After losing six consecutive games, the Sydney Roosters defeated the Brisbane Broncos 32-16 at Allianz Stadium.
In honour of the NRL’s retro round, the game was in memory of the late great Arthur Beetson. Roosters players wore jerseys adorned with Beetson’s face and made the legend proud with a comprehensive 16-point win.
The Broncos had a horror start when Corey Oates dropped the first kick of the game and Corey Parker conceded an early penalty, gifting former Bronco Dale Copley the first try for the Roosters in the 4th minute off a nicely shaped pass by Blake Ferguson.
Brisbane hit back in the 19th minute to give Jarrod Wallace his first try of the season. Andrew McCullough put through a grubber that rebounded to Sio Siua Taukeiaho and into Wallace’s arms for him to juggle and score.
Brisbane struggled in the back-end of the first half, while the Roosters pushed ahead with relentless attack. Connor Watson sliced through some sluggish defence to put Latrell Mitchell over in the corner in the 27th minute, before Copley and Watson combined for Blake Ferguson to score, putting the home side in front 18-6 at the break.
The Roosters onslaught continued in the second half, with Shaun Kenny-Dowall scoring a remarkable try on the right hand side. Mitchell Pearce put up a cross-field bomb which was taken by Mitchell who offloaded to Kenny-Dowall. The centre put up a second kick that was taken by Ferguson while tip-toeing along the sideline who offloaded back in-field for Kenny-Dowall to score.
Broncos centre Tom Opacic scored his first try of the season shortly after to give Brisbane hope, but it proved to be short lived when Boyd Cordner ran onto a short ball by Jake Friend to take a 16-point lead.
The Roosters went in again five minutes later, with Copley scoring his second for the match. A terrible double-movement decision from the bunker cost the Broncos a try and any hope of catching the Roosters.
Darius Boyd scored late in the match to no avail as the Roosters handed the Broncos their seventh loss in nine matches.
Warriors into the top eight
In a tough contest that lasted 89 minutes, the New Zealand Warriors defeated the Penrith Panthers 20-16 at Mt Smart Stadium.
A brilliant individual try by Shaun Johnson was the icing on the cake for the Warriors when he faked taking the one-point field goal option and used his speed to score.
The Warriors and the Panthers were extremely even throughout the match. Penrith scored first points through a Nathan Cleary penalty goal, before David Fusitua crossed for the Warriors off a cross-field kick from Johnson. Issac Luke embarrassingly missed the conversion from in front of the posts.
A quality defensive effort from both sides kept the score low in the first forty, until two consecutive sets by the Warriors saw Ken Maumalo cross over in the corner off a back-line through the hands play.
Penrith came out in the second half hungry for points and scored an early try in the 44th minute. Cleary dummied through defenders and offloaded it to Isaah Yeo for him to pass to Tyrone Peachey for a try.
The Warriors replied swiftly in the 52nd minute when Johnson and Tuimoala Lolohea combined for Fusitua to cross for his second try of the night. Penrith found some rhythm with NSW Origin winger Josh Mansour scoring a double to level the match and take it to extra-time.
Mansour’s first try was outstanding, from 40 metres out he rampaged through tired defenders to score before a 40/20 kick from Peter Wallace set up his second in the 73rd minute.
But it wasn’t to be for the Panthers, and the Warriors were victorious in their third successive golden point match. The Warriors now enter the eight and will take on the Gold Coast Titans next Sunday while Penrith will face the Sydney Roosters next Monday.
Raiders flog the Bunnies
The Canberra Raiders demolished the South Sydney Rabbitohs 54-4 at ANZ Stadium.
The Raiders put on 10 tries for their 5th consecutive win and secured themselves a premature spot in third position on the NRL ladder.
Elliott Whitehead opened the Raiders’ scoring account in the 5th minute, while the Rabbits suffered with injuries, losing Luke Keary to a hamstring strain as well as Angus Crichton and Luke Bateman to concussions.
The Rabbits held on for 20 minutes before the Raiders onslaught began. Jordan Rapana scored a double in the first half and terrorised the Rabbits right side, combining with Joey Leilua for three scoring plays. Edrick Lee pounced on a grubber from Aidan Sezer for another try, putting the Raiders in a commanding position up 26-0 at the break.
When Jack Wighton scooped up a loose ball off a Rabbitohs mistake to score in the 47th minute it was all over for the Rabbitohs. John Sutton crawled across the line for his 50th career try for the Rabbits in their only scoring play, while the Raiders ran wild through Souths’ sloppy defence.
Tries from Jarrod Croker, Blake Austin, Iiosa Soliola, and a double from Whitehead gave the Raiders a healthy for-and-against boost heading into the finals in September. Croker finished his day with 18 points, taking his points tally to over 200 points for the season.
The 50-point flogging was the largest margin in Raiders-Rabbitohs history, eclipsing the Raiders 48-0 thrashing of the Rabbitohs in 1990. Souths have now lost eight consecutive games. – Jesse Mullens.
Photo of Latrell Mitchell celebrating a try for the Roosters from the NRL Twitter feed.