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A late solo-effort from Wade McKinnon nabbed a victory for the Warriors over the Sydney Roosters at a sunny SFS this afternoon, maintaining their mathematical chance of making the finals and further increasing the Roosters' chances of taking the wooden spoon with a 30-24 win.
After 15 minutes the Roosters were up 12-0. Willie Mason, finding some long-awaited form, opened the scoring in the 9th minute on the back of a good run and offload from Frank Paul Nuuausala. Mason set up the next try, Ben Jones the benefactor of the ensuing quick play-the-ball.
The Warriors had to wait 20 minutes for their first real attacking set, Shaun Kenny-Dowall knocking on to gift them a chance of which they took advantage. Joel Moon and Simon Mannering combined on the left, dancing through some lacklustre Roosters defence.
Another try from either side, one to Mitchell Pearce and one to Patrick Ah Van, took the score to 18-10 at halftime in favour of the Roosters.
The Warriors came out of the sheds fired up for the second half. Manu Vatuvei crashed over twice to take the lead after 56 minutes. The first came from a Stacey Jones bomb and the second from a brilliant Ben Matulino run.
Tom Symonds, who had an impressive match, raced over in the 70th minute to claw the Roosters back into the game, putting them up 24-20. Wade McKinnon's dazzling run brought the lead back the Warriors' way in the 75th however, fending off Sam Perrett halfway through a 90m effort.
The Roosters had one last desperate chance with 12 seconds to go, spreading the ball left to Kenny-Dowall. A loose pass landed in a grateful Stacey Jones' arms though and he sprinted into the corner to end an entertaining match.
Vatuvei was very impressive, enterprising in attack and intimidating in defence. Stand-in captain Michael Luck made important contributions, 42 tackles leading the way. One positive for the Roosters will be the performance of some of their emerging stars, especially Tom Symonds. Next week the Roosters take on the Rabbitohs on Monday night, while the Warriors host the Dragons on Sunday afternoon.
Match Details New Zealand Warriors 30 def Sydney Roosters 24 Round 19 - Sunday July 19th, 2009 02:00pm Venue: Sydney Football Stadium Referee: Ben Cummins & Brett Suttor Sideline Officials: David Abood & Grant Atkins Video Referee: Steve Clark Crowd: 8,021 Halftime: Roosters 18 Warriors 10
Sydney Roosters 24
Tries: Willie Mason, Ben Jones, Mitchell Pearce, Tom Symonds
Goals: Craig Fitzgibbon (4/4)
New Zealand Warriors 30
Tries: Simon Mannering, Patrick Ah Van, Manu Vatuvei (2), Wade McKinnon, Stacey Jones
Goals: Stacey Jones (3/6)
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Manu Vatuvei (Warriors) 2 Points: Michael Luck (Warriors) 1 Point: Tom Symonds (Roosters)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Talk about the game as it happens - Roosters v Warriors forum discussion - click here!
ROOSTERS: 1. Sam Perrett 2. Sandor Earl 3. Mitchell Aubusson 4. Tom Symonds 5. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 6. Ben Jones 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. Shane Shackleton 9. Jake Friend 15. Frank Paul Nuuausala 11. Willie Mason 12. Setaimata Sa 13. Craig Fitzgibbon (c) Interchange: 10. Lopini Paea 14. Stanley Waqa 16. Anthony Cherrington 17. Nick Kouparitsas WARRIORS: 1. Wade McKinnon 18. Patrick Ah Van 3. Jerome Ropati 4. Joel Moon 5. Manu Vatuvei 6. Isaac John 7. Stacey Jones 8. Sam Rapira 9. Ian Henderson 15. Russell Packer 11. Simon Mannering 12. Jacob Lillyman 13. Micheal Luck (c) Interchange: 14. Lance Hohaia 16. Ben Matulino 17. Lewis Brown 20. Jesse Royal
Toyota Cup: Roosters 30 Warriors 28
TAB Sportsbet Odds: Roosters $1.60 Warriors $2.30
League Unlimited Poll: Roosters 58% Warriors 42%
Last Meeting: Warriors 17 Roosters 16 (2009 Round 6, Mt Smart)
Welcome to this afternoon's coverage from the SFS on a beautiful sunny day. It's being said that whoever loses this match will get the wooden spoon this year, so desperate times for both sides. How will the Roosters react to the news that Freddy is goneburgers? Will it inspire or deject them?
Kevin Locke is out for the Warriors, as is captain Steve Price. Patrick Ah Van and Russell Packer come in to the starting side. Frank Paul Nuuausala starts for the Roosters, other than that no changes.
1 min: Warriors kick off and it's big Shackleton with the first hitup.
2 min: Patrick Ah Van grubbers out wide, Kenny-Dowall does well to juggle and regather.
7 min: No real attacking plays from either side so far. Mason puts in a good tackle, muscling debutante Isaac John into touch.
8 min: Penalty Roosters, Henderson was the culprit, holding on too long, Roosters tap 20m out on attack.
9 min: TRY Sydney Roosters Nuuausala runs straight towards the posts aggressively, draws four defenders, offloads to Friend, Friend flicks it to Mason who dives over the line. Conversion attempt by Craig Fitzgibbon successful. Sydney Roosters 6-0
12 min: Scrum Warriors, Fitzgibbon loses it near halfway.
