Today Rob Crosby looks at the South Sydney Rabbitohs ahead of season 2017. Can they ascend the #NRL ...
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In a hard fought battle, in front of the notorious Newcastle crowd, the Roosters have handed the Knights their first loss of 2003, winning 14 - 10.
The signs were ominious right from the whistle for Newcastle, when Joey Johns made two uncharacteristic mistakes, allowing Henderson to cross the line for the Roosters.
The quality of the game was very high, although Knights' player Tahu would probably felt staying at home would've been a better option, making numerous unforced errors.
Many tough tackles were going in by both sides, the Knights seemingly playing the Roosters at their own game.
A pleasure to watch, but in the end, the Roosters coming out on top in a game that could've gone either way right until the final whistle.
League Unlimited Top Players:
3. Minnichiello (Roosters) 2. Fitzgibbon (Roosters) 1. O'Davis (Knights)
Tries: M. Gidley Goals: Johns (3/3)
Tries: Henderson, Hodges Goals: Fitzgibbon (3/4)
By the clock:
2nd min: TRY - Henderson for Roosters. Mistake by Johns at kickoff gave possession to the Roosters. Johns fumbles the ball from a high kick on the 5th tackle, and Henderson is there to score. Fitzgibbon converts. Roosters 6-0
6th min: PENALTY - Johns for Knights. Great break by Tahu, to get the Knights up near their line. Roosters forward penalised for holding down in the tackle. Johns becomes only the 6th player to reach 1700 first grade points. Roosters 6-2
12th min: NEWS - Quinn (Knights) off with a suspected fractured cheekbone. A reshuffle in the Knights backline to cover
20th min: See sawing possession for both sides. Unforced errors just showing how tough and fast the game is
25th min: TRY - Gidley for Knights. The build up was fast and hard play, Johns with a perfectly timed bomb for Gidley to gather and run round behind the posts. Johns, from out in front, converts. Knights 8-6
35th min: Knights have stepped up a gear, with the Roosters struggling to get into their own half. Some very hard tackles going in from the Newcastle team
37th min: NEWS - Payten (Roosters) off with ligament damage to his knee, unlikely to return
HALF TIME: 2 points in it. A very fast furious first half. Knights lead 8-6
46th min: PENALTY - Fitzgibbon for Roosters. Controversial penalty after Finch (Roosters) was taken out following a chip through by Fittler. Argument saying it should be a penalty try or at the very least, a sin binning offence for a professional foul. 8-8
48th min: NEWS - A bit of niggle creeping in. Crocker (Roosters) on report for an elbow in Johns face during a tackle
52th min: NEWS - The biff is back, well a bit of push and shove. Been brewing since the 2 point penalty. Morley and Perry called out, shook hands, and Perry (Knights) penalised. Johns won't shut up, arguing with the ref
54th min: PENALTY - Fitzgibbon for Roosters, from out in front. Taking the two points from the penalty against Perry. Roosters 10-8
56th min: PENALTY - Johns for Knights. Morley (Roosters) on report for a seemingly high shot on O'Davis. 10-10 in a bruising match
64th min: TRY - Hodges for Roosters. A mistake by O'Davis following a kick through by Fittler, leads to a scrum to the Roosters. The following set had the Roosters hot on attack, with a bomb by Fittler on the fifth. Tahu jumped high but couldn't control it, and Hodges dots the ball down. Fitzgibbon's kick misses. Roosters 14-10
75th min: This game could go either way. End to end stuff with some brilliant scrambling defence by both sides
FULL TIME: Brilliant stuff. Players dead on their feet, but fighting till the last. Roosters win 14-10