Roosters rediscover that winning feeling

The Sydney Roosters notched up their first victory since Round 13 with a commanding 34-26 victory over a disappointing Penrith Panthers outfit at the Sydney Football Stadium this afternoon.

In a match that could have defined the Roosters' season, they were dealt a double-blow prior to the start of the match with both Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Anthony Minichiello both ruled out. Conversely, the Panthers welcomed back both Petero Civoniceva and Luke Lewis from coach Steve Georgallis' team sheet on Tuesday.

The Panthers received a dream start when they opened the scoring in just the second minute of play. Halfback Luke Walsh fired a cut-out pass to the right-hand side, which beat everyone and bounced on the ground, but luckily for the visitors, centre Brad Tighe picked up the loose ball, before drawing Roosters fullback Phil Graham, sending hooker Kevin Kingston over alongside the posts. Travis Burns added a penalty goal moments later, before the Roosters hit straight back through winger Joseph Leilua. In the 20th minute, five-eighth Todd Carney took full advantage of some lacklustre Penrith defence when he charged onto Mitchell Pearce's short pass, before racing 50m untouched to score alongside the posts and the Roosters were in front for the first time.

Their joy would be short-lived when Panthers back-rower Nigel Plum delivered a deft short-ball inside to Lachlan Coote. In the 31st minute, Roosters captain Braith Anasta took the Penrith defence on, drawing defenders before sending Phil Graham over, before Todd Carney wrapped up the scoring in the first half when he took full advantage of yet another Penrith mistake as they pressed the Roosters line. Back-rower Dayne Weston was held in a three-man Roosters tackle and despite replays suggesting Anasta's hand getting the ball loose, the on-field officials saw otherwise and after Carney's successful conversion, the Roosters held an important eight-point lead at the break.

The Panthers had to be the first to score in the second half if they were to run the Roosters down and it was through none other than Luke Lewis that they managed to do just that in the 45th minute. Halfback Luke Walsh ran the ball on the last tackle, before delivering a deft pass to Lewis who beat several defenders with some fancy footwork and scored alongside the posts. The Roosters hit back through their own captain Braith Anasta in the 57th minute. Halfback Mitchell Pearce put the ball in the air, before Anasta outjumped Penrith fullback Lachlan Coote, scoring underneath the crossbar.

In the 63rd minute, Penrith captain Petero Civoniceva was sent to the sin-bin after referee Matt Cecchin ruled the Queensland prop slowed the play-the-ball down with the Roosters in great attacking field position. The home side took advantage of the extra man when Shaun Kenny-Dowall scored out wide. Again, Pearce was the orchestrator of the try, firing a cut-out pass to the centre that dived over in the corner. Lachlan Coote gave the Panthers a glimmer of hope when he scored in the 73rd minute, but the Roosters hung on and claimed a vital two competition points.

Next week, the Roosters travel to ANZ Stadium next Saturday evening when they tackle the Rabbitohs, while the Panthers will have to dust themselves off before hosting Parramatta at Centrebet Stadium next Saturday night at 7.30pm.



Match Details
Sydney Roosters 34 defeated Penrith Panthers 26
National Rugby League - Round 18 - Sunday July 10, 2011 2:00pm
Venue: Sydney Football Stadium
Referee: Matt Cecchin and Henry Perenara
Video Referee: Bernard Sutton
Touch Judges: Steve Chiddy and Jason Walsh
Crowd: 9,713
Halftime: Sydney Roosters 22 Penrith Panthers 14

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Mitchell Pearce
2 Points - Todd Carney (2 Tries, 4 Conversions, 1 Penalty Goal)
1 Point - Luke Lewis (1 Try)

SYDNEY ROOSTERS (34)
Tries: Todd Carney (2), Phil Graham, Braith Anasta, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Joseph Leilua
Conversions: Todd Carney (4/6)
Penalty Goals: Todd Carney (1/1)

