After 30 games the Auckland 9’s tournament was to be between the Sydney Roosters and the Penrith Panthers, with the Panthers going in as favourites. But it was the Roosters Daniel Tupou (again) in to open the score with a ripper than was valuably converted. Bernard Lewis then followed up with a corner-post beating effort to move the Roosters out to 10 points to nil after 5 minutes.
Mitch Aubusson was then at his best with a kick that ended up the ball stopping 1 metre from the dead in goal that he followed up with a slamming tackle to earn the drop out. Some to and fro to complete the half but it was the Roosters walking to the oranges with a 10-0 lead.
Now as the sun got lower in the sky, the Roosters had the sun in their face but the score on the board. Nine minutes to defend with the result being worth a lot of money.
Dallin Watene Zelezniak dived over in the corner to bring the margin back to 6 and the Panthers were on the prowl. But a dropped ball was all that the Rooster’s needed but they bounced what would have been a hard scoreline to comeback from off the boot of a defender and with three minutes left it was still anyone’s game.
With a minute left on the clock Penrith dragged the margin back to 2 points with a valuable try but the conversion missed and the Roosters are now the 2017 Auckland 9’s Champions.
Connor Watson from the Roosters was named MVP of the Tournament as the Roosters
The team of the tournament was Cameron Munster (Mel), Kayln Ponga (NQC), Suaia Matagi (Eels), Brodie Croft (Mel), Gideon Gela Mosby (NQC), Waqa Blake (Pen), Moses Leotta (Pen), Latrell Mitchell (Syd) and Connor Watson (Syd).