Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
31 hours ago
In an aggressive start, Roosters blitzed the home side early, leading 14-0 after just ten minutes. A double to winger Shaun Kenny-Dowall in that opening assault gave the Roosters the platform to set up a solid victory and despite the odd assault from a passionate Warriors side at various stages, they never came closer than the 8-point halftime deficit.
First half tries to Aiden Kirk and Ian Henderson were strong points in attack for the Warriors but outside those efforts, little worked for the home team as the Roosters then opened the floodgates after halftime, three converted tries adding to the misery, including Kenny-Dowall's third and Anasta's second.
A lop-sided penalty count (12-3 in the Warriors' favour by fulltime) and a player from each side on report were perhaps the biggest talking points in the match, the Roosters poor discipline combined with some questionable refereeing keeping the Warriors in with a sniff until the ten minutes following the halftime siren, when the Roosters finally broke away.
There were worrying signs for the Warriors despite the return of Steve Price while the Roosters almost made it look clinical at times. Next week the Warriors will be treading wearily at EnergyAustralia Stadium against the Knights - with the Roosters hosting Monday Night Football for the first time in 2008 when they invite the Wests Tigers over for a hit-out in their Round 12 match-up.
New Zealand Warriors 12 Tries: Aiden Kirk, Ian Henderson Goals: Lance Hohaia (2/3) Sydney Roosters 38 Tries: Shaun Kenny-Dowall (3), Braith Anasta (2), Setaimata Sa, Sam Perrett Goals: Braith Anasta (5/7)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Mt Smart Stadium the venue for today's game, the strong-at-home Warriors facing the high-flying Roosters.
Team Changes for the Warriors... they see captain Steve Price back in jersey 26, Russell Packer will also join the bench as Michael Witt and Ruben Wiki have both been ruled out. A number of shifts to accommodate Witt's omission and Price's return see Jerome Ropati starting at five-eighth.
The Roosters will be missing Amos Roberts and Craig Fitzgibbon today, Brent Grose in #24 and Anthony Cherrington in #19 will be taking the field at fullback and the bench respectively. Nate Myles is relegated to the bench after putting in for Queensland last Wednesday and Frank-Paul Nuuausala will get a starting spot as a result. Anthony Tupou will start in Fitzgibbon's position at lock.
A good late rush of people at Mt Smart so a solid crowd has built.
Kickoff: We're underway at Mt Smart! Warriors with first possession.
2 min: TRY Sydney Roosters The Roosters put it high early and it's the visitors drawing first blood earlier here with Kenny-Dowall out jumping Patrick Ah Van. Conversion attempt by non-regular Roosters' kicker Braith Anasta unsuccessful, he pushes it wide. Sydney Roosters 4-0
6 min: TRY Sydney Roosters Shut the gates already! The Roosters within 5 minutes have put two tries on and the Warriors look woeful. Kenny-Dowall has a double. Conversion attempt by Braith Anasta is much closer but still unsuccessful. Sydney Roosters 8-0
9 min: TRY Sydney Roosters This is marvellous footy from the Roosters, last tackle kick is hoisted up near the posts and Anasta gets it and plants it down. Conversion attempt by Braith Anasta successful. Sydney Roosters 14-0
13 min: The Warriors with their first decent chance but the final tackle option falls apart and then they concede a penalty. The Roosters drop the ball from the ensuing set, end to end footy finally after the opening flourish.
16 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors What a great try for the home side! A sensational break made there for the Warriors and the set ends with Aiden Kirk scoring in the corner. The Warriors also without their primary goalkicker, the conversion attempt by Lance Hohaia unsuccessful. Sydney Roosters 14-4
19 min: VIDEO REFEREE - Possible Roosters try Checking a try to Setaimata Sa for the Roosters. Decision Pending...
20 min: TRY Sydney Roosters The try is awarded to Sa for the visitors and the gap is really opening up now. Conversion attempt by Braith Anasta successful, a much better effort from the fill-in Roosters kicker. Sydney Roosters 20-4
28 min: The Roosters are absolutely brutal in defence at the moment, Logan Swann rattled in a massive tackle there. The Warriors really needing to step up in all departments if they want to make a game of this.
30 min: VIDEO REFEREE - Possible Roosters try A potential triple for Shaun Kenny-Dowall but it looks unlikely. Decision pending... NO TRY.
32 min: No luck in the air on the last for the Warriors and the Roosters will work it away from the line.
35 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors Ian Henderson barges over the line and plants it down for the Warriors, closing the gap as we approach halftime. Conversion attempt by Lance Hohaia successful. Sydney Roosters 20-10
40 min: ON REPORT Brent Tate (Warriors) Well, hasn't this one gotten interesting... a run-of-the-mill tackle spawns a new rivalry, Brent Tate cocking the elbow into Braith Anasta's face, with Anasta penalised for holding Tate down after the tackle. The Warriors went on, got a second penalty resulting in a kick for goal... at which point the referee called out captain Michael Luck and Brent Tate, putting the Warriors and Queensland centre on report for the earlier elbow, while maintaining the penalty in the direction of the Warriors. An unbelievable mess to end the half as we're sure to see a blockbusting second forty. PENALTY GOAL New Zealand Warriors A penalty goal on halftime to Lance Hohaia. Sydney Roosters 20-12
HALFTIME Sydney Roosters 20 New Zealand Warriors 12 What a first half - all the Roosters early, the game itself running more than a point per minute until the 20 minute mark. Things turned fiery at the end of the half, Tate and Anasta coming to blows after a questionable tackle. The Roosters are clearly in the box seat here but the Warriors are showing some attacking brilliance with the ball at times and can't be ruled out just yet. Two players on report, 32 points already chalked up, stay tuned for the second half shortly.
Second half means twilight footy in Auckland (the match kicked off at 4:00pm local time) and with that the lights are on. Both teams are out there and we're about to see a restart in play. Kickoff: The Roosters will resume with the first set of possession here.
47 min: Cummins still punishing the Roosters' poor discipline, the penalties are 9-2 in the Warriors' favour. The home side have repeat sets on the opposition line but come up with nothing.
53 min: TRY Sydney Roosters Anasta matches Kenny-Dowall's tryscoring efforts with a second try and the Roosters make sure they inflate that lead in the second half. Conversion attempt by Braith Anasta successful. Sydney Roosters 26-12
66 min: TRY Sydney Roosters Kenny-Dowall has his hat-trick! The Roosters have finally shut down any hope of a Warriors comeback with an intercept try just minutes after a Warriors intercept that couldn't yield the same result. Conversion attempt by Braith Anasta successful. Sydney Roosters 32-12
75 min: TRY Sydney Roosters Too easy for the Roosters and they finish the game as they started - clearly the stronger side. A wide kick over to an unmarked Sam Perrett and it's more points. Conversion attempt by Braith Anasta successful. Sydney Roosters 38-12
FULLTIME Sydney Roosters 38 New Zealand Warriors 12 The Roosters have chalked up an emphatic and convincing victory here and never really looked in doubt. The Warriors have some worrying signs, now losing games easily at home - next week they're on the road and things get no easier.