Melbourne suffer insult and injury at SFS

The Sydney Roosters ended their season on a high taking down the Melbourne Storm 40-8 in front of a small 8,753 contingent of the Roosters' faithful.

Despite having the minor premiership wrapped up an hour before kick off, the game did not start well for the Storm with a long list of late pull outs and their casualty ward growing as the match progressed.

With Cameron Smith and Billy Slater withdrawing from the match an hour before the game was there for the taking.

The home side drew first blood early, scoring through Joseph Leilua in only the sixth minute courtesy of a pinpoint kick from his skipper.

The Roosters continued the momentum, dominating field position and possession before Anthony Minichiello crossed the try line in the 13th minute to give the Roosters their second try of the match. 

Brian Smith's boys looked to be in control of the match, but a lost ball from Brad Takairangi in the 18th minute presented the Storm with the opportunity they needed and Matt Duffie was racing down the touchline to score only a minute later. 

Both sides struggled to hang onto the ball over the next passage of play and the score remained unchanged until the 38th minute when Aiden Guerra muscled his way over the try line. 

The Roosters were over again right on half time when Leilua crossed for his second.

Neither side got off to an ideal start in the second half, as both teams struggled to complete their sets and mount pressure. 

Back to back penalties to the Roosters were enough for the home side, with Leilua completing his hat trick in the 48th minute. But it was a bit of a pyrrhic win for Leilua as he limped off the field.

The Storm hit back three minutes later when Beau Champion scored courtesy of a Cooper Cronk kick.

The try was followed by a barrage dropped ball and cheap penalties from both sides as well as a mounting injury toll for the minor premiers. 

It was the home side who broke the drought again in the 68th minute when Phil Graham's boot with the help of Braith Anasta set up a wonderful try for Justin Carney.

The Roosters were not done yet however, with Mitchell Pearce scoring under the black dot in the 77th minute. Anasta added the extras to take the Roosters' total to 40 to defeat Melbourne 40 points to 8. 

The big loss will not be the biggest concern for Craig Bellamy with Cooper Cronk playing with a niggling leg concern and Jaiman Lowe, Garreth  Widdop and Maurice Blair all being forced off the field with injuries during the match.

Match Details
Sydney Roosters 40 defeated Melbourne Storm 8
National Rugby League - Round 26 - Sunday September 4, 2011 7:00pm
Venue: Sydney Football Stadium
Referee: Jason Robinson and Alan Shortall
Video Referee: Tim Mander
Touch Judges: Steve Chiddy and Luke Phillips
Crowd: 8,753
Halftime: Sydney Roosters 22 Melbourne Storm 4

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
2 Points - Phil Graham
1 Point - Brad Takairangi

SYDNEY ROOSTERS (40)
Tries: Anthony Minichiello, Mitchell Pearce, Justin Carney, Aiden Guerra, Joseph Leilua (3)
Conversions: Braith Anasta (6/7)

MELBOURNE STORM (8)
Tries: Beau Champion, Matt Duffie
Conversions: Cooper Cronk (0/1), Gareth Widdop (0/1)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Good evening and welcome to the Sydney Football Stadium for League Unlimited's coverage of the final match of the regular season which will see the Sydney Roosters host the Melbourne Storm who will be awarded the Minor Premiership regardless of the result on the completion of this match after Brisbane ruled the Sea eagles out of contention this afternoon having defeated them at Suncorp.
In the Toyota Cup curtain raiser, Roosters became the first team in the history of the Under 20s comp to win 11 straight matches defeating the Melbourne Thunderbolts 28-14.
TEAM NEWS: Roosters, winger Sam Perrett and interchange player Anthony Mitchell are out. BJ Leilua shifts from centre to the wing to cover for Perrett, with Brad Takairangi coming off the bench to start at centre. Jared Warea-Hargreaves and Tom Symonds join the bench. Mose Masoe will also start, with Lama Tasi moving to the bench.

