Roosters return to form with win over Panthers

A rejuvenated Sydney Roosters outfit have recorded a comfortable 32-12 win over Penrith at Allianz Stadium today in front of 13,993 supporters.

The Panthers appeared hamstrung before a ball was even kicked - after losing several key players to injury in recent weeks, the pre-match news that Josh Mansour had succumb to last Monday's ankle injury meant a backline and second-row reshuffle to unsettle the troops early. The Roosters on the other hand welcomed back the experienced Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to replace rookie Brendan Elliot on the wing and it appeared to work wonders.

A frantic opening ten minutes saw a 40/20 for the Roosters via Jake Friend, a subsequent sin-binning of Elijah Taylor for an offside play on the restart tap, an unlucky error by Penrith forward Bryce Cartwright on his own line attempting to pick up a loose Roosters pass, and finally a try to the hosts through Aidan Guerra. 

Penrith struggled to find any ball, let alone field position and when they did, the last tackle options didn't suit the style of play they were forced to revert to - the Roosters going back up the other end with a try via Mitchell Aubusson. The Roosters were then denied a third try to Mitchell Pearce on the half-hour mark, the halfback ruled to have stripped the ball from Matt Moylan and knocked it on before grounding it. The Bondi boys made up for it five minutes before halftime with Remi Casty barging over. Maloney converted his third straight to push the home side to 18-0 leaders at the halftime break.

The second half saw a string of penalties help Penrith look slightly more threatening, but the visitors were unable to post any sort of points until the 57th minute when Bryce Cartwright ran an inside line close to the posts. The next five minutes were nervous ones for the Roosters as they worked to stop the flow of momentum in Penrith's favour. The tide turned at the 66th minute when James Maloney potted a penalty goal in front of the posts to increase the margin to fourteen.

In the final ten minutes both sides managed to cross for points to bring us to the final scoreline - Boyd Cordner bagged a double, one off a Maloney grubber, the other a Pearce short ball before the line. Penrith's consolation four-pointer went to James Segeyaro who slid through the defence off the back of some cheeky dummies.

Injury-wise, the Roosters will hold concerns over Jake Friend and Mitchell Aubusson who both sustained head injuries during the game and were taken off for concussion tests.

Next week the Roosters will be looking to continue their newfound form when they head to Hunter Stadium for Friday night footy against Newcastle, while Penrith have taken a home game to the other side of the Blue Mountains - they host Cronulla at Carrington Park in Bathurst next Saturday afternoon.

Match Details
Sydney Roosters 32 Penrith Panthers 12
Venue: Allianz Stadium
Crowd: 13993
Halftime Score: Sydney Roosters 18 Penrith Panthers 0 Players of the Match:
3 points - Sam Moa
2 points - Aidan Guerra
1 point - Boyd Cordner

Tries: Aidan Guerra, Mitchell Aubusson, Remi Casty, Boyd Cordner (2)
Conversions: James Maloney (5/5)
Penalty Goals: James Maloney (1/1)

Tries: Bryce Cartwright, James Segeyaro
Conversions: Jamie Soward (2/2) Live Commentary

Plenty of changes for both sides ahead of this vital Saturday afternoon clash at Allianz Stadium. For the Roosters, Brendan Elliot played earlier today in the Under 20's and scored two tries - he's made way in first grade for Roger Tuivasa Sheck. Nene Macdonald drops to the bench, with Shaun Kenny-Dowall shifting to the wing and Aiden Guera replacing SKD in the centres. Frank Paul Nuuausala is the new lock. L'Estrange misses out.
For Penrith, Josh Mansour is indeed out after sustaining that ankle injury on Monday against Brisbane. Dean Whare shifts to the wing with Lewis Brown joining the backline. Bryce Cartwright will start in the second row with Sika Manu dropping back to the bench, and Isaah Yeo comes in on the bench.

Already 160 thrilling minutes of footy played today at Allianz Stadium - we've had the home side victorious in both grades - Holden Cup Under 20's went to the Roosters 32-18 this morning before a thrilling VB NSW Cup match saw the Newtown Jets come back from 30-6 down to defeat Penrith 31-30. NRL kickoff is 3pm.