PENRITH PANTHERS (26)
Tries: Luke Lewis, Lachlan Coote (2), Kevin Kingston
Conversions: Travis Burns (4/4)
Penalty Goals: Travis Burns (1/1)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Sunday footy at the SFS, the Sydney Roosters host the Penrith Panthers. Discuss the match on our forums, or follow us on Twitter, @LeagueUnlimited and be sure to add the hashtag #nrlsydpen! Good afternoon and welcome to a sunny Sydney Football Stadium for this afternoon's Round 18 encounter between the Sydney Roosters and Penrith Panthers. The Roosters will be looking to move off the bottom of the table with a victory, while the Panthers will be aiming for their third straight win. We are just awaiting team changes from either side, but once they filter through, you will be the first to know.
In team news, Anthony Minichiello is unable to back up after playing in the Origin decider on Wednesday night, while Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is also out. Phil Graham is the new fullback, while Tom Symonds replaces Waerea-Hargreaves. Conversely, the Panthers welcome back both Petero Civoniceva and Luke Lewis into their starting side. Tim Grant and Nathan Smith will drop back to the bench to accompany Nafe Seluini and Dayne Weston.
In the recently completed Toyota Cup curtain-raiser, the Roosters ran out convincing 42-28 victors over the Panthers, despite coming up with 14 errors to the Panthers three over the course of the match.
1 min: And we're underway here at the SFS!
1 min: The Roosters get through their first set of six and Pearce kicks downfield.
2 min: TRY
TRY Penrith Panthers
Scored by Kevin Kingston. Conversion attempt by Travis Burns successful.
The Panthers get off to a perfect start here this afternoon! After shifting the ball to their right hand side, Walsh's pass finds nothing but the grass, before Tighe picked up the ball and saw nothing but fresh air in front of him, before drawing the fullback and sending Kingston over alongside the posts. Burns makes no mistake adding the extras.
Penrith Panthers 6-0
5 min: Walsh's kick is charged down, before Coote puts his boot to the ball.
5 min: PENALTY Roosters. Panthers through Lewis hanging on too long in the tackle.
5 min: And the Roosters haven't found touch with the kick towards the eastern grandstand.
6 min: PENALTY Panthers. Roosters offside.
7 min: PENALTY Panthers. Roosters hanging on in the tackle. Nuuausala the culprit.
8 min: PENALTY GOAL
PENALTY GOAL Penrith Panthers
Penalty goal attempt by Travis Burns successful.
Burns pilots the ball between the uprights at the northern end of the ground to extend the lead.
Penrith Panthers 8-0
9 min: Walsh puts a kick into the corner and Graham is greeted by a wall of white jumpers.
11 min: Symonds knocks on at acting half after the Roosters shifted the ball to their right hand side. Panthers scrum.
13 min: The Panthers show some enterprising play, before Lewis has his pass intercepted by Perrett.
14 min: TRY
TRY Sydney Roosters
Scored by Joseph Leilua. Conversion attempt by Todd Carney unsuccessful.
The Roosters are in! Mitchell Pearce hoisted a towering bomb which was put down by Coote, before Carney picked up the loose ball and went very close himself. After a quick play-the-ball, Leilua dived over from dummy half. Carney's attempted conversion attempt from the sideline hits the post and is waved away.
Penrith Panthers 8-4
17 min: The Roosters run the ball on the last, before Kenny-Dowell puts the ball down.
19 min: The Roosters move the ball around and Linnett is into space! His quick play-the-ball finds Anasta at first receiver, but his cut-out pass is intercepted by Vaivai.
20 min: TRY
TRY Sydney Roosters
Scored by Todd Carney. Conversion attempt by Todd Carney successful.
Todd Carney gets the Roosters back on level terms! After taking Walsh's bomb on the full in the in-goal, Perrett raced back to the 20m line and took a quick tap, finding Graham who was pulled down on the halfway line. Pearce then held the ball up and put Carney into open space, giving the five-eighth an unimpeded run to the tryline. Carney adds the extras from in front.
Sydney Roosters 10-8
23 min: The Roosters are now throwing the ball around like the Harlem Globetrotters and finding gaps in the Panthers defence! Graham's pass on the inside to Masoe is put down, otherwise the Roosters would have been in again.
24 min: The Panthers are now making unforced errors and Dayne Weston the culprit this time.
25 min: PENALTY Roosters. Weston holding the tackled player down too long.
26 min: And the Roosters again haven't found touch!
27 min: PENALTY Panthers. Roosters lying on the tackled player too long for the referees liking.
27 min: TRY
TRY Penrith Panthers
Scored by Lachlan Coote. Conversion attempt by Travis Burns successful.
The Panthers are back in front and make the Roosters pay for not finding touch. Plum drew several Roosters defenders before delivering a perfect short pass to Coote who was never going to be stopped. Burns again adds the extras.
Penrith Panthers 14-10
28 min: Anasta's kick-off nearly goes over the deadball line, but Simmons throws the ball anywhere and it goes over the deadball line. Panthers dropout.
