A scintillating run from Luke Keary in the opening exchanges laid the foundation for the Roosters’ first try, in which their willingness to keep the ball alive created space for James Tedesco to slice through the Knights’ defence (6-0). Great defensive pressure from the Knights gave them the opportunity to reduce the deficit leading into half time. A determined effort from centre Tautau Moga was enough to bump off two defenders and find the line (6-4).
An early try to the Roosters set the tone for what was a dominant second half. Pouncing on a poor kick from the Knights, enforcer Latrell Mitchell turned on his speed and sprinted 70 metres to score (12-4). An immediate response came from the Knights, courtesy of a brilliant pass from Kalyn Ponga and powerful run from Herman Ese’ese (12-10). The Roosters squashed any chance of a Knights comeback in the following minutes, scoring three tries in succession (30-10). Three further tries to Mitchell Aubusson, Nat Butcher and Daniel Tupou put the icing on the cake for the Roosters and secured a huge 48-10 win.
Following a disappointing loss to the North Queensland Cowboys in round 17, the Roosters were determined to get back in the winner’s circle. Cohesiveness in attack and resilient defence largely contributed to their success on this occasion. With just seven matches remaining in the regular season, it appears that the Roosters have found their momentum and are shaping up to be a formidable force come finals.
Simply a Knightmare
A match that the Knights will undoubtedly erase from their memory bank. In the scheme of things, the two certain tries that the Knights bombed in the first half proved costly. Despite having momentum for portions of the match, their inability to complete their sets and execute simple skills ultimately cemented their demise. With the Wests Tigers upcoming in round 19, the Knights’ performance must dramatically improve if they are to pose a threat.
The battle of the Origin fullbacks certainly didn’t disappoint. James Tedesco and Kalyn Ponga; two remarkable talents. Running for 290 metres, Tedesco was pivotal in the Roosters’ attacking structure. Similarly, Ponga had a hand in each of the Knights’ tries and was dangerous whenever he had possession.
Roosters jump to second
In addition to having a huge impact on their for and against, this victory has elevated the Roosters to second on the NRL ladder and put them in good stead for the finals. With only the Melbourne Storm in front of them, the Roosters will no doubt be eager to continue their success and edge out their Melbourne counterparts for the minor premiership.
Sydney Roosters 48
Tries: James Tedesco, Latrell Mitchell, Boyd Cordner, Siosiua Taukeiaho, Victor Radley, Mitchell Aubusson, Nat Butcher, Daniel Tupou
Goals: Latrell Mitchell 8
Newcastle Knights 10
Tries: Tautau Moga, Herman Ese’ese
Goals: Kalyn Ponga 1
Sydney Roosters: 1 James Tedesco, 2 Daniel Tupou, 3 Latrell Mitchell, 17 Brett Morris, 5 Ryan Hall, 6 Luke Keary, 7 Cooper Cronk, 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 9 Jake Friend, 10 Siosiua Taukeiaho, 11 Boyd Cordner, 12 Mitchell Aubusson, 13 Victor Radley. Interchange: 15 Nat Butcher, 16 Angus Crichton, 19 Sitili Tupouniua, 20 Poasa Faamausili.
Newcastle Knights: 1 Kalyn Ponga, 2 Hymel Hunt, 3 Tautau Moga, 4 Jesse Ramien, 5 Shaun Kenny-Dowall, 6 Kurt Mann, 7 Mitchell Pearce, 8 Daniel Saifiti, 9 Danny Levi, 10 David Klemmer, 11 Mitchell Barnett, 12 Sione Mata’utia, 13 Tim Glasby. Interchange: 14 Connor Watson, 15 James Gave, 16 Herman Ese’ese, 17 Jamie Buhrer.