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Only 9,879 fans were on hand to see the Sydney Roosters win their first game in a month as they look to kick-start their season. They grinded out a gritty 19-12 victory at Toyota Stadium. Cronulla's season seems all but over as they were condemned to their seventh straight loss and lost chief playmaker Trent Barrett to concussion at halftime.
Barrett who was initially ruled out of the match declared himself fit an hour before the game as he looked to inspire the Sharks to victory. It was not to be for the classy five-eighth as he was left dazed after being hit by Craig Fitzgibbon late in the first half.
The Roosters who had not scored a point in their last three halves of football would have felt a monumental sigh of relief when Shaun Kenny-Dowall crossed over in the 20th minute. The Bondi boys showed quick hands to unleash the kiwi flyer down the flank and he finished strongly to give the Roosters a 6-0 lead.
Just five minutes later Kenny-Dowall grabbed a double as Anasta marked his stamp on the game. Anasta took the ball on the last and ran towards the short side before chipping a neat kick into the left corner and Kenny-Dowall dived onto the ball for a 10-0 lead.
The Sharks needed to be the next team to score and they Reece Williams did just that five minutes from halftime. Brett Seymour stabbed through a grubber kick which hit the upright and popped up straight into the arms of Williams.
The Roosters had 60% of possession heading into the sheds but would have been disapointed with only a four point lead.
The second half continued like the first with plenty of drop ball as Craig Fitzgibbon converted a penalty goal to stretch the roosters lead out to a converted try.
When prop Nate Myles received the ball metres from the line in the 52nd minute he turned playmaker as he toed through a perfect grubber for an unmarked Sam Perrett to dive on. The deft kick from the QLD Origin forward gave the Roosters a 12 point lead.
Cronulla fans were streaming out of the ground when Paul Gallen who was easily the Sharks best player muscled his way over in the 71st minute. The converted try reduced the gap to just six points and the Sharks thought they had sent the game into golden point when they crossed the line with four minutes remaining but former Rooster Anthony Tupou blatantly obstructed a defender.
It was Braith Anasta who showed a cool head for the Roosters to seal the game with a field goal three minutes from time.
The Sharks have the bye next week as they will receive their first two points in 8 weeks while the Roosters take on the Melbourne Storm at home.
Match Details Sydney Roosters 19 def Cronulla Sharks 12 Round 8 - Saturday May 2nd, 2009 5:30pm Venue: Toyota Stadium Referee: Gavin Badger, Matt Cecchin Touch Judges: Mohamad Fajajo, David Abood Video Ref: Russell Smith Crowd: 9,879 Halftime: Roosters 10-6 Cronulla Sharks 12 Tries: Reece Williams, Paul Gallen Goals: Luke Covell (2/2) Sydney Roosters 19 Tries: Shaun Kenny-Dowall (2), Sam Perrett Goals: Craig Fitzgibbon (3/4) Field Goals: Braith Anasta (1/1) LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Frank-Paul Nuuausala (Roosters) 2 Points: Paul Gallen (Sharks) 1 Point: Iosia Soliola (Roosters) LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Hello and welcome to this evenings clash between the Cronulla Sharks and the Sydney Roosters at Toyota Stadium. Both teams are desperate for a victory as they languish at the bottom of the table.
Sharks- Plenty of changes for the Sharks this week. Despite reports yesterday that Trent Barrett was ruled out of the game he will start at five-eighth. Bronx Goodwin comes in for Matthew Wright in the centres. Reni Maitua has been promoted to the starting side with Reece Williams falling back to the bench. Ricky Stuart has ringed the changes on his interchange bench with Ian Donnelly, Bryan Norrie and Terrence Seu Seu dropped. Jacob Selmes, Blake Green and Johnny Mannah come onto the bench.
Roosters- The Roosters will line-up unchanged with Stanley Waqa dropping off the extended bench.
Following these changes the teams will line-up as such:
SHARKS: 1. Mitch Brown 2. David Simmons 3. Ben Pomeroy 25. Bronx Goodwin 5. Luke Covell 6. Trent Barrett 7. Brett Seymour 8. Kade Snowden 9. Corey Hughes 10. Luke Douglas 14. Reni Maitua 12. Anthony Tupou 13. Paul Gallen Interchange: 11. Reece Williams 22. Jacob Selmes 23. Blake Green 24. Johnny Mannah ROOSTERS: 1. Jordan Tansey 2. Sam Perrett 3. Ben Jones 4. Setaimata Sa 5. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 6. Braith Anasta 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. Nate Myles 9. James Aubusson 10. Frank Paul Nuuausala 11. Iosia Soliola 12. Craig Fitzgibbon 13. Shane Shackleton Interchange: 14. Lopini Paea 15. Willie Mason 17. Jake Friend 18. Rohan Ahern
Players coming onto the field now.
2 min: PENALTY Roosters. Douglas penalised for niggle in the ruck.
3 min: PENALTY Sharks. Roosters penalised and Cronulla have the ball 40m out from the line.
5 min: David Simmons held up as the Sharks shift it wide.
6 min: The Roosters run it on the last, Gallen ends up with the ball who passes to Mitch Brown but he knocks on cold.
7 min: PENALTY Roosters. High tackle on Nate Myles. Roosters tap 30m out from the Sharks line.
8 min: Goal-line Dropout Sharks. Covell hits an Anasta grubber dead and the Roosters have a repeat set.
