Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
10 hours ago
In front of 17,106 fans, Todd Carney continued his dominance at the back, scoring two tries, kicking a field goal, and seemingly sorting out his issues under the high ball.
A game between two of the big losers out of last weekend's matches, both teams were desperate to bounce back into form, but it was the Roosters who finished on top, scoring 3 unanswered tries in the first half, and following it up with another 7 points in the second half.
Despite starting both halves the stronger team, the Broncos failed to go on with the job, and their tired defense and lacklustre attack was punished by the enthusiastic Roosters outfit.
Brisbane's game was hampered by continual handling errors and unforced mistakes, as their young team made a number of poor choices - much to the disdain of Darren Lockyer. With most of the Broncos experienced players on the sideline, Lockyer was forced to do everything himself, and it showed - with the Broncos looking directionless through most of the game.
Along with tries to James Aubusson and Anthony Minichello, Carney scored his first try for his new club in the first half - slicing through the Broncos defense with a powerful left foot step and burst of acceleration.
He added his second in the 71st minute, before again adding to his points tally in the second half, snapping a quick field goal off an accurate Mitch Pearce pass. Finishing the game with 17 points in his personal tally, and having a hand in almost everything, Carney picked up tonights LeagueUnlimited player of the match points.
Sydney Roosters 25 defeated Brisbane Broncos 6
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 4 - Friday April 2, 2010 8:35pm
Venue: Sydney Football Stadium
Referee: Tony Archer and Matt Cecchin
Video Referee: Steve Clark
Touch Judges: Paul Holland and Adam Devcich
Halftime: Sydney Roosters 18 Brisbane Broncos 0
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
SYDNEY ROOSTERS (25)
Tries: Todd Carney (2), Anthony Minichiello, James Aubusson
Field Goals: Todd Carney (1/1)
Conversions: Todd Carney (4/4)
BRISBANE BRONCOS (6)
Tries: Andrew McCullough
Conversions: Peter Wallace (1/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
Welcome to the Sydney Football Stadium for this clash tonight. Both teams are coming off big losses last week and will be looking to improve in this match. The Sydney Roosters were handed almost record breaking 60-14 loss by the Cantebury Bankstown Bulldogs, while the Brisbane Broncos were belted 48-16 at the hands of the New Zealand Warriors.
The Sydney Roosters are as named 1-13, with Ben Jones coming onto the bench in jersey 18. For the Brisbane Broncos, Gerard Beale drops back onto the bench, with Mitch Rivett debuting on the wing, also in jersey 18.
A key matchup to watch tonight will be the two halfbacks, Peter Wallace and Mitch Pearce, both in contention for the NSW halfback spot.
In Toyota Cup earlier this evening, the Roosters came back from behind to beat the Broncos by 39 points to 36.
Conditions are fine for football tonight - partly cloudy and 20 degrees. Both teams head out onto the field, the Broncos met with a huge boo from the crowd. Kick off shortly...
1 min: Kick off, and the game is underway off the boot of Lockyer.
1 min: The Roosters make 40 metres off their first set, and Pearce kicks deep towards debutant Rivett on the wing.
1 min: The Broncos complete their first set also, with a Wallace Bomb finding Carney on the full.
2 min: Carney decides to run the ball on the last, seeing an overlap outwide. The execution is a bit off though, and the Broncos are gifted the ball in good field position, around halfway.
2 min: Penalty to Brisbane, and the Broncos are on the attack just 15m out from the Rooster's line.
3 min: Three decoy runners set the ball up beautifully for Ben Te'o, but the pass goes astray. Minichello cleans up, and runs 10 metres before being dragged over the sideline.
4 min: Now it's the Roosters turn to get a penalty, and they wind up with their first chance down the Bronco's end of the ground.
5 min: Todd Carney is involved again, putting a little grubber in behind the line. It wasn't the play he wanted, with a chance out wide, and the ball is watched over the dead ball line.
6 min: A early mistake from the Brisbane Broncos sees the Roosters with possession again.
7 min: Pearce puts a high kick up on the last, directly above the in goal area, but a weak chase from his teammates sees the Broncos easily take the ball on the full.
9 min: The Broncos are given great field position as Minichello makes a mess of Lockyer's kick, and an offside player dives on the ball. On the next tackle, Sam Thaiday gets over the tryline, but cannot get the ball to the ground.
10 min: A lacklustre end to the set, with Anderson dropping the ball.