29 min: PENALTY Roosters. Panthers offside.
29 min: PENALTY Roosters. Burns takes the ball in a two-man tackle.
30 min: TRY
TRY Sydney Roosters
Scored by Phil Graham. Conversion attempt by Todd Carney successful.
Graham makes the Panthers pay for their mistake off the kick-off and back-to-back penalties. Anasta draws the Panthers defence, before sending Graham through some ordinary Panthers defence and over alongside the posts. Carney again adds the extras.
Sydney Roosters 16-14
32 min: Carney puts the ball down on halfway and the Panthers will now go on the attack.
33 min: Walsh's pass is intercepted by Kenny-Dowell who puts Pearce into space running through the middle of the field. Pearce's pass to the left-hand side is put down by Leilua.
36 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Roosters try.
36 min: TRY
TRY Sydney Roosters
Scored by Todd Carney. Conversion attempt by Todd Carney successful.
The Roosters again make the Panthers pay for yet another mistake. Weston took the ball forward, but in a three-man tackle, replays suggest Anasta pulled the ball out, but the referees thought otherwise. Carney then raced 60m untouched to score alongside the posts.
Sydney Roosters 22-14
38 min: PENALTY Panthers. Coote tackled in the air by Symonds.
40 min: Halftime here at the SFS in an entertaining, if not mistake-riddled encounter and the Roosters hold a 22-14 lead.
41 min: We're underway in the second half with the Panthers having first use of the ball.
43 min: Pearce comes up with a try-saving tackle on Lewis, before Coote's kick on the last tackle trickles over the deadball line.
44 min: Carney is in trouble in backplay for the Roosters, receiving attention.
45 min: TRY
TRY Penrith Panthers
Scored by Luke Lewis. Conversion attempt by Travis Burns successful.
Lewis gets the Panthers back in the match! Walsh delivered a delicate inside ball, before Lewis showed great footwork and dived over alongside the posts. Burns makes it 4/4 with the boot.
Sydney Roosters 22-20
47 min: PENALTY Panthers. Ryles laying too long on the tackled player.
48 min: The Panthers get a goal-line dropout, but should have scored. Walsh ran the ball on the last, finding Lewis on the inside, before Lewis's pass found Coote who dribbled a kick into the in-goal.
49 min: The Roosters defence holds.
50 min: PENALTY Roosters. Civoniceva ruled to take too long getting off the tackled player.
54 min: PENALTY Panthers. Symonds goes on with the tackle too long and pushes Simmons back down.
57 min: TRY Dewsbury Rams (NL1)
TRY Sydney Roosters
Scored by Braith Anasta. Conversion attempt by Todd Carney successful.
The Roosters are in again! Pearce launched a bomb on the last tackle, and the skipper led the chase for the ball, taking it out of the arms of Lachlan Coote, scoring under the posts. Carney extends the lead to eight.
Sydney Roosters 28-20
59 min: PENALTY Roosters. Kingston never square at marker.
60 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Roosters try.
60 min: Video Referee comes up with a refs call decision and the on-field referees have ruled Carney lost the ball, but there was a hand in the play-the-ball, but the Roosters have been awarded the penalty.
61 min: PENALTY GOAL
PENALTY GOAL Sydney Roosters
Penalty goal attempt by Todd Carney successful.
Carney pushes the Roosters lead to double-figures.
Sydney Roosters 30-20
63 min: PENALTY Roosters. Civoniceva laying on the tackled player too long.
63 min: SIN BIN
Petero Civoniceva is sent to the sin bin.
Civoniceva is sent to the sin-bin and the Panthers are now in big trouble.
64 min: TRY
TRY Sydney Roosters
Scored by Shaun Kenny-Dowall. Conversion attempt by Todd Carney unsuccessful.
Kenny-Dowall scores out wide and now the Roosters are surely home this afternoon! The Roosters ran the ball on the last tackle, with Pearce's pass finding Kenny-Dowall who scored in the corner.
Sydney Roosters 34-20
67 min: PENALTY Panthers. The Roosters looked to throw the ball around and Carney's pass found Graham who kicked the ball and Kenny-Dowall picked up the ball in an off-side position.
68 min: The Panthers play catch-up footy and Burns is hit in a solid tackle by Kenny-Dowall and the ball comes free.
70 min: Pearce plugs a kick which rolls over the sideline 5m out from the Penrith line.
73 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Panthers try.
73 min: TRY
TRY Penrith Panthers
Scored by Lachlan Coote. Conversion attempt by Travis Burns successful.
Coote gives the Panthers a sniff here today! Running the ball on the last again, Walsh's kick was charged down, before Coote toed the ball forward and forced the ball a fraction in from the deadball line. Burns adds the extras.
Sydney Roosters 34-26
76 min: The Roosters bomb a try with Linnett and Leilua getting in each other's way. Panthers restart.
79 min: 40/20 Penrith Panthers
Lachlan Coote kicks a 40/20.
Coote gives the Panthers the slimmest of hope.
80 min: Lewis comes up with a knock-on and the Roosters stay alive in 2011.

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