10 min: PENALTY Sharks. Myles penalised for holding Tupou down.
11 min: Shaun Kenny-Dowall intercepts the ball as the Sharks look set to score. Kenny-Dowall eventually links up with Perrett who is dragged down 5m out.
13 min: Soliola can't handle a short ball from Anasta as errors dominate this match.
14 min: PENALTY Roosters. Perrett runs from dummy-half and catches the markers offside.
16 min: Scrum Roosters. David Simmons knocks on a Pearce chip kick and the Roosters have a scrum 10m out.
19 min: Both teams have had chances in the last few minutes but have been unable to hold onto attacking kicks to score.
20 min: TRY Sydney Roosters A classy try from the Roosters as they show quick hands to unleash Shaun Kenny-Dowall down the left wing and he steps inside Goodwin to score. Conversion attempt by Craig Fitzgibbon successful. Sydney Roosters 6-0
23 min: Frank Paul Nuuausala collects a short ball and streaks 40m downfield before finding Tansey who is tackled.
25 min: TRY Sydney Roosters Great play from Anasta as he takes the ball on the last, runs towards the short side and chips into the left corner for Shaun Kenny-Dowall to pounce for a first-half double. Conversion attempt by Craig Fitzgibbon unsuccessful. Sydney Roosters 10-0
29 min: PENALTY Roosters. Gallen penalised for stripping the ball. Roosters with a tap on halfway.
30 min: PENALTY Roosters. Soliola lifted beyond the horizontal. Roosters with a tap 20m out.
31 min: Refs Call after deliberating on a Roosters try. Shaun Kenny-Dowall is ruled to have been held up.
32 min: Trent Barrett down with concussion after being hit by Craig Fitzgibbon. Barrett now joins the play. Roosters scrum 10m from their line.
35 min: TRY Cronulla Sharks Brett Seymour stabs a grubber through and it hits the upright and bounces perfectly into the arms of Reece Williams. Sharks on the board. Conversion attempt by Luke Covell successful. Sydney Roosters 10-6
38 min: PENALTY Sharks. Mason penalised for going high in the tackle and Sharks have a tap 25m out from the Roosters line.
40 min: Sharks scrum. The sharks with a scrum 10m out on the stroke of half time but Gallen knocks on at the back of the scrum.
Half Time- Sydney Roosters 10 lead the Cronulla Sharks 6 Both teams have had their chances in the first half but poor execution and dropped ball have cost each side. The Roosters have 60% of the football but have failed to capitalise on it as they hold only a four point lead at the break.
INJURY- Trent Barrett has succumb to the concussion he received in the first half and he won't play a part in the second half.
44 min: SCRUM Roosters. The Sharks chance their arm as Pomeroy throws a poor offload to Simmons who is put into touch by Mason. Roosters with the ball on halfway.
46 min: PENALTY GOAL Sydney Roosters Pearce gives a beautiful inside ball to Tansey who goes close to scoring. Cronulla are penalised for being offside as they dive on the loose ball. Sydney Roosters 12-6
49 min: Soliola flattens Seymour with a big shot.
52 min: TRY Sydney Roosters Unbelievable try to the Roosters as frontrower Nate Myles toes through a perfect grubber for an unmarked Sam Perrett to score. Fitzgibbon converts off the upright from the sideline. Conversion attempt by Craig Fitzgibbon successful. Sydney Roosters 18-6
56 min: PENALTY Sharks. A much needed penalty for Cronulla as Gallen has the ball stripped. Sharks tap 35m out from the Roosters line.
58 min: SCRUM Roosters. Luke Covell can't hold the ball as the Sharks had an overlap. Roosters scrum on halfway.
59 min: PENALTY Roosters. Tupou penalised for a strip and the Roosters have a tap 20m from the Sharks line.
60 min: PENALTY Sharks. Jordan Tansey scores off a well enginered second-man play but Video Referee Russell Smith rules Fitzgibbon obstructed a defender as a decoy runner.
64 min: The Sharks run the ball on the last and look set to score but the Roosters scramble well and Sa ends up with the football.
65 min: PENALTY Sharks. Sa toes through a kick for Perrett but he is penalised for tackling Covell without the ball. Penalty count at 7 all.
66 min: Anasta kicks across field looking for Sa and Perrett and Sa knocks the ball dead as he attacks the football.
67 min: PENALTY Sharks. Cronulla with an opportunity as they have the ball 20m out.
68 min: Seymour passes wide to Covell on the left wing and he loses the ball forward. Errors galore in this game.
71 min: TRY Cronulla Sharks A drop ball from Tansey at fullback puts Cronulla on the attack and Paul Gallen who has been the Sharks best shows great strength to slam the ball over the line. Conversion attempt by Luke Covell successful. Sydney Roosters 18-12
74 min: PENALTY Sharks. Gallen has the ball stripped and the Sharks have a tap 45m from the Roosters line.
75 min: Goal-line Dropout Roosters. Seymour toes the ball through for Gallen and Pearce knocks the ball dead.
76 min: PENALTY Roosters. The Sharks go into score but Tupou has hammered Anasta as the decoy runner and is penalised for obstruction. Roosters with a tap 30m from their line.
77 min: FIELD GOAL Sydney Roosters Anasta breaks through the line to put the Roosters on the attack and then he kills off the game with field goal. Sydney Roosters 19-12
FULL TIME The Sydney Roosters 19 have defeated the Cronulla Sharks 12 at Toyota Stadium.