Sydney weather was not kind to this superb game of league which saw the home side, the Roosters, sneak in a win against the Broncos by 27-20.
A horror start in very wet conditions by the visiting Broncos allowed the Roosters to score their first try after just 45 seconds of the match, but they regrouped well under the pressure.
A glimmer of the Broncos of old had the Roosters scrambling defence working overtime. Quite noticably, with the return of Ikin into the Broncos, allowed Lockyer a bit more freedom than last week, and the Broncos team responded.
The Roosters side with the ball, always looked dangerous, with Fittler leading from the front and being rewarded with 2 tries.
Great defence, great attack and superb goal kicking in slippery conditions gave the large and vocal crowd some great entertainment.
League Unlimited players of the match:
3 - A Minnichiello (Roosters) 2 - C Wing (Roosters) 1 - D Lockyer (Broncos) Scorers:
Roosters 27 Tries: Finch, Fittler x2, Hodges Goals: Fitzgibbon (5/5), Finch (1/1) defeated
Broncos 20 Tries: Kelly, De Vere, Carlaw Goals: De Vere (4/4)
By the clock:
1st min: TRY - Finch for Roosters. Fittler busts through the line early in the very first tackle count. Makes the break, kicks through, and Finch is there to score after 45 seconds. Fitzgibbon, from out in front, seals the extra 2 points. Roosters 6-0
6th min: TRY - Kelly for Broncos. Not a good chase from the Roosters kick, and Lockyer dodges and weaves to set up the players for a 90 metre run for the team which Kelly finishes off by scoring. De Vere from 20 metres out gets the conversion. 6-6
11th min: TRY - Fittler for Roosters. Following a second set of six, the Roosters make easy work of the Broncos defence, spreading it wide and Fittler scores with relative ease. Berrigan(Broncos) puts a nasty kick on Fittler just as he was going to touch down, Fittler comes up not happy. Fitzgibbon gets the easy conversion. Roosters 12-6
15th min: NEWS - Rain is falling quite heavily at present, conditions leading to mistakes
17th min: TRY - De Vere for Broncos. The Brisbane side get possession back after their 5th tackle. Ikin does a lovely chip through with chasers from both sides after the ball, but De Vere manages to get enough pressure on the ball to score. From the sideline, in the pouring rain, De Vere kicks it beautifully and adds 2 points. 12-12
24th min: PENALTY GOAL - De Vere for Broncos. 3 Roosters players in the tackle, taking too long, and ref Simpkins awards the first penalty of the match. An easy kick for De Vere who's on fire tonight. Broncos hit the lead 14-12
28th min: TRY - Carlaw for Broncos. Lockyer under pressure at the 30m line, puts a grubber kick through. Finch bombs the pick up, and Carlaw takes the ball over to score, after Finch touching the ball puts him onside. De Vere, 19 metres in from touch, gets the conversion. Broncos 20-12
36th min: TRY - Hodges for Roosters. A lovely run by Wing to get the Roosters up the right end of the field. Fittler, from a penalty tap, throws it wide for Hodges to score. Fitzgibbon from near the touch line, slots the kick. Broncos 20-18
HALF TIME: Great game, both teams doing well in the slippery conditions.
46th min: TRY - Fittler for Roosters. Amazing ball play in shocking conditions. Brilliant defence by the Broncos, but on the 3rd set of six something had to give, and Fittler is there to score. Fitzgibbon gets the conversion. Roosters 24-20
52nd min: NEWS - Morley (Roosters) on the sideline, resting his back in a preventative measure. Will be used if necessary. Play is still see sawing end to end, with some great defence by both sides
57th min: PENALTY GOAL - Fitzgibbon for Roosters. 40 metres out and right in front, Fitzgibbon gets the kick to put the Roosters out to a 6 point lead. Roosters 26-20
65th min: NEWS - 15 minutes to go, and neither team is prepared to give an inch. Great entertainment for the crowd.
73rd min: NEWS - Broncos have had the best of the plays in the last 10 minutes, quite often with Minnichiello as the last line of defence.
78th min: FIELD GOAL - Finch for Roosters. In the end no pressure on Finch, close to his line to pot the goal. Great defence by the Broncos, but very tired. Roosters 27-20
FULL TIME: A hard fought battle for the teams tonight.Like