Jack Harbidge reviews the Sunday afternoon Magic Round clash between the Sydney Roosters and the Parramatta Eels…
Sydney Roosters 31
Tries: Joseph Suaalii 2 (43, 61), Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (3), James Tedesco (12), Sam Walker (24)
Goals: Sam Walker (4, 13, 16 – pen, 26, 74 – pen).
One-Point Field Goal: Sam Walker (39).
Parramatta Eels 24
Tries: Isaiah Papali’i 2 (9, 47), Mitchell Moses (49), Ryan Matterson (57)
Goals: Mitchell Moses 4 (10, 48, 51, 59)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
Last week’s win against the Gold Coast Titans appeared to have got the Roosters back on track after an average start to the season, and they continued in the same vein against a buoyed Parramatta side that beat Penrith last time out.
It took the Tricolours just over three minutes to get on the scoreboard after a dominant start, when Jared Waerea-Hargreaves crossed off the back of a set restart. It wasn’t long before Isaiah Papali’i squared the ledger in the 10th minute following a crafty Mitchell Moses line break, though the Roosters answered back almost immediately through James Tedesco; with Sam Walker converting the try, the Roosters led 12-6.
The Roosters continued to pressurise the Eels and made the pressure pay soon after when forcing two penalties in quick succession, with the latter ending in a sin bin for an early tackle from Tom Opacic. The Roosters converted the penalty into two points and led by eight. Parramatta somewhat stopped the rot through the sin bin period and managed to keep the Roosters scoreless for the majority of the 10 minutes before Walker went over for a try just a minute before Opacic returned.
Walker then converted his own try and the two sides locked in and traded sets for the following 10 minutes, with the Roosters looking the more lively of the two sides before Walker capped the half off for his side with a one-point field goal.
HALF-TIME: Sydney Roosters 21 Parramatta Eels 6Embed from Getty Images
The Roosters continued the second half where they left off the first, with Suaalii scoring just over three minutes after the resumption. The try appeared to invigorate the hapless Eels and Isiah Papali’i led the charge quite literally, getting over the whitewash in the 47th minute to cut the Roosters’ lead to 13 after a Mitchell Moses conversion.
Moses soon backed up the points with a try of his own that he manufactured with an exquisite kick down the right-hand touch line. Moses converted his own try and the Eels were back in the game. The quickfire tries got the Eels on the front foot for the following 10 minute period, which culminated in Ryan Matterson barging over under the sticks to give Moses an easy conversion that cut the lead to just one point.
Despite the impressive – and swift – comeback, the Roosters stayed composed and answered the Eels almost instantly, with Suaalii grabbing his second try of the night with an exceptional cross-field kick gather just a couple of minutes later. Walker failed to convert the sideline conversion though, and the lead was extended to just five points.
The game tightened up, with both teams knowing the next concession was key, and the sides traded sets until a powerful Dylan Brown tackle on Sitili Tupouniua was ruled as a high shot, from which Walker took a penalty shot and converted to extend the lead past a converted try. While there were concerted efforts from the Eels to answer back in the final six minutes following the penalty, none of the chances came to fruition and the Roosters ran out 31-24 winners in what was an action-packed affair.
FULL-TIME: Sydney Roosters 31 Parramatta Eels 24
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTSEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – James Tedesco (Roosters), 2 pts – Isaiah Papali’i (Eels), 1 pt – Joseph Suaalii (Roosters)
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