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Match summary Roosters 18 vs Dragons 4 The annual Anzac Day clash has delivered the Sydney Roosters their 1000th first grade victory, and their first win of 2007, following a convincing 18-4 triumph over the St George Illawarra Dragons this afternoon.
Playing on rain drenched Aussie Stadium pitch, the Dragons came close to scoring through prop Danny Wicks in the sixth minute.
But that would be as close as the red-and-whites would get in the first 40 minutes as the Roosters gained the ascendancy and controlled proceedings for the remainder of the half.
With the flow of possession and field position going the way of the Roosters, winger Shaun Kelly-Dowall scored the first of his two tries in the 21st minute following a cross field kick, Kelly-Dowall snatching the ball from the grasp of Dragons winger Luke MacDougall.
The Roosters repeated the dose four minutes later with centre Sam Perrett leaping high to a kick from five eighth Braith Anasta, MacDougall once again finding the ball being burgled in mid-air.
With Anasta running at the line and bringing his kicking game to the fore, the score line threatened to blow out. But several handling errors from the Roosters proved to be a let off for the Dragons.
At half time, the Roosters led 10-0.
With the Dragons on the back foot, Kenny-Dowell scored his second try in the 48th minute.
Craig Fitzgibbon slotted two penalty goals and after 55 minutes, the home side were cruising at 18-0.
The Dragons lifted in the final stages with five eighth Richard Williams making a break of 50 metres. A few other close calls saw the Dragons in rare territory.
Rookie winger Chase Stanley finally put the Dragons on the board with a well worked try in the 74th minute.
Round 7 - Full Time :: April 25th, 2007 03:00 PM Venue: Aussie Stadium Crowd: 18,240 Referee: Paul Simpkins
Sydney Roosters 18 Tries: Shaun Kenny-Dowall (2), Sam Perrett Goals: Craig Fitzgibbon (3/5) St George Illawarra Dragons 4 Tries: Chase Stanley Goals: Wes Naiqama (0/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Braith Anasta (Roosters) 2 Points: Anthony Tupou (Roosters) 1 Point: Anthony Minichiello (Roosters) Live Commentary There's been a bit of rain about Sydney for today's Anzac Day clash. The Roosters chasing their 1000th victory in first grade, the Dragons chasing their 100th victory over the Roosters. Players coming onto the field as we wait for the pre-match Anzac Day ceremony. RAAF FA-18 flies over at the completion of the moment's silence. Not far away from kick off... Roosters will have first use of the ball. KICK OFF!
5 min: Opening minutes and no score as yet. Roosters having the better run of field position but he Dragons hitting back now.
6 min: NO TRY Dragons denied after prop Danny Wicks knocks on over the line during a scramble for the ball. Follows a high-ish kick. Looks like the Roosters knocked on first but video rules a 20m restart for the Roosters.
12 min: ON REPORT Dragons half back Ben Hornby on report and penalised for a lifting tackle on centre Sam Perrett.
15 min: Roosters on the attack and come within the whisker of scoring when a kick-through hits the uprights. Roosters unable to clean up and a let off for the Dragons.
17 min: Another close call after Roosters five eighth Braith Anasta grubbers into the in-goal. Dragons forced into a drop out and Roosters getting plenty of repeat sets in the Dragons half.
21 min: TRY Sydney Roosters Winger Shaun Kelly-Dowall scores in the corner following a pin-point cross field kick from Anasta. Dragons winger Luke MacDougall seems to have it covered but Kenny-Dowell leaps high and snatches the ball in mid-air. Conversion attempt by Craig Fitzgibbon unsuccessful. Sydney Roosters 4-0
25 min: TRY Sydney Roosters Sam Perrett scores close to the posts. A near copy of the earlier try with Anasta putting up the bomb, and this time it is Perrett who leaps high to snatch the ball from MacDougall's grasp. Conversion attempt by Craig Fitzgibbon successful from almost in front. Sydney Roosters 10-0
29 min: Roosters on the attack again and looking very sharp. Dragons having to do a mountain of defence and now dropping off tackles. A Roosters fumble is the only thing that stops another try being scored.
33 min: Big front rower Danny Wicks makes a 20m bust for the Dragons with no one front of him before being ankle tapped by Roosters half back Mitchell Pearce.
36 min: SLEDGING Dragons five eighth Richard Williams having a few words with Anasta who then takes exception with a bit of pushing and shoving. Ref basically tells them to knock it off.
38 min: Forward Shane Shackleton makes a big bust for the Roosters and the Dragons defence is shot to bits. Another error (forward pass) from the Roosters lets the Dragons off the hook.
Half time: Roosters 10-0 Easts enjoying 57% possession and have totally dominated the first half. They should be further ahead, a few too many handling errors at the back end of the half costing them at least two four-pointers. Braith Anasta is looking in fine form with some strong runs and an excellent kicking game. Saints seem intent on playing the game in their own half (68%). Not enough go forward and they have all the work to do.
Second half underway...
48 min: TRY Sydney Roosters Kenny-Dowell scores an easy try out wide following a simple overlap from the scrum base. Follows sustained pressure and repeat sets, the Roosters on top. Conversion attempt by Craig Fitzgibbon unsuccessful. Sydney Roosters 14-0
53 min: PENALTY GOAL Sydney Roosters Fitzgibbon makes no mistake from easy range. Roosters go further ahead after the Dragons give way another penalty. Penalty count is 7-2 in favour of the Roosters. Sydney Roosters 16-0
55 min: PENALTY GOAL Sydney Roosters Fitzgibbon from right in front. Follows two more penalties against the Dragons. Hands on the ball. Penalties are now 9-2 in favour of the Roosters. Possession favours Roosters 61% Sydney Roosters 18-0
59 min: Time out while Roosters hooker Craig Wing is being attended to for a leg injury. He eventually walks from the field and is replaced.
61 min: Williams makes a 50m break for the Dragons and is dragged down 10m short of the line by full back Anthony Minichiello. Dragons on the attack but knock-on and are unable to complete the set. Dragons getting a little more ball now.
65 min: Roosters reply with a bust up the middle, Minnichiello in support is caught from behind. A Roosters passing error sees the Dragons back in possession but they then lose the ball a few rucks later.
70 min: NO TRY Dragons denied after video ref rules that winger Chase Stanley is unable to cleanly ground the ball in the corner, follows grubber kick from Hornby.
72 min: TRY St George Illawarra Dragons Chase Stanley finishes well and scores in the corner after taking a final pass from forward Sam Isemonger. The Dragons finally on the board but its too little too late. Conversion attempt by Wes Naiqama unsuccessful. Sydney Roosters 18-4
76 min: NO TRY Dragons denied after Isemonger crashes over but obstruction is ruled against forward Ben Creagh.
Full time: Roosters 18-4 The Roosters have notched up their 1000th victory in first grade and their first win of 2007. A committed effort from the Roosters who enjoyed 55% posession overall and never looked like losing. The Dragons disappointing and were stuck in the own half for 63% of the match. But they were able to come back and tried hard at times, finally getting some go forward and few penalties late in the contest. The penalties going 9-7 to the Roosters in the end. The Roosters set up in the first half and this came on the back of the skills of Braith Anasta with full back Anthony Minichiello returning the ball in fine style. The entire Roosters pack got on top early, prop Danny Nutley and lock Anthony Tupou being standouts up front.