The Sydney Roosters have demolished the Parramatta Eels 44-10 at ANZ Stadium to end the regular season on a high. The win means the Roosters have leapfrogged the Storm and finished 1st to secure the minor premiership for season 2018.
The game started quickly for the Roosters, as they were able to open the scoring with an easy try to centre Joseph Manu in the 5th minute. This was followed up by another easy overlap 20 minutes later when Blake Ferguson strolled over untouched to extend the lead to two converted tries. They were able to kick a penalty goal as well, before the Eels were able to get on the scoreboard themselves just before halftime when Jarryd Hayne scored under the posts to narrow the gap to eight points at the break.
The second half was a demolition in favor of the Roosters. Blake Ferguson scored his second try in the corner to begin, before the Eels were able to get their only points of the second half, when Bevan French picked up a loose pass to sprint 70 metres and score. After this, the game went downhill very quickly for the Eels. They lost Mitchell Moses to the sin bin mid-way through the second half, and the Roosters were able to a few quick tries whilst he was off. To add insult to injury, Michael Jennings got put in the sin bin just as Moses was coming back on, which reduced the Eels to 12 men for a further ten minutes. With this advantage, the Roosters were able to score two more tries to cruise to a 44-10 victory, securing the 2018 minor premiership in the process.
FINALS BOUND ROOSTERS PROVE FAR TOO GOOD FOR EELS
This game was always going to be a tough match-up for the Eels, but few people predicted the result would be as one-sided as it ended up being. The Roosters looked like they were playing against a team that wasn’t in the same competition at times in this game. The first two tries the Roosters scored were two of the easiest tries they have scored all year, and both were overlaps that came off the back of some well below-par edge defense from the Eels. The game was close at halftime, and the Roosters were guilty of not punishing the Eels for their errors in the first half. The second half got ugly very quickly, as time and time again the Roosters star-studded back line were able to rip open the Eels defense, and it comes as no surprise to see all but one of the Roosters eight tries were scored by their centres and wingers. They now head into the finals series as arguably the premiership favorites, and look like they will be hard to beat over the next few weeks.
SECOND HALF DISASTER PUTS EELS OUT OF THEIR MISERY
This has been a season to forget for the Parramatta Eels and their fans. They were filled with a lot of hope after they finished in the top four last season and gave the eventual premiers the Storm a good scare in the first week of the finals. Ever since then, they have looked a shadow of their former selves. Against the Roosters however, they turned in one of their worst performances of the season, which will leave a sour taste in their mouths going into the offseason. The defense in the second half looked totally out matched by all the firepower the Roosters were throwing at them, and there were so many tries scored by the Roosters where players seemed to stroll over untouched with not much effort. To compound this, Mitchell Moses and Michael Jennings both got sin binned at different points in the half, and they were even down to defending with 11 men for a minute. The Eels will be very happy to put this season and this result behind them as quickly as possible.
MINOR PREMIERSHIP WON AND WOODEN SPOON AWARDED
Coming into this game, the Roosters had a chance to secure the minor premiership if they were able to beat the Eels by 27 points or more. After the scoreline at halftime read 14-6, the Melbourne Storm were looking pretty comfortable with a 19 point lead on for and against. To the Roosters credit, they looked like they were on a mission in the second half as they easily eclipsed the 27 points needed to take out 1st spot on the ladder. This game is one of the first games in recent memory that has not only decided the minor premiership, but also the wooden spoon at the same time. The Eels also came into this game hoping for a miracle. If they beat the Roosters by enough points, and the Broncos beat Manly by enough points, the Eels would have avoided the wooden spoon. But any hopes of that miracle coming true were quickly snuffed out, and the Eels were awarded yet another wooden spoon, becoming one of the first teams in recent history to finish last after finishing in the top four the previous season.
FINALS MATCH-UPS ALL BUT DECIDED
The 2018 finals series starts next week, and with this result, the fixtures for next week’s top four match-ups have been decided. The Roosters will play the Sharks in Sydney in the 1st vs 4th match-up, and the Storm will play the Rabbitohs in Melbourne in the 2nd vs 3rd match-up. Both of these games are shaping up to showcase some of the best footy we have seen this year, and will surely be blockbusters. The whilst the teams that will finish between 5th and 8th have been decided, the order of where these teams will finish is still up to how the Broncos play against Manly. The Broncos currently sit in 8th position, but they can finish as high as 5th if they beat Manly by 33 points or more. All eyes will be on the last game of the regular season to see how the top eight will finish heading into finals footy.
Tries: Mitchell 3, Ferguson 2, Manu, Tupou, Tedesco
Goals: Mitchell 6/9
Drop Goals: N/A
Tries: Hayne, French
Goals: Moses 1/2
Drop Goals: N/A
Eels: 1. Jarryd Hayne, 2 Bevan French, 3 Michael Jennings, 4 Clinton Gutherson, 5 George Jennings, 6 Corey Norman, 7 Mitchell Moses, 8 Siosaia Vave, 9 Reed Mahoney, 10 Tim Mannah, 11 Marata Niukore, 12 Brad Takairangi , 13 Tepai Moeroa
Roosters: 1 James Tedesco, 2 Daniel Tupou, 3 Latrell Mitchell, 4 Joseph Manu, 5 Blake Ferguson, 6 Luke Keary, 7 Cooper Cronk, 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 9 Jake Friend, 10 Siosiua Taukeiaho, 11 Boyd Cordner, 12 Isaac Liu, 13 Victor Radley