12 min: TRY
Despite a couple of dubious passes, James Aubusson puts on a neat step from dummy half and dives over the line. Todd Carney easily adds the extras.
Sydney Roosters 6-0
14 min: From the returning kick off, the Sydney Roosters throw a forward pass out wide, and give the Broncos the ball within their half.
15 min: A blatantly obvious forward pass from dummy half relieves the pressure on the Roosters, right on the tryline.
16 min: Completions at this point tell the tale, with the Broncos completing less than 50% of their sets.
17 min: Perett runs along the wing and flirts with the sideline, but as is often the case with flirting, he gets burnt, being dragged over by Antonio Winterstein.
18 min: However he is allowed to breathe a sigh of relief, as yet another hospital pass from the Broncos goes to ground.
20 min: And the Broncos finally get to the end of one of their sets! However the kick is a metre too long, and Minichello tidies up.
21 min: Phil Graham makes a huge break down the sideline after a huge overlap, shapes to kick and then looks for the inside pass, but the miracle pass wasn't to be, and the ball goes to ground.
22 min: Both Sam Thaiday and Phil Graham on their haunches after a heavy collision. Both seem to be ok though.
23 min: Peter Wallace gets recovers a Broncos kick back infield, and heads for the tryline, but Todd Carney wraps him up ball and all, to rain on the parade.
24 min: The Roosters make a break, down the centre of the field, but nothing comes of it, with a meek end to the set. In the next set, the Roosters are penalised, and Brisbane are back on the attack.
26 min: Once again the Broncos fail to complete the set, as hooker Andrew McCullough knocks on.
27 min: A heavy tackle leaves Martin Kennedy limping downfield to follow the play.
27 min: Phil Graham dances and jinks his way across field, but Ben Hunt isn't fooled by the dancing, and thumps him into the ground. On the next tackle, the Roosters cough up the ball.
29 min: McCullough is taken off the field by his coach, with Ben Hunt moving into the dummy half role.
30 min: A lovely around-the-corner pass from Kennedy hits his support man on the chest, and the Roosters heead towards the Broncos line. A penalty against the Broncos gives the Roosters a repeat set, and perfect attacking opportunity.
31 min: We've gone to the VIDEO REF for a possible try to Nate Myles, but Myles does not look confident at all. From second looks it would appear the ball was not grounded.
32 min: No try. The Roosters remain on tackle four. On 5, Rivett cleans up a neat grubber, giving the Roosters their third set in a row. How long can the Bronco's defense hold?
34 min: TRY
And it's Todd Carney that breaks the defensive line, as a result of the continual pressure. Carney accelerates off a big left foot step, and powers over the tryline to score. He sets up to convert his own try, and again slots it easily.
Sydney Roosters 12-0
35 min: And the Roosters are again piggybacked out of their own danger zone with a penalty.
36 min: The Roosters send the ball wide, but the ball goes to the ground. Matt Gillette saves a certain try by getting a hand on the ball, but the scrum is packed with the Roosters again getting the feed.
37 min: TRY
On the opposite side of the field, Phil Graham runs down the Eastern touchline after palming off a would be defender, before flicking the ball inside for Minichello to score. Todd Carney sneaks the ball over the crossbar from very wide.
Sydney Roosters 18-0
40 min: We head to half time with the Roosters leading 18 points to 0. For the Roosters, some attacking flair from the outside backs has seem them score three unanswered tries, with Todd Carney converting all three. The Broncos on the other hand seem to putting themselves out of the game with their poor completion rate and sheer volume of errors.
40 min: In addition, the Roosters have been breaking the line almost at whim, with the Broncos showing their fatigue after having to do a lot of defensive work. The Broncos have had less than 40% of possession in the first half.
40 min: Both teams are back on the field, the Roosters restart play with the kickoff.
41 min: A 70 metre gain for the Broncos off the first set, but are unable to convert it into points.
41 min: The Roosters return the kick with another line break, and return the ball 30 metres down field before the first tackle. They get as far as the other end of the field, before making a mistake and losing possession.
43 min: The Broncos complete another set, and Wallace kicks high for Perrett's wing. Perett is cleaned up quickly by Antonio Winterstein.
44 min: The Roosters make another mistake, and turn the ball over on the halfway line. Play is stopped, as Daniel Conn is injured in the way of the play. The trainer calls for the stretcher, but Conn struggles to his feet and limps off the field gingerly. Possibly a lower back spasm?
