Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
Although the Roosters won the game, it was Souths who scored first with a try to Mark Minichiello scoring, and Joe Williams converted.
His brother wasn't going to rest easy after that and didn't, seven minutes later he scored his own try, with Fitzgibbon's conversion it was locked up at 6-6.
It didn't take long for the next try to come, and again this time it went to the Roosters after Chris Flannery went in under the posts, Fitzgibbon converted and the Roosters took the lead 12-6.
Souths fought back though with a try to John Sutton eight before halftime, and Joe Williams slipped when he was kicking the goal, but still managed to get it over from the sideline to make the score 12-12.
The teams went up the tunnel at 12 all, and it was anyone's game.
The second half started with a short kick off from Brad Fittler and Justin Hodges got the ball after Joe Williams let it bounce and from there Ryan Cross went into score, Fitzgibbon couldn't convert and it remained 16-12 to the Sydney Roosters.
Both teams had their chances over the next 25 minutes but both couldn't get over the line until Ryan Cross and the Roosters sealed the game after a big break from Anthony Minichiello, and on the 2nd play after that, Cross scored. Walker converted and it was 22-12.
That was the way it remained, Souths had their chances in the 2nd half but didn't take them.
So the Roosters remain on top of the NRL ladder, but it was not a convincing win.
Scorers: RABBITOHS 12 Tries: Minichiello, Sutton Goals: Williams 2/2 ROOSTERS 22 Tries: Minichiello, Flannery, Cross x 2. Goals: Fitzgibbon 2/3, Walker 1/1
By the clock: 1st min: Kickoff! We are underway at Aussie Stadium for the traditional clash between the Roosters and the Rabbitohs.
14th min: TRY - Rabbitohs. A surprise start to the match with the Bunnies getting the first try. Conversion successful. Souths 6-0.
21st min: TRY - Roosters. It's the Minichiello show with Anthony getting across the stripe for the Roosters to square the ledger. Conversion successful. 6 all.
22nd min: TRY - Roosters. Chris Flannery extends the Roosters lead with a quick try to widen the gap. Conversion successful. Roosters 12-6.
32nd min: TRY - Rabbitohs. John Sutton gets the Bunnies back on level terms eight minutes out from the half time break. Conversion successful. 12 all.
41st min: The second half is underway and is there an upset on the cards or can the Roosters make light work of their inner city neighbours?
42nd min: TRY - Roosters. Ryan Cross gets the first try of the second half to put the Roosters back in front again. Conversion unsuccessful. Roosters 16-12.
55th min: No change in the scores and with 25 to go, Souths are still in there fighting.
65th min: Still no change in the scoreline and with fifteen to go, Souths are well within striking distance to cause the boilover of the season. Can they do it?
68th min: TRY - Roosters. Ryan Cross bags a double and seals the match. The Roosters have been well off their game, making 16 unforced errors to date. Conversion successful. Roosters 22-12.
FULL TIME: The Roosters have won in unconvincing style to retain first place in the NRL Telstra Premiership. Full credit to Souths for taking it to the Roosters for the full eighty minutes but far too many missed tackles cost the Rabbitohs any chance of victory in the latter stages of the second half.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - Ryan Cross (Roosters) 2 - Joe Williams (Souths) 1 - Craig Fitzgibbon (Roosters) -----------------------------------------