An under strength Sydney Roosters have won in a controversial match against the Gold Coast Titans at Cbus Super Stadium on Sunday night.
The Roosters opened the scoring via a Siosuia Taukeiaho penalty goal in the 8th minute, before Paul Momirovski crossed the line five minutes later, taking advantage of an Ashley Taylor error. The Titans responded immediately after Jarrod Wallace produced a brilliant offload for Moeaki Fotuaika to score next to the posts. The Roosters continued to dominate field position and Titans forward Will Matthews was sin-binned in the 27th minute due to repeated infringements. Soon after the Roosters were in again through Sean O’Sullivan in very controversial circumstances, after it appeared O’Sullivan had knocked the ball on before grounding it. It was ruled a try by the bunker and the Roosters went into the break with a 14-6 lead.
The first 10 minutes after half time saw end-to-end football, and the Roosters broke the deadlock in the 57th minute when Poasa Faamausili scored, increasing the lead to 14 points. Shortly after, the Titans got back into the contest when Jarrod Wallace crossed the line after Luke Keary was sent to the sin bin for a professional foul. Wallace seemed to be in for his second to set up an exciting finish but it was called back due to an obstruction, and the Roosters held on for a 20-12 win.
ROOSTERS RISE INTO TOP FOUR
After an inconsistent year so far, the Roosters have finally made their way into the top four. They are yet to reach the heights many expected from them, but they are starting to find some more consistency, and with their Origin stars and Cooper Cronk returning next week, they are in a good position to make a strong run into the finals.
They don’t have the easiest finish to the regular season, with matches against the Dragons and Rabbitohs still to come, but if this team can find their best form they will be hard to stop.
BUNKER CREATES MORE CONTROVERSY
In an otherwise close and exciting contest, the bunker made a large impact in the worst possible way. With the Roosters holding a two point lead late in the first half, Sean O’Sullivan had the ball stripped by Jarrod Wallace as he was attempting to score, and as he attempted to regather the ball he knocked it into the goalpost and appeared to drag it forward.
However, the bunker ruled the ball was knocked back and then the ball travelled forward off the goalpost, despite replays showing a clear knock-on. It left the commentators and Titans captain Ryan James baffled. The Roosters were the better team on the day but one has to wonder if the game would have been any different had that not been ruled a try.
A NIGHT TO FORGET FOR ASH TAYLOR
After just missing out on a State of Origin debut on Wednesday night, Titans halfback Ashley Taylor had a horror night. Two of the Roosters tries came off Taylor errors in the first half.
The Roosters’ first try became possible after Taylor fielded a kick and attempted an offload to Brenko Lee who knocked it on. Their second try came after Taylor spilled the ball while passing. The Roosters worked their way down the field and scored on the next set. There’s no doubt Taylor is one of the most promising young players in the game, but this game is one he’d like to forget.
DREAM DEBUTS FOR ROOSTERS TRIO
With a number of key Roosters missing for this clash, they were relying on a trio of debutants to step up in their place. In what has to be a record, the three Roosters rookies – Paul Momirovski, Sean O’Sullivan, Poasa Faamausili – each scored a try.
Whilst O’Sullivan was lucky to bag a four-pointer, it’s still an impressive feat that many believe has never happened before.
GOLD COAST TITANS 12
Tries: Moeaki Fotuaika, Jarrod Wallace
Goals: Michael Gordon 2/2
Drop Goals: n/a
SYDNEY ROOSTERS 20
Tries: Paul Momirovski, Sean O’Sullivan, Poasa Faamausili
Goals: Siosuia Taukeiaho 3/3, Blake Ferguson 1/2
Drop Goals: n/a
Gold Coast Titans: 1 Michael Gordon, 2 Anthony Don, 3 Konrad Hurrell, 4 Brenko Lee, 5 Phillip Sami, 6 Alexander Brimson, 7 Ashley Taylor, 15 Moeaki Fotuaika, 9 Nathan Peats, 10 Ryan James, 11 Kevin Proctor, 16 Will Matthews, 8 Jarrod Wallace Interchange: 14 Mitch Rein, 17 Jack Stockwell, 19 Leilani Latu, 22 Jai Whitbread
Sydney Roosters: 5 Blake Ferguson, 2 Daniel Tupou, 22, Paul Momirovski, 4 Joseph Manu, 18 Matt Ikuvalu, 6 Luke Keary, 21 Sean O’Sullivan, 8 Jared Warea-Hargreaves, 9 Jake Friend, 10 Siosuia Taukeiaho, 20 Ryan Matterson, 12 Nat Butcher, 13 Isaac Liu Interchange: 14 Zane Tetevano, 15 Lindsay Collins, 17 Kurt Baptiste, 23 Poasa Faamausili