Josh Mercer reviews the grudge match between the Sydney Roosters and the South Sydney Rabbitohs. Here’s how the game went.
|4th||Try Daniel Tupou (Roosters)||Roosters 4-0|
|5th||Goal Kyle Flanagan (Roosters)||Roosters 6-0|
|29th||Try Kyle Flanagan (Roosters)||Roosters 10-0|
|30th||Goal Kyle Flanagan (Roosters)||Roosters 12-0|
|36th||Try Cameron Murray (Rabbitohs)||Roosters 12-4|
|37th||Goal Adam Reynolds (Rabbitohs)||Roosters 12-6|
|42nd||Try James Tedesco (Roosters)||Roosters 16-6|
|46th||Try Boyd Cordner (Roosters)||Roosters 20-6|
|48th||Try Kyle Flanagan (Roosters)||Roosters 22-6|
|61st||Try Thomas Burgess (Rabbitohs)||Roosters 22-10|
|62nd||Goal Adam Reynolds (Rabbitohs)||Roosters 22-12|
|76th||Try Jake Friend (Roosters)||Roosters 26-12|
|78th||Goal Kyle Flanagan (Roosters)||Roosters 28-12|
Both teams were very physical to start the game. The Roosters were first to score points when a cross-field kick from Luke Keary was caught by Daniel Tupou to crash down over the line, with Kyle Flanagan converting the try. The strong defence kept up throughout the the first half and the next try wasn’t scored until the 29th minute when Tupou found some space on the left side and passed the ball back into Josh Morris, who kicked ahead for Flanagan to score his first try in Roosters colours. Flanagan added the extra points for a 12-0 lead.
The Roosters were attacking the Rabbitohs’ line when Braidon Burns was able to intercept a pass from Keary and was well on his way to the try line before Brett Morris caught up to him, forcing him to pass to Alex Johnston who was also caught by Morris. The Rabbitohs were able to cross the line four minutes from half-time when a Latrell Mitchell short pass put Cameron Murray over the try line. Reynolds converted for the Rabbitohs to only be six behind at the break.
The Roosters came firing out of blocks in the second half when an innocent-looking pass from Josh Morris to keep the ball alive found James Tedesco, who split the defence and beat Mitchell to score. Four minutes later returning Roosters captain Boyd Cordner ran into a gap off a Keary pass to score; Flanagan converted and just like the the Roosters got out to a 16-point lead. Things started to look a bit bleak for the Rabbitohs with both Bayley Sironen and Liam Knight having to go off the field for a HIA test. However the weight of possession saw them strike back with Tom Burgess crashing over. Reynolds was able to convert and just like that the Rabbitohs were only 10 points behind.
The Rabbitohs were again pressing the Roosters’ line but some good defence as well as some poor last tackle options cost them. The Roosters were able to get a bit of a roll on and a Captain’s Challenge after some ruck interference found them gaining some momentum. Roosters captain Jake Friend was able to seal the game when he scooted from dummy half and put a grubber through, regathering the ball for the final try.
The highlight of the game was without a doubt the incredible chase by Brett Morris to save a try. Braidon Burns plucked a pass from Luke Keary out of the air and set sail for the try line, looking certain to score. Brett Morris was able to catch up to Burns who passed to his winger Alex Johnston. Morris was able to turn and chase, stopping Johnston from scoring.
Sydney Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Josh Morris 4. Joseph Manu 5. Brett Morris 6. Luke Keary 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Jared Waerea-hargraves 9. Jake Friend 17. Lindsay Collins 11. Boyd Cordner 12. Angus Crichton 13. Victor Radley. Interchange: 10. Isaac Liu 14. Sam Verrills 15. Sitili Tupouniua 16. Nat Butcher.
South Sydney Rabbitohs: 1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Dane Gagai 3. Campbell Graham 4. Braidon Burns 5. Alex Johnston 6 Troy Dargan 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10 Thomas Burgess 11. Jaydn Su’A 12. Cameron Murray 13. Liam Knight. Interchange: 14. Mark Nicholls 15. Ethan Lowe 16. Bayley Sironen 19. Tom Amone.