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2021 NRL Round 14, Titans 34 Roosters 35 – Report

Christopher Rooney reviews the opening game of Super Saturday between the Gold Coast and the Sydney Roosters. Here’s how the game went.

SCOREBOARD

Titans 34

Tries: Jamal Fogarty (38, 55), Tyrone Peachey (58), Brian Kelly (61), Tino Fa’asuamaleaui (66), Kevin Proctor (72)

Goals: Jamal Fogarty (56, 59, 62, 68, 73)

Roosters 35

Tries: Matt Ikuvalu (13, 76), Angus Crichton (18), Daniel Tupou (23), Sam Walker (43), Joseph Manu (49)

Goals: Adam Keighran (14, 20, 24, 45, 51)

One-Point Field Goal: Sam Walker (78)

Player of the Year Points

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3 pts – Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (Sydney Roosters)
2 pts – Jamal Fogarty (Gold Coast Titans)
1 pt – Matt Ikuvalu (Sydney Roosters)

MATCH REPORT

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1st Half

The opening six minutes between the two sides was rough, with both sides struggling to complete their sets. Two Captain’s Challenges from the Titans to start the match eventually cost them. They were successful with the first challenge but wasted the second challenge after a dropped ball from Phillip Sami.

The Titans were rewarded with a penalty right in front of the Roosters’ goal line and the Titans decided to continue the attack. The set looked great but ended with a brilliant tackle from Matt Ikuvalu, who tackled Sami out of bounds.

Thirteen minutes into the contest and both sides continued to struggle to build any momentum and the Titans gifted the Roosters an easy set to score the first try. Joesph Suaalii looked determined to score and even had four players trying to stop him.

Ikuvalu was able to score the first try of the afternoon after a great run from Suaalii, giving the Roosters a six-point lead after 15 minutes.

Back-to-back errors from both sides seemed to halt any momentum in the contest. Sam Walker took the line on and passed to Angus Crichton who scored a “controversial” try that gave the Roosters a 12-point lead.

There was more great work from the Roosters as a collective group, with Joseph Manu and Walker controlling the game, and more points were to come. There was a great pass from Manu to Walker to Daniel Tupou who scored in the corner for the Roosters’ third try of the afternoon.

Adam Keighran had his kicking boots on and looked sharp with every kick. The Roosters led 18-0 with less than 15 minutes to go in the first half.

The Titans were able to score with less than a minute to go, with Jamal Fogarty scoring their first try of the afternoon.

HALF-TIME: Gold Coast Titans 4 Sydney Roosters 18

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2nd Half

The Roosters were the first to score in the second half. Lachlan Lam opened up the Titans, made a great run, found Walker on his inside supporting and passed to him to score right under the posts. The Roosters were back in control and were leading by 20 points.

An injury to Walker saw the Roosters quickly re-shuffle their spine and it worked like a treat. Manu scored a brilliant try and looked to put the game officially out of reach for the Titans, who were very ordinary at this stage. However, the Titans showed some fight.

The Titans scored one of the luckiest tries of the season, taking advantage of a Roosters side who didn’t play to the whistle after they gave away a unnecessary penalty. Fogarty scored his second try of the afternoon, trying to bring some life back into the Titans outfit.

And it worked; oh, how it worked. Ben Marschke was sent to the sin bin and Tyrone Peachey scored right under the posts to make it only a 14-point lead for the Roosters.

The Titans were on a roll and were putting huge pressure on the Roosters, before scoring again with Brian Kelly. Now, only down by eight, the Titans could smell the blood in the water and began to show some real spirit.

The Roosters could not stop the Titans’ run and Ash Taylor made the best pass of his season, passing to big Tino Fa’asuamaleaui who scored under the posts. Now, it was only a two-point game and the Titans were clearly the most dangerous side in the second half.

Fogarty dominated the second half and put in the most important grubber kick with Kevin Proctor scoring the most crucial try of the afternoon. The Titans now led by four points with less than six minutes to go and really rallied as a team to get back into this contest after it looked out of reach.

But the Roosters did what the Roosters always do and scored a brilliant try. Ikuvalu scored the best try of the afternoon in the corner and almost fumbled the ball as he somersaulted to score the try.

Both teams were level at 34 points a piece and look to set up a dramatic finish. Walker was given the responsibilities to kick the goal to put the Roosters back in front and he absolutely shanked it.

Lam and Fogarty attempted to kick a field goal but both failed. It was a tense final two minutes and it was anyone’s game. And step up, Sam Walker!

Walker kicked his first field goal of his career and never looked like missing. The Roosters were leading by a single point and it was enough.

What a crazy game to start Super Saturday.

FULL-TIME: Gold Coast Titans 34 Sydney Roosters 35

Injuries

Sam Walker (Roosters) – shoulder

Match Review Committee

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (Roosters) – Grade 1 Careless High Tackle – Early Guilty Plea $1,900 fine, Guilty at Judiciary $2,550 fine.
Kevin Proctor (Titans) – Grade 2 Dangerous High Tackle – Early Guilty Plea 1 match ban, Guilty at Judiciary 2 match ban.
Ben Marschke (Roosters) – Grade 2 Dangerous Contact Head/Neck – Early Guilty Plea 2 matches, Guilty at Judiciary 3 matches.

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