Sydney Roosters 38
Tries: Kenny-Dowall 3, Evans, Tuivasa-Sheck, Cordner
Goals: Maloney 7/7
Canterbury Bulldogs 12
Tries: Lafai, Cook, Rona
Goals: Mbye 0/2, Browne 0/1
Sydney Roosters booked their place in the Preliminary Final next week at the Suncorp Stadium as they ended Canterbury Bulldogs’ season with a 38-12 victory, however it wasn’t without controversy.
With the game in the balance at 8-4 the Minor Premiers were awarded a try after Kane Evans looked to have grounded the ball short before promoting it over the line, but the video referee claimed to have insufficient evidence to overturn the on-field decision.
After that the Roosters romped home to a comfortable win in a game which was littered with errors throughout, not just from the referees.
The hosts opened the scoring early on with a penalty goal from James Maloney before Kenny-Dowall grabbed his first try after backing up Blake Ferguson’s knock-back. Maloney converted to make it 8-0.
Canterbury replied before the break as Tim Lafai punched a hole in the Roosters defence off the back of Josh Reynolds’ flat pass. Moses Mbye couldn’t convert and they went into the sheds trailing 8-4.
11 minutes into the second half the away fans were in uproar as Evans was awarded a try which should have been chalked off, before Roger Tuivasa-Sheck raced over off the back of an Evans offload at the line. Maloney goaled both tries to make it 20-4.
The Bulldogs were stunned but they managed to hit-back through Damien Cook as Frank Pritchard, playing in his last NRL game, broke well before finding Josh Morris with a pass back inside and Cook was on hand to finish the break. Front rower Tim Browne took over the kicking duties but he missed a simple conversion from in-front.
Kenny-Dowall was over for his second soon after though as he proved too strong in the corner as he planted the ball down on the line, Maloney again converted to stretch the lead to 26-8.
The game was put to bed by Boyd Cordner with only eight minutes left on the clock as he sliced through the tiring Bulldogs defence to dive over for a converted try and secure his side’s place in the last four.
SKD completed his hat-trick four minutes later as he timed his leap onto Jackon Hastings’ bomb perfectly to cap a memorable performance for the wide man. Maloney added his seventh goal of the night to finish with a perfect record.
Canterbury kept going until the bitter end though as Curtis Rona, who had a poor night under the high ball, managed to sneak over in the corner on the hooter to reduce the deficit by four.
Mbye knocked the conversion wide as the Sydney Roosters progressed to the Suncorp where they will face Brisbane Broncos for a place in the NRL Grand Final.
Man of the Match: Shaun Kenny-Dowall grabbed a hat-trick of tries to lead his side to within 80 minutes of the NRL Grand Final.