Brad Inger reviews the Sydney Rooster’s clash with the New Zealand Warriors. Here’s how the match went.
|4th||Try Ken Maumalo (Warriors)||Warriors 4-0|
|5th||Goal Adam Pompey (Warriors)||Warriors 6-0|
|14th||Try Sitili Tupouniua (Roosters)||Warriors 6-4|
|15th||Goal Kyle Flanagan (Roosters)||6 All|
|38th||Try Eliesa Katoa (Warriors)||10-6 Warriors|
|50th||Try Luke Keary (Roosters)||10 All|
|51st||Goal Kyle Flanagan (Roosters)||12-10 Roosters|
|68th||Try Joseph Manu (Roosters)||16-10 Roosters|
|68th||Goal Kyle Flanagan (Roosters)||18-10 Roosters|
Despite many writing them off before kickoff, it was the Warriors who drew first blood at the fourth minute when Ken Maumalo crossed after the Warriors successfully tapped back a pinpoint Blake Green kick. The New Zealand side continued to dominate possession but let themselves down with errors on back to back sets. The Roosters surged up the field and looked to have scored when Sitili Tupouniua barged over, but a valiant tackle from Tohu Harris kept the Roosters out. Moments later it was Siosiua Taukeiaho crashing over only for Jazz Tevaga to strip it out in the in-goal area and save the Warriors once again. Errors hurt the Warriors which saw the Roosters get themselves on the scoreboard when Sitili Tupouniua dived on a David Fusitu’a knock-on which saw the scores level. Both sides traded sets with neither side able to get the upper hand until a Maumalo grubber gave Rooster fans a scare when Luke Keary could not scoop it up cleanly, he managed to ground it in the in-goal. Still, the Warriors found points on the repeat set when rookie Eliesa Katoa showed his strength and pushed his way across the line handing the Warriors a 10-6 lead at the break.
Both sides started the second half with high intensity, but it was the Roosters that managed to score first after Peta Hiku was penalised for a strip, Luke Keary put a grubber through for himself and handed the Roosters the lead for the first time in this match at the fifty minute mark. The Warriors kept themselves in the game with physicality but were let down but their hands and their discipline. Keary tried to repeat his tryscoring effort with another grubber to himself which they Warriors defused but had to hand the Sydney side a repeat set. The Warriors managed to defend that set, but the class of the reigning premiers could not be stopped with Joseph Manu finally breaking through the New Zealand sides line to give the Roosters a bit of breathing room. Blake Green tried to reignite the Warriors attack chipping early in the tackle count for Fusitu’a, but a cruel bounce saw the Roosters regain possession. The Warriors continued to defend their line impressively and managed to hold off a Rooster onslaught and surged their way done the field. A knock-on by the Sydney side gave the Warriors excellent field position, but a Kodi Nikorima knock-on dashed any slim chances of a Warriors fightback with the Roosters walking away with a surprisingly hard-fought 18-10 victory.
The highlight of the match was the game-changing moment when Luke Keary scored off his own grubber to hand the Roosters the lead for the first time in the game. The Warriors defence improved tenfold after last weeks disappointing effort, but Keary used his speed to his advantage with the larger Warriors players struggling to turn themselves around quick enough. It was a ploy that Keary tried a few more times unsuccessfully in this match; however, the first one was enough to get the Roosters noses out front, and they never looked back.
Sydney Roosters: 1. James Tedesco, 2. Matt Ikuvalu, 3. Josh Morris, 4. Joseph Manu, 5. Brett Morris, 6. Luke Keary, 7. Kyle Flanagan, 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 9. Jake Friend, 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho, 12. Mitchell Aubusson, 15. Sitili Tupouniua, 13. Isaac Liu, 14. Lachlan Lam, 16. Nat Butcher, 17. Lindsay Collins, 18. Poasa Faamausili
New Zealand Warriors: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 2. David Fusitu’a, 3. Adam Pompey, 4. Peta Hiku, 5. Ken Maumalo, 6. Kodi Nikorima, 7. Blake Green, 8. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, 9. Karl Lawton, 10. Jack Hetherington, 11. Eliesa Katoa, 12. Tohu Harris, 13. Jazz Tevaga, 14. Chanel Harris-Tavita, 15. Adam Blair, 16. Isaiah Papali’i, 17. Lachlan Burr