jumped out to a 12-0 lead after 17 minutes with converted tries to Aidan Guerra and Daniel Tupou.
Dragons skipper Ben Creagh scored a sneaky try from dummy half after 25 minutes to get his side back in the match, not converted by Gareth Widdop to make it 12-4.
A long pass found an unmarked Anthony Minichiello and the veteran slid over in the right corner in the 35th minute. James Maloney’s perfect day with the boot continued and the Roosters led 18-4.
The Dragons scored a try to centre Nathan Green on the stroke of half time after Minichiello’s air swing failed to clear a Josh Dugan grubber. Widdop couldn’t add the extras so the Roosters led 18-8 at half time.
Some brilliant individual work by Roosters hooker Jake Friend extended the margin after 44 minutes; getting out from dummy half, Friend kicked for himself and beat Trent Merrin to the loose ball to score. Maloney converted to make it 24-8.
Gerard Beale steamed onto a Widdop ball from close range and brushed off the defence to keep the Dragons hopes alive after 63 minutes. Widdop’s conversion made it 24-14.
However a bustling try to Boyd Cordner in the 69th minute put the game out of reach, Maloney’s conversion made it 30-14.
The Roosters weren’t finished and added a try to Shaun Kenny-Dowall in the 75th minute, somehow beating 4 defenders to score. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck’s attempt sailed wide, but the Roosters had secured the ANZAC Day Cup for the second consecutive year. Friend collected the Ashton-Collier medal for best on ground.
The Roosters and NSW Blues will be sweating on injury concerns to James Maloney (shoulder) and Michael Jennings (ankle) while Merrin finished the game with an ice pack on his right knee.
The Dragons search for a half back continues, after Witt again failed to deliver, offering little in attack and proving ineffective in defence. Sam Williams has been used and failed, Adam Quinlan was given just one game, while Kyle Stanley has been named at halfback for the Illawarra Cutters’ VB NSW Cup match against the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles at WIN Stadium on Saturday.
The Roosters were solid, forcing errors with excellent defence and their kicking game was far superior. The final margin may have been greater if Tupou hadn’t spilt the ball over the line in the first half with no one around him. Apart from Friend, Aiden Guerra was outstanding and Mitchell Pearce steered his side around with aplomb.