For the Storm Billy Slater, Cameron Smith, Bryan Norrie, and Jesse Bromwich have all been rested. Beau Chmapion moves from centre to fullback with Maurice Blair coming into the side at centre. Ryan Hinchcliffe moves from the second row and into the hooker position, with Troy Thompson coming into the second row. Adam Woolnough and Jaiman Lowe both come off the bench and into the front row, with Sione Kite and Jack Afamasage coming onto the bench.
1 min: Game on, Melbourne will have first use of the football.
2 min: Solid starts from both sides with ball in hand, both forward packs working hard.
3 min: PENALTY to the Storm against Ryles inside the ten should help Melbourne find good attacking position.
4 min: Very good start to the game for Graham cleaning up at the back.
5 min: PENALTY to the Roosters against Woolnough for being inside the ten should help Roosters find attacking range.
6 min: VIDEO REFEREE for a possible Roosters' TRY.
6 min: TRY
TRY to the Roosters!
Braith Anasta creates something with the boot and Storm players cannot clean it up in goal, BJ Leilua in the right place at the right time, plucks it from the air and claims the try. Anasta converts.
Sydney Roosters 6-0
8 min: Roosters continue a good start to the game.
8 min: PENALTY to the Storm against an offside Cordner.
9 min: Melbourne now making some good yardage with ball in hand.
10 min: PENALTY to the Roosters against Proctor for being inside the ten.
11 min: Roosters deny themselves with an error in the Melbourne 20.
12 min: Minichiello reading Cronk's kicking game well.
14 min: TRY
TRY to the Roosters!
Great hands and a very good break from Friend give the Melbourne defence the run around, Friend gets it on to Pearce who finds Minichiello to score between the posts. Anasta converts easily.
Sydney Roosters 12-0
17 min: Solid displays from both sides, but the Roosters look keen to walk out of this season on a big high.
18 min: Blair knocks on on his 30 to keep the pressure on the Storm defence.
18 min: Neilson picks up a loose ball from Takairangi on the Melbourne 20 and gets it on to Duffie who charges through the Roosters.
20 min: TRY
TRY to the Storm!
Duffie streaks down the left touchline and no one catch him. Widdop from the sideline hooks it to the left
Sydney Roosters 12-4
21 min: PENALTY to the Storm against Ryles for a steal.
21 min: Jaiman Lowe is in some trouble and is being attended to be trainers in the middle before walking off the field.
22 min: A Graham error gifts Melbourne a scrum 15 their own side of half way.
24 min: Melbourne earn a repeat set forcing Carney to play the ball dead.
25 min: Roosters defend well to deny Melbourne.
26 min: Roosters are becoming disinterested in attack now gifting Melbourne a scrum a few metres their own side of halfway.
26 min: Maurice Blair has come off the field with a hamstring tear and it appears that Melbourne may be down to 15 minutes for the remainder of the match.
28 min: PENALTY to the Storm against Carney a couple of metres out from the Roosters' line.
28 min: And Lowrie makes an error on the first tackle to let the Roosters off the hook.
30 min: Roosters completion rate is beginning to waver with another error late in the count.
31 min: Bellamy in the coach's box is not impressed as Melbourne's completion rate is wavering too.
33 min: Errors both ways, a set hasn't been completed for a while now.
36 min: Melbourne complete a set!
36 min: PENALTY to the Roosters against Lowrie inside the ten.
38 min: TRY
TRY to the Roosters!
Pearce puts Guerra in to score in the corner. A superb conversion from Anasta extends the lead.
Sydney Roosters 18-4
40 min: PENALTY to the Roosters against Cronk for holding down in the play the ball.
40 min: VIDEO REFEREE for a possible Roosters' TRY.
40 min: TRY
TRY to the Roosters!
Leilua is in for his second of the night to inflict one last piece of hurt on Melbourne before the interval. Conversion attempt from Anasata unsuccessful.
Sydney Roosters 22-4
40 min: That will be the half, Roosters lead Melbourne 22-4.
41 min: Second half under way.
42 min: Roosters start the half strongly.
42 min: Melbourne make an error early in the count of their first possession of the half to invite the Roosters onto the attack.
43 min: Roosters earn a repeat set forcing Champion to bat one dead for a goal line drop out.
43 min: Pearce turns the ball over early in the count.
45 min: Errors both ways, no one wants to get to their kick.
47 min: PENALTY to the Roosters against Afamasaga for holding down in the play the ball.
47 min: PENALTY to the Roosters against Kostjasyn for a leg pull.
48 min: VIDEO REFEREE for a possible Roosters' TRY and Leilua is hurt in the motion.
49 min: TRY
TRY to the Roosters!
Benefit of the doubt! Leilua has 3 and he is helped into the sheds by trainers. Anasta converts
Sydney Roosters 28-4
50 min: Widdop os hobbling in back field and Melbourne's troubles won't end tonight.
51 min: PENALTY to the Storm against Waerea-Hargreaves for holding down in the play the ball.
52 min: VIDEO REFEREE for a possible Melbourne TRY.
54 min: TRY
TRY to the Storm!
Benefit of the doubt goes to Champion, Cronk does fantastic work and deserves the try assist, not sure if Champion deserves the try though. Converison attempt from Cronk unsuccessful. Widdop has come off the field and Melbourne are down to 14.
Sydney Roosters 28-8
56 min: PENALTY to the Storm against Waerea-Hargreaves for a high tackle.
56 min: Melbourne deny themselves turning the ball over the ball inside the Roosters' 20.
58 min: Cooper Cronk has a hamstring niggle too, but won't get a rest with Melbourne so low on troops.
59 min: Teams completing sets now, but word on this game's long list of injured players in none of them will be back tonight.
60 min: PENALTY to the Storm against Friend for being inside the ten.
61 min: Cooper Cronk testing his endurance bombing with sore legs.
62 min: Roosters very solid tonight, just makes you wonder where this has been all year.
64 min: The errors are back from both sides Melbourne in particular as Roosters have the whole off season to recover look like they'd be happy to call it a night right now and avoid any further injury.
66 min: PENALTY to the Roosters against Thompson for holding down in the play the ball.
67 min: Roosters deny themselves a try with a forward pass.
69 min: TRY
TRY to the Roosters!
A perfect little boot from Graham finds Anasat at the end of the in goal batting it backwards for Carney to fall on it and score. Anasta converts.
Sydney Roosters 34-8
72 min: PENALTY to the Roosters against Afamasaga inside the ten.
72 min: And Pearce gives the ball away on the first tackle.
73 min: Melbourne aren't threatening at all, they look to only have thought for self preservation.
74 min: Roosters however have decided not to relent in an attempt to make their season look better than it was.
78 min: TRY
TRY to the Roosters!
Arona creates a try for Pearce who scores between the posts making it easy for Anasta to help the Roosters to the big 40 with the boot.
Sydney Roosters 40-8
79 min: Roosters look to set up for another try but lose it a few metres out.
80 min: It is finally over, Melbourne will be relieved, Roosters will be elated to take a big win over the Storm to see their season off on a high. Roosters have defeated Melbourne 40-8.

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