"Alex (Day-by-day)" rings out over the Allianz Stadium PA as we celebrate Rise for Alex round, the fans are on their feet and the teams take to the field together. The Roosters will wear their navy strip while the Panthers are in the flashy pink jerseys.

All the players have their Rise for Alex wristbands on - a round of applause from the crowd as the song finishes - the Roosters players now give their wristbands to the junior players who've ushered them onto the field, and now we move into a moment's silence in respect of those lost in the tragic incident involving Flight MH17.

1: We're underway here, Roosters with first use of the ball.

3: Roosters are the first to venture into opposition territory but their final tackle option is a simple high ball which Matt Moylan (unsurprisingly at fullback) takes easily. 20m restart.

Jake Friend kicks a 40/20.

What a kick on the fourth! Roosters will go for broke here!

Elijah Taylor is sent to the sin bin.

Taylor offside from the quick restart by the Roosters - and the referee has no hesitation in sending him for a ten minute break early on.

Bryce Cartwright makes an unforced error.

JWH misses a pass and it looks set to go back to Penrith but Cartwright spills it.

6: VIDEO REFEREE possible Roosters TRY to Aidan Guerra. Checking obstruction on Soward in the lead-up.

Scored by Aidan Guerra. Kick to come.

Guerra's try gets the green light, great hands from Shaun Kenny-Dowall and the Roosters open the scoring.

Conversion attempt by James Maloney successful.

Maloney aims the ball directly at the sun, and it goes between the posts!

9: Roosters with some enteprising play down the right after Pearce gets an offload away, but the ball ends up in Jamal Idris' arms after a series of panicked offloads. Not sure the Roosters knew it was tackle four, not five...

Aidan Guerra makes an unforced error.

Guerra steaming onto an offload as the Roosters roll up the park but he can't hold it.

12: INJURY: Jake Friend off for a concussion test after a head clash with Jamie Soward. Aubusson will play hooker, SKD to the centres and Macdonald comes on to the wing.

14: Penrith with their first real chance to attack the Roosters' line.

15: Bryce Cartwright kicks, Idris steams through and they're able to trap SBW in-goal. Drop-out. Off the ball Boyd Cordner has been blood-binned.

16: Penrith's last tackle option is fielded easily in-goal by Maloney who sprints to the 20m for the restart and makes it to the 40m in his darting run. By the end of the set the Roosters attack the line 5m out... and get a penalty.

17: VIDEO REFEREE possible TRY to the Roosters for Mitchell Aubusson. Checking grounding.

Scored by Mitchell Aubusson. Kick to come.

Aubusson forces his way over after the Roosters earned that penalty. The man upstairs confirms the on-field decision.

Conversion attempt by James Maloney successful.

Maloney has no issues converting from beside the posts.

21: Penrith just not trouble the Roosters. Elijah Taylor is back on of course.

23: Penrith on the last end up forcing a kick from Segeyaro. Very haphazard play from the visitors and SKD wraps up the ball, Roosters work it away.

Jamal Idris makes an unforced error.

Big Jamal knocks it on as the ball goes wide to the left. Sydney Roosters scrum on their own 40m.

27: Good sliding defence on the last from Penrith on the last keeps Aubusson from scoring a double. Handover on their own 10m.

29: Minichiello takes a crafty catch in-goal and has to battle retreating Panthers defenders to actually run to the 20m and take the tap. Potential calls for a penalty but it's play on for the Roosters.

29: STRIP AND TRY? VIDEO REFEREE - Mitchell Pearce has ripped it from Moylan's grasp... and scored! We're checking whether it's a knock on.

29: NO TRY - Mitchell Pearce ruled to have knocked the ball on. Not enough evidence to overturn the referees on-field decision. Panthers' scrum.

31: Penrith with some exciting footy on the last, eventually a cross-field kick is knocked on by Penrith. Roosters scrum 10m fro their own tryline.

33: Soward puts up a big tall one, Moylan chases through but can't beat Mini to the ball. Roosters work it off their own 20m.

34: Sika Manu ON REPORT for a high tackle on Maloney. Roosters penalty with six minutes to halftime.

