The Sydney Roosters have held on to a narrow 16-14 victory over the Wests Tigers in a weird and wacky game in front of 11,000 fans at a cold and windy Allianz Stadium.
In a half of football best described as weird or something similar, both sides spent plenty of time camped on their opponents and it was the Tigers who had the first stint of possession on their opponents line when Blake Ferguson dropped the ball on his first test of the game.
As the Tigers attacked the line the Roosters defence stood solid as the Tigers attack left a bit to be desired with four attacking sets of six on the Roosters line coming to absolutely nothing. The Roosters off the back of a penalty then made their way upfield but they couldn't convert field position into points. Just short of the 20 minute mark the Tigers had the best chance of the game when Benji Marshall had a free passage to the tryline chasing a Luke Brooks grubber only to knock the ball on over the try line.
The first points came off the boot of Esan Marsters who took a gift two points from 10 metres right in front of the posts after the Roosters conceded two penalties in quick succession. The Roosters then put themselves under pressure when the kick off went out on the full but the Tigers again couldn't turn the attacking positon into points. The Roosters then went on the attack with their on piggyback up field thanks to the Tigers conceding their own penalties. The Roosters like the Tigers couldn't get any fluency in their attack and the only try of the first half came when Daniel Tupou got his hand onto the loose ball in the ingoal after Mahe Fonua put down a kick and Tupou got his hands to the ball.
The last minute of the half was just the icing of the weirdness when the Roosters were awarded not one but two penalties after the half time siren by Grant Atkins and after almost three minutes worth of play after the siren, the Roosters extended their lead out to 8-2 at the break after Blake Ferguson nailed a penalty goal from the sideline.
The second half was just as weird at times however the attack was just as bad at times and like the first half the first points came from a penalty goal and it was Sio Siua Taukiehao who nailed the penalty goal from close range. Blake Ferguson continued his strong game when he set up the Roosters second try after he drew in the Tigers defenders before finding an unmarked Daniel Tupou on the outside and scored in the corner.
The Tigers got their first try just after the hour mark after Josh Reynolds kicked in behind the line out of dummy half and it was Tim Grant who got to the ball first although referee Phil Henderson was denying Grant a rare try with a referral to the bunker sent with a live decision of No Try. The officials in the bunker took a long look at the grounding and ruled that there was enough evidence to show that Tim Grant had grounded the ball and was awarded the try.
The Roosters gave the Tigers a chance of taking the lead when Blake Ferguson dropped the ball only to have Grant Atkins award the Roosters a get out of jail free card when he ruled the marker weren't square and interfered in play despite having no impact on Ferguson losing the ball. The Roosters then were awarded another penalty and extended their lead back out to eight points. The impact of Josh Reynolds was important yet again for the Tigers when he dived over out of dummy half and after a long look from the bunker they awarded the try clearing any obstruction.
The Tigers were back within two and had two chances in the dying minutes when Corey Thompson looked to be certain to score only to have Daniel Tupou cut him down inches short of the line before rolling Thompson into touch without grounding the ball. The final chance game for the Tigers when the Roosters lost the ball deep in their own end of the field with just under a minute to go, the Tigers went from side to side and looked tohave found an opportunity however Mahe Fonua was ruled to have been tackled into touch and the game was done.
The Roosters next weekend take a trip up the M1 to the Hunter where they take on the Knights on Saturday afternoon whilst the Tigers head to the Shire to take on the Sharks on Sunday at Shark Park.