45 min: Time is called back on, and the Broncos turn their attention to the right side of the field, running play down towards Minichello's wing, before switching it back across the field. A tame end to the set as they choose to run the ball.
46 min: The Roosters are penalised for holding down in the tackle, and the Broncos get a repeat set 15 metres out from the line.
47 min: Lockyer goes the blind side, finding Sam Thaiday who is dragged down only 4 metres short. On the next play Lockyer throws the ball blind again, and the Broncos are penalised for being offside. If the Broncos can't score now they never will.
48 min: The Broncos change their attack to the left side of the field, but Norman knocks the ball on. Three repeat sets of terrible, disorganised attack - something you would not expect from two of the premier playmakers in the game.
49 min: The Roosters bring the ball back out from their end of the field, making almost 50 metres, before chipping over the top looking for the regather. The bounce was too big, and the Broncos come up with the ball.
50 min: Injury news, and Daniel Conn looks to have some fairly uncomfortable back problems. The trainers think he'll be back, but the look on his face says otherwise...
52 min: At the Broncos end of the field, Minichello throws are speculator of a pass on the last, and Rivett makes a rookie error, sticking a paw out and touching the ball on its way out. Roosters with the scrum feed only 15 metres out.
53 min: Mitch Pearce looks to send a wide pass out to his winger, but its too low and too flat, and the ball is knocked on.
54 min: Lockyer steps left from dummy half, and passes across in front of the ruck to Thaiday, but he loses the ball without a defender's hand on him.
55 min: The Roosters on the attack 25 metres out, as the Roosters forwards all decide to play hot potato when they're being tackled. Anasta's kick at the end of the set goes dead before Carney could get to it.
56 min: Still no points in the second half, with both teams making a meal of a few sets of 6.
58 min: Kouparitsas offloads to Pearce who looks to make a break but is dragged down by the defense. A cross field kick from the Roosters on the last is chased by Minichello, but the ball goes over the sideline.
61 min: The Broncos with a line break, as McCullough throws an offload that find Wallace in support, but the ball is taken dead. Broncos to get a repeat set.
62 min: On the 5th tackle, McCullough throws a dummy and heads for the line himself. Video Referee decision pending on the grounding...
63 min: TRY
And the try is given, despite the video referee looking at 100 replays. Benefit of the doubt. Wallace adds the 2 points from just wide of the posts.
Sydney Roosters 18-6
65 min: The Broncos return with a strong set after the try. A solid set, followed by a good kick and chase. The Roosters are tackled on the first on their own try line, but kick deep at the end of their set to get themselves out of trouble.
67 min: The Broncos defense muscles up on the next set, with the Roosters finishing the set with only an 18 metre gain. Mitchell Pearce's big boot gives drives the ball down to the other end of the field, but the chase is weak.
68 min: The Roosters look tired. The defensive line is not running up together, the forwards don't want to run the ball, and the backs are playing catch and pass. A penalty is saving grace for them, and helps them out of their danger zone.
69 min: TRY
Todd Carney picks up his second try of the night, and also his second in Roosters colours. A brilliant pass from Kouparitsas finds a flying Carney, and he makes it look easy as he stretches out towards the tryline. He lines up to convert his own try, again, and puts it over the black dot, again.
Sydney Roosters 24-6
72 min: That try seems to have buoyed the Roosters slightly. The defensive line seems to be running up more urgently, and the scramble defense looks tighter.
74 min: Ben Jones makes a half break down the left hand side of the field, but is dragged down by the defense. However a mistake is made when the ball heads back infield, and a scrum is packed. The Broncos have the ball on the halfway line. Is 5 minutes enough time for them to pile on 20 points?
75 min: Nope. They lose possession early in the tackle count, after putting up very little fight.
76 min: FIELD GOAL
A break is made down the right hand side of the field this time, and a long spiral pass from Pearce hits Todd Carney, who quickly snaps a field goal, extending the lead to 19 points.
Sydney Roosters 25-6
78 min: Only a couple of minutes left in the game now, but the Roosters seem to be making ground with ease. A 60 metre gain from the previous set, before a kick out on the full gives the ball back to the Broncos.
79 min: Wallace kicks over the defensive line looking for his winger, but, just like everything else the Broncos have tried, it messes up, and the ball heads over the sideline. Game over.
80 min: Full Time here at the Sydney Football Stadium - the Roosters get themselves back in the winners circle, while the Broncos fall to their second loss in a row. Unforced errors and completions were the biggest problem for the Broncos, as their young team looked to be daunted by the occasion.