The Sydney Roosters have over-powered the St George Illawarra Dragons tonight in front of 13083 fans at Allianz Stadium.
The match was built as the battle of the super heroes in the lead up with both teams donning their specially designed Marvel super hero jerseys, with the Roosters representing Captain America and the Dragons wearing their Iron Man strip.
It was the Dragons who came out firing with all the quality ball in the opening ten minutes but the Roosters defence proved too strong and it was the home team who ended up scoring first points. In his first game back from injury since Origin Two, Michael Jennings came down with the ball from a Maloney bomb to score under the posts in the 10th minute. With the successful conversion from Maloney, the Roosters took the early lead 6-0.
The Roosters were unable to consolidate the try though with hooker Jake Friend throwing a forward pass in the ensuing set. The Dragons wasted no time hitting back after flying winger Brett Morris pounced on a Gareth Widdop grubber. Widdop missed the conversion but the Dragons were back in the contest.
After some solid defence of their own in the next ten minute period the Dragons would take the lead for what proved the only time of the night with second-rower Joel Thompson storming through a hole opened up by the ball playing of Widdop. There was no mistake with this conversion from Widdop giving his team a 10-6 lead.
The home team would hit back next through Nene McDonald who took advantage from some quick hands from Tuivasa-Sheck and Jennings to cross in the corner in the 33rd minute. Maloney nailed the sideline conversion as though he was shooting arrows, giving his side an eventual 12-10 half-time lead.
After some missed opportunities in the first half through some poor execution, the Roosters attack looked much more settled early in the second stanza and they were quick to capitalize. Back-rower Aiden Guerra charged onto a short ball from Pearce to plant the ball down with some fingertip control in the 46th minute. Maloney added the extras and the Roosters had a handy eight point lead.
The game would flow from end to end for the next fifteen minutes with both teams having chances but it was the speed of Jennings who would score next after pouncing on a grubber in the in goal from Maloney to grab his second try of the evening in the 61st minute. Maloney again converted for what looked a strong fourteen point lead.
Dragon's halfback Benji Marshall would give his team a glimmer of hope after turning on his Iron Man jets to show a bit of the old 'Benji magic' slicing through from twenty metres out and showing some good pace to cross in the 70th minute. Widdop reduced the deficit to eight with his conversion.
The Roosters would snuff out any hope of a comeback moments later though with Friend burrowing over to send the lead out to fourteen again.
Dragon's centre Josh Dugan capped off a strong game with a consolation try in the last minute running onto a long ball from Marshall.
The Roosters will enjoy a nine day turn around before they host what will be a desperate Gold Coast Titans outfit at Allianz Stadium next Monday night, while the Dragons will return home looking for a much needed victory against the Penrith Panthers next Sunday.