The Sydney Roosters have taken advantage of the new stoppage rule inside the final five minutes to salvage a 30-26 win over Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium tonight.
On a night where the Broncos were honouring injured retiree Jharal Yow Yeh, the contest see-sawed between the hosts and visiting reigning premiers for much of the first half, with the scores locked at 12-all at the break. Brisbane dominated large parts of the first half and it was only the defence of the Roosters which kept the home side at bay for so long. Brisbane had opened proceedings inside the first six minutes before the Roosters struck back with two quick tries to lead 12-6. An uncharacteristic spill of a grubber by Minichiello gifted Sam Thaiday a try which saw the Broncos level scores before going on to hold a period of sustained dominance til halftime.
The hosts then opened the scoring in the second half through a penalty goal, Corey Parker adding two points after the 52nd minute from right in front. Minutes later they extended the lead with Lachlan Maranta scoring in the corner. Parker's failure to convert that try meant the Roosters were within a converted try, a margin they would soon close with a Shaun Kenny-Dowall try and James Maloney conversion.
At 18-all, Brisbane then lifted a gear to gain the ascendency. Back to back tries in the 69th and 74th minutes (both unconverted) put them eight points clear and seemingly had the game won for the maroon-and-gold's... but then the new final five minute stoppage rule kicked in. The Roosters managed to beat a tiring Brisbane defence through Roger Tuivasa-Sheck in the first instance to close the margin, which reduced to two following Maloney's conversion.
The rule continued to work in the Roosters favour, giving them plenty of time to get up into the Broncos half (aided by a Maranta knock-down). A perfect ball to Boyd Cordner saw the big #11 cross for the visitors and deliver them an improbable victory late on. Brisbane successfully retrieved the short kickoff to make for an exciting finish but it came to nothing with an error late on.
For now, the win lifts the Roosters into second place behind the Dragons, and ends the Broncos' winning start to the season. The result is important for the tricolours who head home to host the Grand Final Re-Match against Manly next Friday night. The Broncos meanwhile travel to Wollongong next Friday to play current ladder-leaders St. George Illawarra.