No stars, no worries for Roosters
With their regular fullback and dummy half missing, it wouldn’t have been much of a surprise to see the Roosters play a little disjointed. Instead they barely missed a beat.
Connor Watson was a hard man to tackle and an elusive ball runner in his first 80 minute performance at fullback, further proving his great versatility. Victor Radley made his first grade debut at Hooker and got through a decent workload in defence and gave good service to his halves.
The Roosters even managed to prevent the Knights from taking their usual half-time lead into the break. Despite having 3 consecutive repeat sets on their lines in the first half, the Knights were unable to crack the Roosters defence. A bit of luck that saw ex-Rooster Shaun Kenny-Dowall cross for a try were the only points they could produce.
It wasn’t the most cohesive of performances from the Roosters but they took the opportunities presented to them and move closer to a Top 2 finish.
Knights hard done by
When things are going bad, every little bit of misfortune is amplified. For the Knights once again the bunker was not on their side as a very disputable try was awarded to the Roosters.
A contentious call in the 61st minute occurred where Latrell Mitchell appeared to knock on before getting the ball away. He had his back to the goal-line but the ball clearly appeared to travel forward. The Bunker however had deemed it a knock back much to the dismay of fans everywhere.
It can be heartbreaking for both players and fans alike that the 50/50 calls just never seem to go their way. It was not as costly as the infamous Uate try of a month or two ago. However it was certainly a momentum changer in a game where the Knights remained competitive in.
Knights own worst enemy
For all the bad calls ultimately the Knights didn’t do themselves any favours either. They made some basic errors like allowing kicks to bounce and hit the ground. The Roosters first try came about as a result of Peter Mata’utia choosing not to contest the high ball with Blake Ferguson who caught it unopposed and crashed over the line.
They had their chances throughout the match but an error count of 13 never gave the Knights a chance against a Top 2 side completing at 81% regardless of poor officiating decisions or not.
Race for minor premiership back on
While the Melbourne Storm look a class above the rest of the NRL, they do suddenly find themselves having to watch their backs as the Roosters move just 1 win away from being tied with them on points.
It seems unlikely that the Storm will drop too many games on the run to the finals which includes a clash with the Roosters. However Rugby League’s a funny game and a few surprise results here and there, may very well see the Roosters pip them at the post.
In The Sheds
Chanel Mata’utia copped a nasty knock to the head as he was attempting to tackle Blake Ferguson on the run. A medicab was called but Chanel was able to get up and sit on it under his own power. Coach Nathan Brown said he’ll be monitored throughout the week per standard concussion protocols.
Sydney Roosters- 28
Tries: Blake Ferguson (11m), Luke Keary (25m), Daniel Tupou (61m), Isaac Liu (68m), Connor Watson (73m)
Goals: Latrell Mitchell 2/3
Sio Siua Taukeiaho 2/2
Newcastle Knights- 4
Tries: Shaun Kenny-Dowall (30m)