2023 NRL Round 9: Roosters 14, Warriors 0

A tremendous defensive display by the Sydney Roosters has seen them hold off a fierce challenge from the Warriors, claiming a 14-0 win in wet conditions at Mount Smart Stadium.


Sydney Roosters 14
Tries: Nat Butcher (34), Sitili Tupouniua (60)
Goals: Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii (4, 36, 61)

New Zealand Warriors 0

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It was a defence-orientated tussle in wet, gloomy conditions in Auckland. The Roosters had plenty of early possession down the Warriors end, however the Warriors defence held them out, only conceding a penalty goal after Marcelo Montoya played at short drop out before it had travelled ten metres.

Kicking was key, with Luke Keary landing a 40/20 and Shaun Johnson coming close to a rare 20/40, only for the ball to take an unfavourable bounce. The two halfbacks also forced several goal line drop outs with their short kicking games.

Errors started to seep into the Roosters game in the middle period of the half, putting them under pressure, but like the Warriors before them, they were able to turn away every attacking raid.

The Roosters finally broke the impasse in the 35th minute when Nat Butcher crashed over from close range. Joseph-Aukuso Sua’ali’i converted to give them an 8-0 lead heading into half time.

The second half picked up from where the first left off, with a defensive slog in drizzling rain. The Warriors enjoyed plenty of early possession, but the Roosters defence held on.

The Roosters capitalised on a rare attacking set two Auckland-born players combined, Sitili Tupouniua scooping up a Brandon Smith grubber to score under the posts in his second game back from a knee reconstruction.

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak came close to keeping the Warriors in the contest with seven minutes remaining, racing onto a perfectly weighted kick, but he was stopped just short and turned possession over. Under torrential rain in the final minutes, the Roosters held their line intact, marking the second consecutive occasion that they’ve kept the Warriors scoreless in Auckland. The only downside was an injury to Paul Momirovski, who left the field midway through the second half with his arm in a sling.


Embed from Getty Images

3 – Brandon Smith (Roosters)
2 – Sitili Tupouniua (Roosters)
1 – Shaun Johnson (Warriors)

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