Roosters make it hard on themselves again
The Roosters are now 3-0 to start the season but it seems they can’t go a week without giving their fans something to panic about. The game finished at 3 tries to 1 yet the final margin was only 2 points.
Goal-kicking and poor discipline contributed to the scoreline but it was still a strong defensive effort from the Roosters who did well to survive multiple sets on their line and hold the Panthers out.
They got lucky with some fortuitous calls. A forward pass from Latrell Mitchell was missed and a touch judge astoundingly missed Daniel Tupou stepping on the line while he was looking directly at his feet. However much luck fell their way though, the Roosters won’t care as they sit in 2nd as the only other unbeaten team besides the Storm.
Penalty fest halts momentum
There was almost as many penalties blown as there were points scored in a whistle happy affair with the final count finishing at 10-9 to the Roosters. The game was far from a free flowing one with every couple of sets accompanied by a blow of the whistle. It made for a fairly scrappy game and one which will have both teams discussing their discipline in the post-game review.
Flash finding form
Michael Gordon has had a strong beginning to his career as a Rooster. The 33 year old appears to have gained an extra spring in his step since the move as he played a vital role in the Roosters victory. He scored their opening try off a good pass from Mitchell Pearce. Gordon changed his line at the last second and darted through a gap in the defence to stroll over.
His 2nd try was a slight touch of class and a whole lot of luck. As Daniel Tupou made a break down the sideline, he kicked the ball back inside. Gordon backed up in support and dribbled the ball forward in a soccer-esque move to outmanoeuvre his much younger opposing fullback in Matt Moylan. He regathered the ball and set sail for the try-line to score the winner for the Roosters.
As important was his efforts in defence, pulling off a crucial try-saving tackle in the last minute of the game. He put a good shot on Tyrone Peachey one on one to save what was looking to be a certain try. His only blemish was a poor night from the boot by his standards, only making one of his three conversion attempts.
What’s the point in a bench hooker?
The Auckland 9’s player of the tournament and one of the Roosters break-out stars in 2016, Connor Watson was used for a grand total of 9 minutes against the Panthers.
As a bench utility Watson is handy injury cover but playing him for such a limited time makes it questionable why they’d send him out at all. He provided no impact off the bench and was simply used to toss the ball out of dummy half when he was on the field.
The day Jake Friend or Keary/Pearce go down with an injury is the day Watson on the bench will look like a genius decision. Until then it’s a curious one.
In The Sheds
James Fisher Harris left the field with a suspected fractured eye socket at the 22 minute mark and obviously didn’t return.
Sydney Roosters- 14
Tries: Michael Gordon (31m, 73m), Latrell Mitchell (39m)
Goals: Michael Gordon 1/3
Penrith Panthers- 12
Tries: Tyrone Peachey
Goals: Nathan Cleary 4/4