Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
Fulltime score: Round 19 Sydney Roosters 22 - New Zealand Warriors 24
Match summary: A classic come from behind win for the Warriors has their finals hopes still alive as they defeated the Roosters at Aussie Stadium tonight by a narrow 24-22.
The game was riddled with mistakes from both sides with the Top 8 shadow hanging above the heads of all the players on the field.
The Warriors opened the scoring early in the game with front rower Wiki crashing over the line. However the Roosters soon settled into their rhythm and added two quick tries to head into the break with a 12-8 point lead even though winger Francis Meli was involved in the Warriors bombing two certain tries.
A dismal start to the second half by the Warriors saw the Roosters score two tries in quick succession to take a healthy 22-8 lead midway through the second half. Included in this a disallowed try to Warriors winger and former Rooster Todd Byrne after the touch judge had his flag up further down the field. The resulting penalty going against Monty Beetham and the Byrne try. Beetham and Roosters player Tupou involved in an altercation which may be looked into during the week.
With 20 minutes to go in the match, the Warriors launched their victorious comeback beginning with Hohaia's first try of two after some excellent ball skills by the majority of the Warriors' players leading up to the try. Two minutes later the Warriors bust the tiring Roosters defence wide open to score another try, this time to Brent Webb.
Meli, the Warrior's winger once again misses out on an almost certain try, his 3rd attempt of the night, after he misjudged the bounce of the ball following a high kick in-goal by Jones.
Staring down the barrel of defeat and with their last shot at the Top 8 slipping away, Hohaia made another break through the defence, supported by Webb and Hohaia scores the match winning try to keep his side in the hunt for the finals.
Finch and Minichiello once again as dangerous as ever on attack for the Roosters while the Warriors forwards put in a lot of work in defence for their team.
The final score of 24-22 to the Warriors was indicative of an even match, although the Roosters allowing the Warriors back into the game definitely a dent in their defensive armour.
Scorers: SYDNEY ROOSTERS 22 Tries: Schubert, Roberts, Minichiello, Finch Goals: Fitzgibbon 3/4 NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS 24 Tries: Wiki, Hohaia 2, Webb Goals: Jones 3/4 CON, 1/1 PG
Aussie Stadium Crowd: 13,789 Referee: Tim Mander Halftime score: 12-8 Roosters
0 min: Kick off!!
5th min: NEWS - First attacking advantage in the game to the Warriors following an early penalty
6th min: TRY - WARRIORS A line dropout to the Warriors. No stopping Wiki close to the line following a short pass by Webb. Jones converts the early try. Warriors 6-0
9th min: NEWS - The Roosters rattled so far in the match, guilty of a little ill-discipline. Penalty count 2-0 to the Warriors. A high kick to the Warriors in-goal is knocked on by Byrne
14th min: TRY - ROOSTERS First set of six down the right end of the field and the Roosters score. A lot of players involved in the scoring ending in a little grubber perfectly timed for Schubert. Fitzgibbon converts. 6-6
17th min: TRY - ROOSTERS A mistake by the Warriors fullback Webb is taken full advantage of by the Roosters. Quick hands and Roberts is over out wide for the try. Fitzgibbon nails a great kick from the sideline. Roosters 12-6
23rd min: NO TRY - WARRIORS Meli looked to have scored out wide for the Warriors but play is called back for a scrum with the pass from Faumuina to an unmarked Meli, deemed to have gone forward. Roosters lead 12-6
29th min: PENALTY GOAL - WARRIORS The Roosters give away a penalty 20 metres out from the Warriors line, the Warriors captain electing to take the 2 points, and Jones has no trouble with the kick. Roosters 12-8
32nd min: NO TRY - WARRIORS The visitors bomb a certain try after getting a scrum just out from their line. A terrific set play fizzles out with another forward pass right on their line
37th min: NEWS - Both sides making the ground in their sets but unable to capitalise on the field position due to unforced errors. Roosters lead 12-8
40th min: NEWS - After receiving a line dropout with 20 seconds left in the half, Finch attempts a field goal but steers it to the right of the posts
HALFTIME: Pretty even contest in heavy ground conditions. Roosters hold their lead at the break by 12-8
Second half underway...
45th min: NEWS - A very average start by the Warriors to this half. The Roosters with the weight of possession so far since halftime and unfortunate not to post any more points
46th min: TRY - ROOSTERS Finally possession pays of for the Roosters. Finch electing to run the ball on the last tackle, proves it's the right option as Minichiello breaks out of a tackle by Fein to score in the corner. Fitzgibbon from the sideline, kicks a beauty to add 2 more points. Roosters 18-8
51st min: NO TRY - WARRIORS Byrne looked to have scored for the Warriors after a solid break by Toopi. Unfortunately Beetham cost his team a try as the touch judge had his flag up 60 metres down the field where Beetham and Tupou were involved in an altercation. Beetham pulled up as throwing the first punch
52nd min: TRY - ROOSTERS The Warriors seemingly have a tough call go against them on the fifth tackle when the ball bounces off Meli's shoulder, ruled to be played at. Finch runs at the line and busts throw soft defence to score. Fitzgibbon with an easier kick than his last, misses the conversion. Roosters 22-8
54th min: NEWS - Jones (Warriors) warned to keep his mouth shut by Mander as he protests some of the recent calls by the officials
60th min: TRY - WARRIORS 4th time lucky for the Warriors as they finally get over the line. Some excellent ball skills shown by most of the side as they throw the ball around. Hohaia does well to duck throw four defenders to stretch out and score the try. Jones kicks a beauty to bring them closer to the Roosters. Roosters lead 22-14
63rd min: TRY - WARRIORS The Warriors have the reputation to fight back and have not disappointed. Hard running from the kick-off, Villasanti offloads to a flying Webb on the 40 metre line who runs around Minichiello to score. Jones converts. Roosters 22-20
70th min: NEWS - The Warriors have seemingly had some tough calls go against them by the officials but their defence is hanging in there by a thread
71st min: NO TRY - WARRIORS Unbelievably Meli misses out on another try following a burst by Paleaasina. Jones put in the perfect kick in-goal but Meli misses his chance yet again
72nd min: TRY - WARRIORS The holes open up again in the Roosters defence, this time Hohaia making the break with Webb in support. A one handed pass by Webb is taken by Hohaia who scores to give the Warriors the lead. Jones misses his first kick of the night. Warriors 24-22
77th min: NEWS - 3 minutes to go, and both teams trying their best to win the game. One break, and it could go either way. The Warriors holding a narrow lead, 24-22
FULLTIME: A come from behind win by the Warriors to keep their slim chance of making the Top 8 alive. Warriors win 24-22
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - N Fein(Warriors) 2 - R Wiki(Warriors) 1 - B Finch(Roosters) -----------------------------------------