Fulltime score: Round 17 Newcastle Knights 14 v Sydney Roosters 28
Fielding an inexperienced side, The Knights enjoyed plenty of possession in the first half, but were unable to get on top of the visitors. At half time, the Roosters held a handy 16-6 lead.
With both sides missing key personnel, the match was up for grabs. The Knights scored first in the second half but it was the Roosters who gained the ascendancy, scoring the next two tries and putting the match out of Newcastle's reach.
Scorers: NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS 14 Tries: Salkeld 3 Goals: Campbell 1/3, Tighe 0/1 SYDNEY ROOSTERS 28 Tries: Soward, Finch, Soliola, Roberts, Monaghan Goals: Roberts 4/5
EnergyAustralia Stadium Crowd: 14,950 Referee: Russell Smith Half time: Roosters 16-6
Live commentary: 0 min: Rain falling in Newcastle. Knights winger Anthony Quinn is out. Roosters forwards Ryan Cross and Adrian Morley (both suspended, 6 and 3 weeks respectively) amongst those players ruled out. Anthony Minnichiello and Craig Wing are out for the Roosters. Also missing for Origin duties are Andrew Johns and Danny Buderus for the Knights.
5 min: NEWS - Knights getting the early opportunities, well defended by the Roosters.
10 min: TRY - Roosters. Jamie Soward awarded a try after Brett Finch puts up a bomb. Conversion Amos Roberts from almost in front. Roosters 6-0
15 min: TRY - Knights. Winger Trent Salkeld scores. Follows a huge 40m bust from full back Milton Thaiday. Conversion unsuccessful from Dane Campbell. Roosters 6-4
20 min: TRY - Roosters. Brett Finch scores as the Knights defence struggles to get back onside. Conversion OK. Roosters 12-4
22 min: BIFF - Boys going toe-to-toe after the Roosters lose the ball.
24 min: PENALTY GOAL - Knights. Dane Campbell converts. Roosters penalised for going on with it in the tackle. Approximately 10 penalties being blown so far and about evens at 5 each. Roosters 12-6
25 min: TRY - Roosters. Centre Iosia Soliola scores, getting through some soft defence. Conversion Roberts misses. Roosters 16-6
Half time: Roosters 16-6 The scoreline a fair indication of the match. The Knights showing plenty of promise and actually enjoying more posesssion, but are simply being out-paced just wide of the ruck. The Knights missing too many tackles. The Roosters deserving their half time lead and are finding plenty of inroads. Stand outs include Roosters forward Jason Cayless who is working up a storm.
Second half underway...
42 min: TRY - Knights. Salkeld gets a double, scoring out wide. Conversion unsuccessful. Roosters 16-10
51 min: TRY - Roosters Amos Roberts slices through and then Converts his own try. The Knights having nearly 60% possession but are disorganised in defence, missing far too many tackles. Roosters 22-10
65 min: TRY - Roosters. Joel Monaghan scores after Chris Walker sets up play and puts a beaut pass onto the chest of the try scorer. Comes on the back of some possession and that should be the match winner. Conversion Roberts. Roosters 28-10
75 min: TRY - Knights. Salkeld gets a hat trick, scoring out wide courtesy of an overlap. Conversion from Brad Tighe unsuccessful. Roosters 28-14
Full time: Roosters 28-14. A solid win to the Roosters. Forward Heath L'Estrange topping the tackle count, allowing Easts their opportunities. Fellow front rower Jason Cayless was sensatioal in carting the ball up and gets our nod as man of the match. League's bad boy Chris Walker played a top match from the back. The Knights tried hard and had plenty of possession. But they were simply unable to defend well and missed the organisation of Johns and Buderus around the ruck.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - J Cayless (Roosters) 2 - H L'Estrange (Roosters) 1 - C Walker (Roosters) -----------------------------------------