Jack Clifton looks at the re...
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Showers greeted the players as they ran onto EnergyAustralia Stadium for the round 17 encounter between the Newcastle Knights, running 7th and 4th placed Sydney Roosters. The Knights were severely understrength for this match as once again, their never-ending injury toll ate into their Premier League side.
The Roosters didn't take long to get proceedings underway when centre Tony Pamatangi scored out wide. As the rain continued to fall, the conversion was waved away. As a consequence, ball handling was very difficult and as expected, there were plenty of errors. The Roosters extended their lead out to 10-0 in the 19th minute when second rower Nigel Plum charged down a Scott Dureau kick and won the race for the ball, diving on the slippery surface as momentum carried him over. Five-eight Scott Porter added the extras and in the conditions, the Roosters had a handy lead. Several errors by the Newcastle side did not help their cause and as a consequence, were eventually made to pay when Plum crossed for his second try of the match in the 25th minute. Porter failed to add the extra 2 points as his conversion hit both uprights before being waved away and the Roosters appeared to be cruising at 14-0. As the rain continued to tumble down, both sides continued to make elementary mistakes as the ball continued to get slippery for ball handling. A few minutes from halftime, the Roosters extended their lead to 20-0 as fullback Aidan Kirk scored his first try of the evening. Porter added the extras and the Roosters, under the circumstances had a match-winning lead as the teams went to the break.
Any doubts about a possible Newcastle fightback were extinguished a few minutes after halftime as Roosters five-eight Scott Porter scored a superb individual try. His successful conversion had the Roosters leading by 26-0. The Roosters continued to control possession and making the Newcastle side do plenty of tackling. In the 49th minute, 26-0 became 30-0 as interchange forward Trent Carruthers went through some very soft defence on the edges of the ruck.
Five minutes later, the Knights finally got on the scoreboard through a rampaging run by front rower Jesse Royal, who left several Roosters defenders behind on his way to the tryline. Lock forward Todd Maddison added the extras to reduce the margin to 30-6. In the 59th minute, the Roosters were back to piling on the points as centre Sam Perrett went on a saloon passage to the tryline after a perfect pass from Porter. The successful conversion restored the Roosters 30 point lead at 36-6. As both teams began to tire, several gaps were opening up in both teams defence as the heavy ground also took its toll. The Knights scored their second try of the night in the 69th minute when five-eight Blake Tremain-Cannon chased through on a Scott Dureau grubber kick into the in-goal. Todd Maddison again added the conversion to reduce the gap to 24 as the Roosters led by 36 points to 12. The Roosters added one more try to their already impressive tally 5 minutes from time when hooker James Aubusson scored a 60 metre movement. Again Porter added the conversion and the Roosters led 42-12, which remained the final score.
Players to stand out for the Roosters, who were much too good for the Newcastle side, included five-eight Scott Porter who scored a try and kicked 5 goals from 8 attempts in very trying goal-kicking conditions. Hooker James Aubusson was also very busy around the ruck and second rower Nigel Plum was tireless in defence and finished with 2 tries.