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2022 NRL Round 11, Roosters 12 Panthers 32 – Report

Lachy MacCorquodale reviews the Saturday night blockbuster between the Sydney Roosters and the Penrith Panthers

MATCHDAY RESULTS

SCOREBOARD

Sydney Roosters 12
Tries: James Tedesco (61), Paul Momirovski (77)
Goals: Sam Walker 2 (62, 78)

Penrith Panthers 32
Tries: Jarome Luai 2 (28, 32), Apisai Koroisau (39), Stephen Crichton (56), James Fisher-Harris (68)
Goals: Nathan Cleary 6 (30, 34, 40, 58, 68, 69 – pen)

MATCH REPORT

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1st Half

The first half was a high-quality, competitive contest until the Penrith Panthers asserted their dominance over the last 20 minutes. The Sydney Roosters started the night well, getting the ball into the Panthers territory as the Panthers settled into the contest. The Panthers went close around the halfway mark of the half, but Izack Tago was denied by a great try-saving tackle by James Tedesco. Moments later, Joseph Suaalii smashed Viliame Kikau to dislodge the ball, hopefully sparking a swing of momentum towards the Roosters. However, this wasn’t to be the case.

It was a piece of Isaah Yeo brilliance that led to the Panthers’ opening try. They weren’t looking to threaten the defence at all until late in the tackle count: Yeo took the ball forward, engaged two defenders, and passed to Scott Sorenson on his left as he burst through the hole. Tedesco did his best to ankle tap Sorenson, but the forward offloaded the ball to Jarome Luai who did the rest as he charged over the line.

Luai added another moments later. The Panthers shifted left late in the set, something which they kept exploring. As Cleary passed the ball to Luai, the five-eighth stepped back inside and charged back into the defence line and burst his way through to score. After this double blow from the Panthers, the Roosters needed to hold on without letting the defending premiers score again. However, late in the half, some ‘going through the motions’ defence allowed Apisai Koroisau the opportunity to borrow his way over from dummy-half to give the travelling side an 18-point lead.

HALF-TIME: Sydney Roosters 0 Penrith Panthers 18

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2nd Half

The Panthers looked certain to start the second half as they ended the first; however, Dylan Edwards was unable to hold onto a kick from Taylan May. The game slowed down for a bit and wasn’t up to the intensity of the first period of the game. The Roosters had the next big opportunity of the game when Daniel Tupou brought down a Sam Walker bomb, but was held up in-goal by the scurrying Panthers defence.

The Panthers still maintained their pressure before scoring their fourth try in the 56th minute through a brilliant piece of individual work from Stephen Crichton, who went 95 metres to score.

The Roosters responded immediately as Luke Keary and James Tedesco combined on the left edge to score the home side’s first try of the night. It was a great offload from Keary followed by an even better grab from Tedesco who crawled his way over the try line.

However, it was too little too late for the Roosters as the Panthers continued to showcase their premiership credentials. The away side once again crossed for a try as James Fisher-Harris barged his way over after receiving a nice short ball from dummy-half Mitch Kenny. Upon viewing the replay, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves smacked Fisher-Harris across the head as he was in the act of scoring and was sent to the sin bin as a result. An eight-point try was rewarded to the Panthers, helping them increase their lead over the Roosters. That seemed to be enough for the Panthers; however, the Roosters grabbed one late in the game to reduce the deficit to 20 points. It was former Panther Paul Momirovski who scored the final try of the match. Another win for the Panthers puts them four points clear on the competition ladder as the Roosters sink to seventh with their fifth loss of the season.

FULL-TIME: Sydney Roosters 12 Penrith Panthers 32

PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTS

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3 pts – Jarome Luai (Panthers), 2 pts – Isaah Yeo (Panthers), 1 pt – Nathan Cleary (Panthers)

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