Full Time
2:00pm Sun August 22, 2021
Round 23 - Clive Berghofer Stadium, Toowoomba - Crowd: 7822

Match Overview

The Dragons took the lead midway through the second half before the Roosters piled on 5 tries in 24 minutes to run away with a convincing 40-22 victory in Toowoomba.

The scoring opened in the 11th minute when Jared Waerea-Hargreaves took a hit up in the middle, offloaded to fellow prop Siosiua Taukeiaho who then passed inside to James Tedesco at pace, who broke the line, drew Matt Dufty and then sent Egan Butcher away to score under the sticks. Taukeiaho converted.

3 minutes later Lachlan Lam made a break down the right wing and from the ensuing play, Tedesco at first receiver stepped back infield, beat a defender and then fired a brilliant long ball to Dale Copley who scored in the right corner. Taukeiaho failed to convert.

Six minutes before halftime, Tedesco close to the Dragons line, drifted left, holding up the ball before dishing it to Sitili Tupouniua who brushed off a retreating defender to score out wide. Tedesco's sideline conversion attempt was waved away.

Right on halftime, Matt Dufty very nearly scores, but has the ball illegally stripped. Josh McGuire picked up the loose ball and planted it over the line to score near the posts. Zac Lomax converted and at halftime the Roosters 14 point lead had been reduced to just 8.

The Dragons dominated possession and field position immediately after the break and in the 48th minute, Mikaele Ravalawa made a break down the right touchline after getting a great ball from Lomax, running 30 metres to score in the corner. Lomax fails to convert from touch.

Just four minutes later, the Dragons scored again when Jack Bird defused a bomb in his own in-goal. He then raced up and took a quick tap from the 20 metre line, passed to Lomax who exploded through the few retreating defenders, then linked with Mathew Feagai who then just makes it to the tryline, despite Sam Walker's efforts, to score a great length of the field try. Lomax converted to give the Dragons a 16-14 lead.

Then the Roosters came to play.

In the 56th minute, a Roosters short-side play saw Sam Walker at first receiver, fake a grubber before passing low to Daniel Tupou, who caught it as his feet, then dived and got the ball down to score an amazing try. Walker failed to convert from touch.

Tupou scored again just five minutes later when he cleanly took a Drew Hutchison bomb before falling over the line for a try. Taukeiaho nailed the conversion from the left sideline.

Another 4 minutes passed before the Roosters scored again, this time through Walker, who propped off his right, stepped into an immense gap and jogged through it to score under the sticks. Taukeiaho converted.

The Roosters points pile-on continued in the 71st minute when Hutchison threw a dummy, ran through the gap it created and managed to just get the ball down despite the best efforts of two Dragons defenders. Taukeiaho converted from in front.

The Dragons clawed back some points in the 75th minute when Corey Norman made a half-break and then offloaded to Billy Burns who made a break, before linking with Jayden Sullivan who scored under the posts. Lomax converted.

With just seconds remaining, the Roosters shifted the ball left o Tedesco who got a good pass to Tupou who scored in the corner as the siren sounded. Walker's sideline conversion hit the post and was waved away.

The win puts the Tricolours into fourth place while the Dragons are now only a mathematical chance to play finals footy despite spending more than half the season in the top eight.

3. James Tedesco

Tedesco was everyone, racking up over 200 run metres in the first half alone, setting up tries, breaking the line, fielding kicks. At one stage he rescued some people who fell off a guard rail at the Grand Canyon.

2. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves

A mammoth performance by the ageless front rower, despite being bent backwards in a tackle that had the potential to injure both of his legs. Powerful running and some brilliant offloading, one of which led to a try.

1. Drew Hutchison

Hutchison was in complete control all game. Pinpoint kicking and passing all match laid a good platform for everything the Roosters had to do.