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Sydney Roosters 12 v New Zealand Warriors 22
at Aussie Stadium
Referees: Russell Smith
Former Rooster Grant Rovelli has produced a commanding performance for his new club, the New Zealand Warriors, to dispose of the Sydney Roosters by 22 points to 12 at Aussie Stadium in Sydney this afternoon.
A depleted Roosters side - minus 11 players through either state of origin representation, injury or suspension, were no match for a physical Warriors side which were far superior close to the line in attack.
Manu Vatuvei opened the scoring this afternoon, taking advantage of the first of halfback Rovelli?s try assists to score out wide. The Warriors gained a 4-0 advantage early in the piece.
The Roosters managed to hit back through debut five eighth Josh Lewis soon after, Lewis grubbered the ball for himself before scoring under the posts. The Roosters led 6-4 after just 12 minutes of play.
But it was the Warriors who had the advantage at halftime with the only other first-half try coming to their much-improved fullback, Brent Webb. And with Tony Martin?s conversion a successful one the Warriors found themselves 10-6 leaders at the break.
The Warriors created further misery for the Roosters when play resumed, with Vatuvei crossing for the second of his tries this afternoon, extending the lead to eight at 14-6.
Subsequent Warriors? four-pointers to Tony Martin and Nathan Fien sealed the Roosters? fate 15 minutes from time, holding an imposing 22-6 advantage.
Roosters? debutant fullback, Shaun Foley, scored a well-deserved try after strong first-up performance for the club. But the try was nothing more than a consolation for a team which is struggling for cohesion in attack.
No apparent injuries or reports to come out of this game which is a plus for both sides, but the Roosters will again lick their metaphorical wounds after another patchy display.
Next weekend, the Warriors host Newcastle on Sunday afternoon while the Roosters are set to meet the Wests Tigers on Saturday evening at Telstra Stadium.
Sydney Roosters: 12
Tries: Shaun Foley, Josh Lewis
Goals: Craig Fitzgibbon 2/2
New Zealand Warriors: 22
Tries: Nathan Fien, Tony Martin, Manu Vatuvei(2), Brent Webb
Goals: Tony Martin 1/5
By the Clock:
A Chilly Aussie Stadium is the venue for this round 14 clash between two of the NRL's struggling sides, the Sydney Roosters and the New Zealand Warriors. Just 13'C is the current temperature at the ground and with a greasy surface from this week's rain, both sides will look to play a low-risk brand of football.
Sydney Roosters: as-per-program
New Zealand Warriors: Just a positional change for the Warriors with Awen Guttenbeil moving back to the bench, and Michael Luck coming into the starting side.
The Roosters will be minus 11 players through either State of Origin representation, injury or suspension.
The Warriors are close to full strength apart from the absence of Steven Price to State of Origin duty.
4 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors
Warriors halfback Grant Rovelli gets one-up on his old club with a magnificent set play, breaking through the Roosters' defensive line and putting Manu Vatuvei over in the corner with a lofting cut-out ball. Conversion unsuccessful from Tony Martin.
12 min: TRY Sydney Roosters
Stand-in Roosters five eighth Josh Lewis has impressed early in his debut first grade appearance, regathering his own grubber kick which rebounded off Warriors captain Ruben Wiki to score under the posts. Conversion successful from Craig Fitzgibbon.
18 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors
Rovelli again uses his outside men to great effect. Manu Vatuvei put the foot on the accelerator and then linked up with Brent Webb. Webb crossed under the posts for the try. Successful conversion from Tony Martin.
25 min: NEWS This match has ebbed and flowed all over the place and has been highly entertaining thus far. The two teams have turned up to play defensively and either side could come away with the victory. Still 10-6 the Warriors lead.
34 min: NEWS Both sides look disoriented in attack, throwing passes which aren't finding the chest of outside runners. The commitment of these sides cannot be questioned but the execution can. Still 10-6 the Warriors in front.
HALFTIME: While this match has been entertaining, it has to be said that poor execution in attack has let these sides down. Defensively they have both been sharp but scoring points is where the problems lie for both these sides. Difficult to pick a winner from here but whichever side can develop better cohesion in attack will win the game. The Warriors lead 10-6 and this match is there for the taking.
Second half underway at Aussie Stadium
45 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors
Vatuvei gets a double, taking advantage of a freakish offload from Sione Faumuina. He did well to stay inside the corner post, scoring right near the touchline. Martin fails to convert from out wide.
52 min: NEWS The Roosters have bombed another crucial opportunity close to the Warriors' line with a marginal forward pass. They will need to get a move on if they want to win this match. Their attack has been atrocious thus far.
55 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors
Martin forces a tremendous Brent Webb grubber kick in the Roosters' in-goal area for another Warriors try. The decision was referred to the video referee for the first time today, and he gave the try the green light. Martin misses again and his goalkicking is keeping the Roosters in this match.
61 min: NEWS Controversial decision from referee Russell Smith. Iosia Soliola had the ball stripped by Brent Webb and Smith ruled six more tackles, beefore reversing his decision and ruling a change-over to the Warriors. The Roosters fans are up in arms and have reason to be. Warriors 18-6.
65 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors
Nathan Fien finishes a 70-metre effort from the Warriors to score out wide and seal the deal this afternoon. Martin misses again but the Warriors should have too much for the Roosters now.
71 min: NEWS No hope of a Roosters' revival now. Too many opportunities wasted in a very disappointing performance from the Bondi Junction club. Warriors 22-6 and both sides are playing out time.
74 min: TRY Sydney Roosters
The other Roosters' debutant, Shaun Foley, has crossed for a try. It shouldn't be anything more than a consolation for the Roosters with just six minutes remaining. Fitzgibbon converts.
FULLTIME: The New Zealand Warriors have recorded their fifth win of season 2006, accounting for a depleted Sydney Roosters outfit by 22 points to 12.
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 - Grant Rovelli (Warriors)
2 - Brent Webb (Warriors)
1 - Sione Faumuina (Warriors)