13 min: Perrett makes the break, gets to 10m out, gives it to Shackleton but he can't hold on to it.
14 min: Penalty Roosters. Ah Van was away down the wing but threw it to Ben Jones.
15 min: TRY Sydney Roosters Mason makes a good run, Friend gets a quick play-the-ball, gives it to Pearce, Pearce flicks it to Jones and he extends the lead. Conversion attempt by Craig Fitzgibbon successful. Sydney Roosters 12-0
19 min: Kenny-Dowall knocks on and gives the Warriors their first real attacking chance, they have a scrum 20m out.
20 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors Moon gets it 10m out on the left, he dances, steps, gives it to Mannering, Mannering spins through a hesitant defensive line and dots down. Conversion attempt by Stacey Jones successful. Sydney Roosters 12-6
25 min: Symonds makes a break near halfway, he has support but Ah Van manages to grab it.
26 min: Scrum Roosters. Royal knocks on with this first touch.
27 min: TRY Sydney Roosters Pearce gives it to Symonds who makes another break down the left, this time he throws a good pass inside, back to Pearce who goes in uncontested. Conversion attempt by Craig Fitzgibbon successful. Sydney Roosters 18-6
30 min: Penalty Warriors, hot on attack, Roosters offside on the last.
31 min: Scrum Warriors, Luck threw an offload that wasn't on and a Roosters hand knocked it down.
32 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors It goes right to Jones, Jones throws a long ball to John, John waits, then throws a big, perfect cutout to Ah Van who goes over untouched in the corner. Conversion attempt by Stacey Jones unsuccessful. Sydney Roosters 18-10
35 min: Jones chip to Vatuvei's wing, Vatuvei takes it but the offload isn't good and the Roosters recover it.
36 min: Scrum Warriors, Aubusson throws a loose pass over the sideline after spotting 105kg of Vatuvei coming towards him.
37 min: Penalty Warriors, high tackle from Cherrington.
38 min: Roosters dropout, McKinnon's grubber is carried dead.
39 min: Lewis Brown charges at the line but the ball pops loose and the Roosters have a scrum.
40 min: Roosters hot on attack as the siren approaches, Perrett almost went all the way, the half-time whistle comes just in time for the Warriors.
Half-time: Roosters 18 Warriors 10
42 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors Ah Van's away down the right, he's brought down 25m short, it goes left to Jones, he bombs to Vatuvei's wing, Vatuvei takes it cleanly and wrestles the ball down on to the line. Conversion attempt by Stacey Jones successful. Sydney Roosters 18-16
45 min: Dropout Warriors, Hohaia takes it and it only makes it to the 30.
47 min: Pearce grubbers again, Jones plucks it out of the air and he's forced back for another dropout.
48 min: Penalty Roosters. They start another set from 5m out. Can the Warriors hold on?
49 min: Pearce bombs on the last, Vatuvei gets up but spills it and we'll have yet another dropout.
50 min: Scrum Warriors. Waqa drops it cold and after all that the Warriors are off the hook.
54 min: Penalty Warriors, climbing their way back into the game, attacking chance now.
54 min: Penalty Warriors. Hohaia is absolutely monstered by Nuuausala, Warriors lose it on the first tackle though. Fitzgibbon messes up a play-the-ball and the Warriors have a scrum 40m out.
56 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors The Warriors spin it out to the left, Matulino draws a couple of defenders, offloads to Mannering, Mannering gives it to Vatuvei who crashes over, stretches out and grabs the lead. Conversion attempt by Stacey Jones unsuccessful. New Zealand Warriors 20-18
62 min: Pearce bombs to the left, Ah Van soars and makes a good grab to get his team out of trouble.
63 min: Hohaia's away! No-one's up with him though. Lillyman gets it on the last and goes to ground.
66 min: Cherrington going up the tunnel, looking in a bad way. Jones finds touch to give both sides a much-needed breather.
68 min: Scrum Warriors. Roosters looking good on attack but Pearce knocks on.
69 min: McKinnon shoots through the gap, he tries to throw a miracle ball out the back but it's down. Now the Roosters have a penalty and tap from 25m out on attack.
70 min: TRY Sydney Roosters Pearce goes left to Jones, Jones gives a short ball to Symonds who comes in at speed and goes over to take back the lead. Conversion attempt by Craig Fitzgibbon successful. Sydney Roosters 24-20
75 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors Pearce grubbers on the last, McKinnon picks it up on his 10m, steps a couple and he's away! Perrett catches up but is palmed off and McKinnon's in. Conversion attempt by Stacey Jones successful. New Zealand Warriors 26-24
77 min: Kenny-Dowall tries the short kickoff and really messes it up, it's out on the full. Warriors penalty.
78 min: Scrum Roosters 10m out on defence.
79 min: Mason offloads but Pearce knocks on, they may get one more set in the match.
80 min: Scrum Roosters, Mannering knocked on. 12 seconds on the clock.
80 min: VIDEO REF: Roosters go wide left, Jones came up with it and sprinted 30m to the corner.
80 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors The little general seals a good win for the Warriors, just staying in play for a try on the buzzer. Conversion attempt by Stacey Jones unsuccessful. New Zealand Warriors 30-24