35: ANOTHER Video Referee referral. Potential Roosters four-pointer for Frenchman Remi Casty. Checking grounding... no issues here, green lights.

Scored by Remi Casty. Kick to come.

Big Casty goes over! Grounding is good!

Conversion attempt by James Maloney successful.

Jimmy has no issues with this one either, converting from right in front.

39: Penalty to Penrith coming out of their own end, they start a new set on halfway.

39: JS launches it cross-field, SKD is taken by DWZ but it's a PEN against PEN. SYD work it out of their own end. WTF?

That will do us for the first half here at Allianz Stadium - a dominant showing from the Roosters who lead 18-0 and have dominated possession to boot.

41: We're back for the second half and Penrith already benefit from a penalty, their set starts 40m from their own line now.

42: First foray for Penrith is taken easily in-goal by Minichiello so it's 20m tap and the Roosters surge up the park.

44: Jake Friend penalised for a dangerous tackle on Kevin Naiqama. Penrith now inside Roosters' territory.

46: 13,993 more dollars raised for the Rise for Alex Foundation - that's this afternoon's official crowd figure.

Dallin Watene Zelezniak makes an unforced error.

DWZ knocks it on after Moylan had hoisted it high. Roosters handover.

51: Moylan goes up for a Pearce high ball, and SKD has caught him in the air. Penalty Penrith.

Isaac Liu makes an unforced error.

A heavy tackle on Liu and the ball jolts free. Poor handling off a Pearce short-ball. Penrith scrum on their own 10m.

56: Bit of a penalty exhibition happening here, Penrith with yet another. They'll need to score soon to have a chance of a comeback today.

57: Minichiello concedes a drop-out for the Roosters by kicking the ball touch-in-goal... and straight into the backside of a Roosters' cheerleader.

Scored by Bryce Cartwright. Kick to come.

Line running close to the sticks and finally - Cartwright scores his first NRL try and the Panthers are on the board!

Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward successful.

Soward converts with little issue from next to the sticks.

63: Roosters with a relieving penalty just short of halfway, the set starts 30m out from Penrith's line! They can put the game away here, you'd think...

64: Segeyaro trapped in-goal on the last off a superb Maloney grubber. Drop-out.

Penalty goal attempt by James Maloney successful.

Roosters taking no chances with under fifteen minutes left, they receive a penalty and opt for two. Maloney no worries from right in front - margin extends to fourteen.

67: The kickoff was destined for the sideline on the bounce - Guerra with some acrobatics to keep it in and the Roosters come away with it.

71: Penrith just not matching up to the Roosters today, but the Roosters haven't been world-beaters either. Both teams will take something out of this clash.

71: VIDEO REFEREE - possible TRY to the man wearing Alex McKinnon's #16 jersey - Boyd Cordner. Maloney grubbers through and Cordner appears to have won the race to the ball.

Scored by Boyd Cordner. Kick to come.

That's the result all wrapped up for the Roosters, Cordner did indeed win that race to the ball.

Conversion attempt by James Maloney successful.

No problems with the conversion and the hosts have sealed a comfortable victory here with eight minutes remaining.

Jamie Soward kicks a 40/20.

Penrith playing through to the final siren. Soward nails the 40/20 but is furious with the referees for not allowing his side to play on at the tap mark.

Scored by James Segeyaro. Kick to come.

Segeyaro scores a surprisingly easy try after fooling several defenders on the right edge. Dummy, dummy, go... try!

75: While we wait for the conversion, Mitchell Aubusson is down after a head clash with teammate James Maloney. "Aubo" comes off to undergo a concussion test.

Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward successful.

Soward converts as Aubusson continues to be walked slowly off the field.

Dallin Watene Zelezniak makes an unforced error.

DWZ with an error getting up to play the ball as the clock winds down.

Scored by Boyd Cordner. Kick to come.

Cordner with a brace! This time he runs off a Pearce pass. Great play.

Conversion attempt by James Maloney successful.

Maloney adds two more to the tally and the scoreline looks a little more dominant now.

80: That'll do us, Penrith throw it around late but it's INTERCEPTED by SBW... then goes ahead.... RTS.... NO! DWZ has stopped it. What a finish but no points!