Brad Inger reviews the Round 6 clash between the Roosters and Warriors at the Sydney Cricket Ground; here’s how the match went.
Sydney Roosters 22
Tries: Daniel Tupou 28, Kevin Naiqama 52, Sam Walker 60
Goals: Sam Walker 29, 42, 54, 61, 70
New Zealand Warriors 14
Tries: Ed Kosi 15, Dallin Watene-Zeleaniak 64
Goals: Reece Walsh 9, 15, 65
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
It was a gruelling start to the match, with both sides trading error-free sets; the Rooster’s defence was relentless, which saw the Warriors struggle to play attacking football outside of their own half. A penalty against the home side handed the Warriors the chance they needed, and they took it with both hands. A break from Jesse Arthars and the returning Dallin Watene-Zelezniak saw the visitors in excellent field position. A strong run from Addin Fonua-Blake broke the defensive line apart, and he looked certain to score before James Tedesco stopped him metres from the try line; the fullback held on for too long and was penalised, which saw the New Zealand side take the penalty kick and an early 2-0 lead. The Warriors dropped the ball on the next set but were let off when Drew Hutchison knocked on directly from the following scrum. The visitors surged up the field and forced a dropout after Shaun Johnson pushed a kick into the in-goal that touched Daniel Tupou before going over the line. The Warriors looked to have the Roosters back peddling and shifted the ball to the left to Adam Pompey, who passed to an unmarked Ed Kosi to cross for the afternoon’s first try. Another error from the Warriors on their first set after scoring points put them under pressure again, but an error from Victor Radley gave them a reprieve. The match started to get sloppy with both sides swapping errors and penalties with neither able to create any more scoring opportunities until the Roosters kicked to the corner for Joseph Suaalii; he outleaped Pompey for the ball but could not grasp it; however, Pompey touched it and knocked on. The home side shifted the ball left from the scrum and found Tupou open in the corner for their first points of the game. The errors continued after that try as the first half started to wind to a close; Radley found himself on report after hitting Kosi high as the winger was running out his in-goal; it was a tough situation for Radley as Kosi was low to the ground as he scooted into the field of play. It was the last play of note in the final stages of the half as both sides found themselves in a battle in the middle of the pitch fighting for territory as the siren blared, seeing the Warriors go into the sheds with a two-point lead.
HALF-TIME: New Zealand Warriors 8 Sydney Roosters 6Embed from Getty Images
The Warriors had a shocking start to the second half when Reece Walsh’s kickoff attempt sailed over the dead-ball line; the Roosters charged up the field before earning another penalty when Wayde Egan illegally stripped the ball; the Homeside elected to take a penalty kick, and level the scores. The New Zealand side gave away another penalty on the next set, which saw the Roosters back in prime position and almost to the try-line after Joseph Manu flicked a pass out to Suaalii, who was stopped inches away from the try line. The Warriors survived the set and, after earning a penalty, found themselves in Sydney’s half; the decision to run on the last did not work for them as they let the Roosters off the hook; however, the home side returned the favour with an error of their own. On the back of repeat six again calls, the Warriors looked to have scored when Walsh had the ball stripped on the try line before Arthars dived on the loose ball, but the Bunker deemed that Walsh had lost the ball. To add to their woes, the visitors conceded another penalty which piggybacked the Roosters out of danger and into the Warrior’s RedZone, the visitor’s goal-line defence held firm, but it would last as a few minutes later, the Roosters found themselves ahead on the scoreboard for the first time in the contest when a Luke Keary bomb was knocked on by Watene-Zelezniak before being scooped up by the Roosters and fired out to Kevin Naiqama who strolled over in the corner. Sydney City attempted the same play moments later but was penalised for hitting Watene-Zeleaniak in the air. The New Zealand side struggled to make inroads against the Rooster’s defence and found themselves in trouble once again as the home side cruised up the field before Sam Walker scurried his way through defenders before placing the ball on the line. Momentum appeared to be fully in the Rooster’s favour, with the Warriors unable to string anything together on attack before a Shaun Johnson inside ball to Walsh, saw the livewire fullback burst into open space before putting up a banana kick that went to Watene-Zelezniak on the edge, Tupou slipped while trying to defend which saw the Warriors winger cross the line untouched to reduce the margin. The Warriors appeared to be hard done by on back to back calls after Addin Fonua-Blake appeared to have the ball stripped by Angus Crichton, but his Captain’s Challenge was unsuccessful; a few minutes after that, Watene-Zeleaniak was ruled to have knocked a kick defusal on when it appeared to have gone backwards. After successfully using their Captains Challenge, the Roosters then earned a penalty and pushed their lead out by another two points when Walker took the easy penalty goal. The Roosters looked like they may have scored moments later when Lindsay Collins got to the try-line but the bunker ruled that he made a second attempt at grounding the ball and was penalized. The home side controlled territory and forced the Warriors to play from deep inside their own half, and despite a few half breaks, they could not get themselves into open space as the Roosters extended their winning streak to three with a 22-14 victory.
FULL-TIME: Sydney Roosters 22 New Zealand Warriors 14
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTSEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Sam Walker (Roosters), 2 pts – Addin Fonua-Blake (Warriors), 1 pt – Josh Curran (Warriors)
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