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The Sydney Roosters have out-classed the Newcastle Knights by 36-8 in the third Qualifying Final at Aussie Stadium tonight.
The result sees an end to the Knights' season while the Roosters will get a week off.
In an outstanding first half of Rugby League football, the Roosters and held a commanding 30-2 lead at half time and were simply steam-rolling over Newcastle.
Indicative of the first half was Roosters' forward Adrian Morley following a huge hit-up on Knights' winger, Adam MacDougall in the 13th minute. MacDougall was knocked-out and took no further part in the match.
With more possession and field position, the Knights held their own in the seccond half but were never going to reel the Roosters in.
The second half was also marked by a number of no-try rulings with the Knights being denied on two occasions and the Roosters being denied once.
ROOSTERS 36 Tries: Flannery 2, Wing, Catic, Cross, Byrne, Goals: Crocker 3/4, Fitzgibbon 3/3 defeated KNIGHTS 8 Tries: M Gidley Goals: Abraham 2/2
Saturday 13 Sep 2003 7:30 PM Aussie Stadium Referee: Sean Hampstead Video Referee: Phil Cooley
Leagueunlimited.com's players of the match: 3 - B Fittler (Roosters) 2 - L Ricketson (Roosters) 1 - C Wing (Roosters)
By the clock: 0 min: Tremendous atmosphere. Big crowd and fireworks. Speculation about Brad Fittler's fitness. Roosters warm favourites but Knights look confident. Kickoff!
4 min: TRY - Roosters. Craig Wing hits a hole and scores under the posts. Follows an error from Robbie O'Davis for the Knights early on. Conversion Michael Crocker. Roosters 6-0
8 min: PENALTY GOAL - Knights. Game is being played at fast pace and Roosters caught offside following a quick play the ball. Daniel Abraham successful. Roosters 6-2
13 min: TRY - Roosters. Ned Catic scores after being put through by Luke Ricketson in similar fashion to the first try. Follows break from Brad Fittler. Meanwhile, Adam MacDougall (Knights) is knocked out following a big hit-up from Adrian Morley (Roosters). Conversion Crocker is successful. Roosters 12-2
NEWS - Adam MacDougall is off and unlikely to return.
16 min: TRY - Rooster. Ryan Cross scores in the corner. Fittler instrumental in setting up play and Chris Walker stretching the defence. Conversion Crocker unsuccessful. Roosters 16-2
19 min: NEWS - Craig Wing kicks a 40/20 for the Roosters. The Knights are on the back foot and hard to see how they hold Easts out.
20 min: TRY - Roosters. Todd Byrne scores out wide following a superb face ball from Fittler. Its a carve up. Conversion Craig Fitzgibbon is successful. Roosters 22-2
25 min: Still no change to score. Possession favours Roosters 61%
30 min: NEWS - Knights get their first real opportunity at the Roosters' line but knock-on and give up the ball.
35 min: Still no change to score. Errors from both sides. Knights fail to make touch with a free kick and Roosters knock-on to kill off a scoring chance, and then Knights kick out on the full in the following set.
37 min: PENALTY GOAL - Roosters. Fitzgibbon makes no mistake. Roosters 24-2
40 min: TRY - Roosters. Chris Flannery scores and the Knights' defence is shot to pieces. Conversion 6m in from touch from Fitzgibbons successful. Roosters 30-2
HALF TIME: Roosters 30 - Knights 2 The scoreline says it all. Its hard to imagine how the Knights can comeback against a red-hot Roosters outfit who are simply too fast and too strong. Possession favours Roosters 56%. With most of the match being played at the Newcastle end of the field, the Knights look out on their feet.
NEWS - Knights' winger Adam MacDougall, heavily concussed, is no chance of returning in the second half.
Second half underway...
47 min: TRY - Knights. Matt Gidley scores after showing some fancy footwork close to the line. Conversion Abraham from good position is successful. Roosters 30-8
52 min: NO TRY - Kurt Gidley (Knights) is denied a try after being illegally taken out by Fittler. Came within a whisker of being a penalty try and probably should have been. Knights get the penalty from the video ref instead, but Kurt Gidley knocks on.
54 min: NO TRY - Knights are denied again when Anthony Quinn is ruled offside in front of the kicker by the video ref.
60 min: No change to score. Knights slowly coming back but stiil have a huge task ahead of them.
65 min: NO TRY - Roosters. Fittler on-the-burst and off a Walker pass is denied a try after a knock-on is found by the video ref. Knights get the scrum.
67 min: TRY - Roosters. Flannery gets a double after Fittler shoots out the pass. Follows a huge break from Walker. Conversion Crocker is successful. Roosters 36-8
NEWS - Fittler and Wing are taken off and cotton-balled by coach Ricky Stuart.
80 min: FULL TIME. Roosters 36 - Knights 8 The Knights' season is over and the Roosters get next week off. A outstanding performance from the Roosters. The Knights did well to hold their own in the second half and were simnply out-muscled in the first half. Possession ended up at approximately 50% each.