NRL match review: Newcastle Knights 16 Sydney Roosters 12
Knights 16 (Roberts 2, Leilua Tries; Gagai, Roberts Goals)
Roosters 12 (Minichiello, Nuuausala Tries; Maloney 2 Goals)
The Newcastle Knights caused a boil over at Hunter Stadium on Friday night, defeating the Sydney Roosters 16-12 in front of 15,648 fans.
The result has called in to question the Roosters’ chances of winning back to back premierships, having lost to the last placed Cronulla Sharks recently as well.
The night had started brightly for the Sydney siden who scored inside two minutes, when a Jake Friend grubber bounced awkwardly for debutising fullback Sione Mata’utia allowing opposite number Anthony Minichello too swoop and score untouched for a 6-nil lead.
James Maloney looked like he had stretched the Roosters’ lead in the 15th minute of the game, as he chased his own charge down, had the ball taken from his grasp by Mata’utia, before planting it on the second attempt. The video referee ruled against the five eighth however, saying the ball had been propelled forward by Maloney during the regather.
Maloney was denied again by the video referee in the 33rd minute, when replay showed his attempt to ground the ball was thwarted by some great defense from Knight’s second rower Robbie Rochow, the score remaining 6-nil at the break.
Newcastle received a major blow to start their second half, with Jarrod Mullen not making it back out on to the field after succumbing to injury.
The Knights however seemed unphased finding themselves in the attacking zone, Jake Mamo receiving a basketball pass to dive over in the corner, however the pass had travelled forward.
The home side’s luck finally shifted after an hour of play when Tyrone Roberts put Beau Scott into a hole, before backing up his lock to receive the return pass and dive over to lock the game up at 6 a piece.
After the try was scored, the Roosters frustrations got the better of them, with a back chatting Jared Waerea Hargreaves sent to the bin for dissent.
The Knights made use of the advantage, stretching the Sydney sides defense thanks to a charging run from Willie Mason, who offloaded before Roberts received the ball and dummied his way to the line for a 10-6 lead after 65 minutes.
The Roosters took just six minutes to regain the lead.
Sonny Bill Williams managed to release an offload while being tackled close to the line, the ball falling at the feet of Frank-Paul Nuuausala who managed to toe the ball over the line before falling on the pill.
Maloney’s conversion saw the Roosters lead by two points inside the final ten minutes.
The game was turned on its head again, however, when Sydney hooker Jake Friend reacted to a shove from Beau Scott, with the Knights receiving the penalty for the ensuing brawl.
From there, Tyrone Roberts turned provider, kicking in behind the Roosters for an urgent Joseph Leilua to dive on the ball to steal the game and the two points for the struggling Knights.
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