Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
9 hours ago
The Sydney Roosters have pulled off a stunning upset to defeat their trans-Tasman rivals the New Zealand Warriors 26-8 in front of a 13,021 crowd at Allianz Stadium.
In a match marketed as a celebration of the ten-year anniversery of the 2002 Grand Final, the Roosters played their best match of the season.
It was all the homeside in the first half as the Sydney Roosters muscled up in attack and defense and made the Warriors pay for some silly errors.
Shaun Kenny-Dowall opened up the scoring in only the fifth minute after comibning with Anthony Minichiello and Mitchell Pearce for his four-pointer.
Kenny-Dowall appeared to have his second only three minutes after a pin-point accurate Braith Anasta kick was successfully contested by Sam Perrett. However, replays revealed that Perrett knocked on the ball before Kenny-Dowall grounded it.
The Roosters were denied another try in the 18th minute, before Mitchell Aubussom scored in the 22nd minute. It was Aubosson's first try since round two 2011.
The homeside were over again in the 29th minute when back-rower Brad Takairangi grubbered into the in-goal and Anthony Mitchell scored his first four-pointer of the season.
The Warriors finally hit back in the 35th minute with Jerome Ropati scoring a soft try courtesy of a Lewis Brown offload.
The Roosters were dominant again in the second half, as any hopes of the Warriors mounting a comeback were hampered by their lack of ability to hold onto the ball.
The home side claimed the first points of the half again, but it was not until the 56th minute with Braith Anasta slotting over a penalty goal to make the score 18-4.
The Warriors hit back three minutes later, with Glen Fisiiahi leaving the Roosters' defense clasping at air as he raced 40 meters to score. James Maloney was unsuccessful with the boot again to keep the score at 18-8.
The visitors were given several opportunities to mount their comeback as the match progressed, however errors close to the line and some desperate defense from the Roosters saw the Warriors come away empty handed.
Anasta extended the Roosters lead to 12 with only three minutes left in the match, before Anthony Minichiello gave the home crowd another reason to cheer on full-time as he raced away to score.
It will not be all smiles in the Roosters' camp however, firebrand forward Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was placed on report for a high shot in the second half.
Sydney Roosters 26 defeated New Zealand Warriors 8
National Rugby League - Round 5 - Saturday March 31, 2012 7:30pm
Venue: Sydney Football Stadium
Referee: Tony Archer and Tony De Las Heras
Video Referee: Paul Mellor
Touch Judges: Adam Reid and Nick Beashel
Halftime: Sydney Roosters 16 New Zealand Warriors 4
SYDNEY ROOSTERS (26)
Tries: Anthony Minichiello, Mitchell Aubusson, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Anthony Mitchell
Conversions: Braith Anasta (3/4)
Penalty Goals: Braith Anasta (2/2)
NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS (8)
Tries: Jerome Ropati, Glen Fisiiahi
Conversions: James Maloney (0/2)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Good evening NRL fans and welcome to Allianz Stadium where the Sydney Roosters take on last year's grand finalists, the New Zealand Warriors.
We have perfect conditions for a Rugby League match at the SFS tonight where two of the Toyota Cup Heavy weights have just fought out a 28 all draw.
Both coaches have just announced their late changes. For the Roosters, new recruit Daniel Mortimer, Mase Masoe and Tom Symonds are all out of the side. Mortimer will be replaced by Anthony Mitchell, while Mitchell Aubusson moves out of the centers and back into the second row where he will start alongside Brad Takairangi who also comes into the side, Boyd Cordner moves to the bench. Justin Carney also comes into the side and will start in the centre spot left vacant by Aubusson. For the Warriors there is only one change, Kevin Locke is out, Glen Fisiiahi comes into the side to cover the fullback spot.
1 min: The match is underway.
1 min: The Warriors have the advantage of the breeze in the first half and receive the ball first.
2 min: Braith Anasta puts up a bomb at the end of the Roosters' first set and Manu Vatuvei does extremely well under pressure to diffuse it.
4 min: Roosters receive the first penalty of the game and will go right on the attack.
6 min: TRY
TRY! Mitchell Pearce offloads to Anthony Minichiello who finds Shaun Kenny-Dowall who weaves through the Warriors defense to score. Braith Anasta adds the extras.
Sydney Roosters 6-0
7 min: Penalty to the Roosters again.
