Andrew Pelechaty reviews the Roosters opening Super Saturday with an absorbing win over the Titans at the SCG. Here’s how the game went.
|5th||Penalty Goal Kyle Flanagan (Sydney Roosters)||Sydney Roosters 2-0|
|10th||Try Anthony Don (Gold Coast)||Gold Coast 4-2|
|15th||Brian Kelly (Gold Coast) – SIN BIN||Gold Coast 4-2|
|16th||Penalty Goal Kyle Flanagan (Sydney Roosters)||Scores tied 4-4|
|18th||Try Mitchell Aubusson (Sydney Roosters)||Sydney Roosters 8-4|
|19th||Goal Kyle Flanagan (Sydney Roosters)||Sydney Roosters 10-4|
|40th||Penalty Goal Ashley Taylor (Gold Coast)||Sydney Roosters 10-6|
|47th||Keenan Hipgrave (Gold Coast) – SIN BIN||Sydney Roosters 10-6|
|50th||Penalty Goal Kyle Flanagan (Sydney Roosters)||Sydney Roosters 12-6|
|61st||Try Joseph Manu (Sydney Roosters)||Sydney Roosters 16-6|
|62nd||Goal Kyle Flanagan (Sydney Roosters)||Sydney Roosters 18-6|
|75th||Try Phillip Sami (Gold Coast)||Sydney Roosters 18-10|
|76th||Goal Ashley Taylor (Gold Coast)||Sydney Roosters 18-12|
While some expected the Roosters to put on a cricket score at the SCG, the Titans appeared to score the first try to Jamal Fogarty in the opening minutes, but it was denied by the Bunker for Brian Kelly passing off the ground in the lead up.
The Roosters scored first points soon after with a penalty goal.
The Titans’ Anthony Don appeared to knock on close to the his goalline; he used a Captain’s Challenge to overturn it, but it was denied.
The Titans scored the first try in the 10th minute through Anthony Don after a great left-to-right shift, giving them a surprise 4-2 lead against the Eastern Suburbs side.
The Roosters received another penalty soon after when a potential try-scoring move was obstructed, with Kelly sin-binned. Kyle Flanagan took the two to level the scores.
The Roosters took advantage of the sin-binning, shifting to the right and James Tedesco popping a dubious pass for Mitchell Aubusson to score. Flanagan’s brilliant conversion put the Roosters six points clear after an eventful opening 20 minutes.
The Titans looked to have scored through Phillip Sami five minutes later, but Joseph Manu ‘turtled’ him and held him up, stopping a certain try.
Another Titans try went begging when AJ Brimson couldn’t ground a grubber. It was great Roosters defence, but another missed opportunity for the Titans.
There was another bombed try – this time for the Roosters – when Matt Ikuvalu (who scored a ‘Pfeiffer’ against the Cowboys a few weeks ago) scored off a forward pass.
Tedesco seemed to earn a goal-line drop out for the Roosters with a Superman-like bat-back, but it was ruled as a 20 metre restart for the Titans.
The Titans, attempting to get an equalising try (after having three disallowed), earnt a penalty right on halftime, cutting the Roosters’ lead to 10-6 and keeping them in the game.
With the Titans attacking the Roosters’ line early in the second half, the Roosters successfully used their Captain’s Challenge to get out of the trouble and enter attacking territory.
The Roosters looked to have scored off the next set with Lindsay Collins held back chasing a Luke Keary kick. Keegan Hipgrave was sent to the sin bin, though Flanagan missed the penalty goal attempt.
The Roosters got another penalty in the next set, giving Flanagan another penalty goal attempt, and a crucial 12-6 lead.
The Roosters extended their lead in the 61st minute through Manu, taking a perfect Luke Keary chip kick. The 12-point lead after Flanagan’s conversion all but broke the gallant Titans.
The Queenslanders kept trying, with Sami scoring in the 75th minute. Taylor’s beautiful conversion cut the margin to 18-12, giving the Titans a sniff of Golden Point.
The pressure seemed to get to the Roosters, with an errant kick giving the Titans a seven-tackle set in the final two minutes. The Titans went deep into attacking territory, but couldn’t pick up the crucial try from a last-tackle bomb.
Full credit must be given to the Titans, who pushed the two-time premiers all the way. The Roosters haven’t been the same since their loss to Canberra in round 10, though their desperate defence, and Kyle Flanagan’s five goals from six attempts, was enough to keep them in touch with the top three.
The Roosters led 10-4 after an absorbing first 20 minutes, and the Titans looked like levelling proceedings with Phillip Sami racing to the right-hand corner. He was stopped by some desperate defence from Joseph Manu, who put Sami on his back. It allowed the Roosters to take a 10-6 lead into halftime (with a late Titans penalty goal), a crucial break in a surprisingly low-scoring game. Manu also scored midway the second half to put the Titans away.
Sydney Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Ryan Hall 11. Sitili Tupouniua 4. Joseph Manu 5. Matt Ikuvalu 6. Luke Keary 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Jake Friend 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho 16. Nat Butcher 12. Mitchell Aubusson 13. Isaac Liu. Interchange: 14. Lachlan Lam 15. Poasa Faamausili 17. Lindsay Collins 20. Daniel Fifita.
Gold Coast Titans: 21. Alexander Brimson.2. Anthony Don 4. Brian Kelly 3. Dale Copley 5. Phillip Sami 6. Ashley Taylor 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Moeaki Fotuaika 9. Nathan Peats 10. Jaimin Jolliffe 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Keegan Hipgrave 13. Jai Arrow. Interchange: 14. Tanah Boyd 15. Tyrone Peachey 16. Jarrod Wallace 19. Sam Stone.