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Jim Dymock?s Jersey Flegg outfit kick-started their 2006 premiership assault in style this afternoon with a convincing 32-14 win over Souths Juniors at Telstra Stadium.
One of the early favourites to take out this year?s title, the star-studded Roosters were never seriously headed in their six-tries-to-three victory.
After a fiery start, classy five-eighth Anthony Watts got the ball rolling in the eighth minute with a perfectly weighted grubber for winger Shaun Kenny-Dowall to cross. Shaun Foley failed to convert from the sideline, leaving the Roosters 4-0 ahead.
In stifling conditions, both sides toughed it out for the next 10 minutes before Souths fullback Alex Pattalis blew a golden opportunity to level the scores after knocking on his own grubber in the in-goal area.
But centre Fetuli Talanoa made up for his team-mate?s error two minutes later after racing 60m to lock the match at 4-all.
However, Sam McCartney restored the Roosters? lead in the 25th minute after shrugging off three defenders to plant the ball out wide. Shaun Foley?s sideline conversion speared the Roosters to a 10-4 lead.
With half time approaching, a perfectly timed Shaun Foley pass sent giant back rower Frank Winterstein on a 30m dash to the try line to guide the Roosters to a 16-4 lead following Foley?s conversion from in front of the sticks.
Both sides struggled to get going early in the second stanza but the visitors went further ahead on 40 minutes after a nice cross-field chip from Watts was batted into the arms of Jeremy Gordon by Kenny-Dowall. Another conversion from wide out by Foley extended the Roosters? lead to 22-4.
Some great work from giant front rower Frank Paul Nuuausala saw Troy Savage pepper Souths? defence on a 30m dash ? but Savage?s grubber kick to open pastures just ran over the dead ball line to prevent the visitors from going further in front.
With the Roosters looking to close the home side out of the clash, Souths replacement Chris Hyde notched a four pointer that reduced the score to 22-10 with 25 minutes remaining.
And when Rabbitohs winger Isaac Tautaiolefua showed a clean pair of heels to sprint 60m down the left touchline and score, the home side was well and truly back in the hunt at 22-14.
Needing to stop the rot, the Roosters looked to imposing back rower Grant Millington, who set up a crucial four pointer to star prop Danny Williams with a great break and offload close to the stripe. Foley converted from close range to give the Roosters a 28-14 lead.
Nuuausala was rewarded for a strong all-round game with a determined try out wide with seven minutes remaining to guide the visitors to an unassailable 32-14 advantage.
SYDNEY ROOSTERS 32 (Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Sam McCartney, Frank Winterstein, Jeremy Gordon, Danny Williams, Frank Paul Nuuausala tries; Shaun Foley 4/6 goals) defeated SOUTHS JUNIORS 14 (Fetuli Talanoa, Chris Hyde, Isaac Tautaiolefua tries; Michel Goward 1/3 goals) at Telstra Stadium; Sunday, March 12th, 2006; Referee: Adam Devcich.