8 min: The Roosters might have another try here.
8 min: No try! Perrett is ruled to have knocked on. The try was on after Anasta went to the air 25 out and Perrett was there to contest the ball against Will Tupou neither Tupou or Perrett could control the ball but SKD could and grounded it.
9 min: Penalty to the Warriors.
10 min: Warriors lose the ball and the Roosters are off the hook.
12 min: Roosters will get a scrum 40 out from Warriors' line after another Warriors mistake.
13 min: Mitchell puts too much weight on his kick and the pressure is off the Warriors.
14 min: The Warriors receive a penalty and will get a piggyback up the field.
18 min: Another possible try to the Roosters.
18 min: No try! But the Roosters will get a line dropout. Great work by Pearce leading up to that.
19 min: Minichiello loses the ball 10 meters out from the Warriors' line.
23 min: TRY
TRY! Mitchell Aubusson scores with some fancy footwork following some great second man. Anasta adds the extras.
Sydney Roosters 12-0
27 min: Another lost ball for the Warriors in their own half. If the Roosters keep playing the way they have been the Warriors will be in real trouble.
29 min: Anthony Mitchell may have scored here!
30 min: TRY
TRY! Brad Takairangi kicks the ball from ten meters out after the Roosters ran out of playmakers and Anthony Mitchell grounds the ball.
Sydney Roosters 16-0
34 min: The Roosters are penalised for an incorrect play the ball and the Warriors will get a chance to hit back.
36 min: TRY
TRY! The Warriors spread it out right and Jerome Ropati scores courtesy of a late offload from Lewis Brown. It was all to easy for Ropati in the end, who becomes only the third Warriors player to score 50 tries for the Warriors. Maloney fails to add the extras.
Sydney Roosters 16-4
40 min: Pearce kicks the ball into the corner and there won't be enough time to pack a scrum.
41 min: James Maloney kicks off to bring us underway in the second half.
43 min: BJ Leilua is crunched in a tackle by Vatuvei and loses the ball.
46 min: The Roosters will get a line drop out.
47 min: Pearce is held up in goal and the Warriors breathe a sigh of relief. The Roosters still have two tackles up their sleeve though.
47 min: SKD knocks on and the Warriors are off the hook.
48 min: The Warriors receive a relieving penalty.
48 min: Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is penalised for a high shot and it will go on report.
50 min: The Warriors will get a line dropout.
52 min: The Warriors lose the ball in the Roosters' danger zone again.
54 min: Fisiiahi knocks on only a few meters out from his own line.
55 min: Penalty to the Roosters and they opt to go for the two.
56 min: PENALTY GOAL Dewsbury Rams (NL1)
Anasta has no problem slotting the ball over.
Sydney Roosters 18-4
59 min: TRY
TRY! Fisiiahi redeems himself with 40 meter sprint to the line. Maloney's conversion from the right touchline is unsuccessful.
Sydney Roosters 18-8
61 min: The Warriors will receive six again 10 meters out from halfway after SKD got his hand to a Warriors pass.
61 min: The Warriors get a penalty.
62 min: Ropati is tackled over the sideline and the Roosters are off the hook.
65 min: The Warriors get another tackle restart 40 out from their own line after the Roosters get a hand to the ball again.
66 min: Another penalty to the Warriors.
66 min: The Roosters hold on after a grubber from Johnson on the fourth just goes dead.
67 min: Johnson is tackled over the sideline only 20 out from his own line. But Kenny-Dowall had lost the ball in the previous play.
68 min: Ropati loses the ball and the Roosters will go on the attack 20 out.
70 min: Anasta grubbers through on the last but the Warriors have no problem cleaning it up.
71 min: Adam Henry loses the ball only ten out from his own line.
72 min: Boyd Cordner is caught with the ball on the last and the Warriors are off the hook again.
73 min: The Warriors receive a penalty but fail to find touch.
75 min: Maloney loses the ball 40 out from his own line.
76 min: The Roosters receive a penalty and Anasta will take a shot at goal again.
77 min: PENALTY GOAL Dewsbury Rams (NL1)
Anasta slots it over again.
Sydney Roosters 20-8
80 min: TRY
TRY! Minichiello scores on full time after a nice chip from Pearce is collected by Kenny-Dowall who chips it through to a flying Minichiello who scores.
Sydney Roosters 26-8