Despite losing James Tedesco to a concussion, the Sydney Roosters have cruised to a third straight victory, downing the Parramatta Eels 28-20 at Allianz Stadium.
It was a frantic start at Moore Park, and it was the Roosters who had all of the early running. Following a break from Lindsay Collins, Will Penisini was judged to be deliberately offside and sent for a stint in the sin bin.
The Eels were nearly made to pay immediately when Luke Keary exposed the short right edge and finds Daniel Tupou who sprinted 25 metres before finding Joseph Suaalii before passing to Egan Butcher. However, the Bunker ruined celebrations when they determined Luke Keary to obstruct Bailey Simonsson.
Parramatta quickly got another penalty which allowed Mitch Moses to take a cheap penalty goal to give the Eels a 2-0 lead. However, it wasn't long before the Tri-Colours got their try. Joseph Suaalii broke through before finding James Tedesco. Off the ensuing play, Luke Keary linked up with Sam Walker who got a magical cut-out ball to Jaxson Paulo before flicking it onto Drew Hutchison to score the first try. Walker's conversion gave them a 6-2 lead.
Parramatta hung on for dear life with several try-savers denying the Roosters points. The game changed 15 minutes before half-time when James Tedesco was concussed out of the game following a horror high shot from Simonsson. The winger somehow avoided being dismissed for the game but was also dispatched to the sin-bin. Daniel Tupou got another try closer to Anthony Minichello's all-time record of 139 tries when he crossed six minutes later.
Parramatta tried to rally back before the break but made the mistake of giving the Roosters a seven-tackle set before the break. Brandon Smith exposed the markers before finding Sam Walker who drew and passed to Luke Keary for his first of 2023 to give the Roosters a 16-2 half-time advantage.
Parramatta hit back straight after the break with a run of consecutive sets after half-time. They were able to cross when Penisini got a magic offload away to Clint Gutherson and the 14-point advantage was cut down to 8. However, the Eels discipline got away from them conceding 4 set restarts in the space of 4 minutes and eventually was made to pay. A lovely set play saw Suaalii combine with Jaxson Paulo who continued his try-scoring run to extend the margin back to 12 points.
After a sloppy period of play, the Roosters got beyond two converted tries when Walker added a penalty goal to extend the margin to 14. The match was sealed eight minutes from time when Tupou went on a mega kick return before linking up with Keary who got his second. Parramatta managed to grab two consolation tries when Gutherson and Maika Sivo but it was in vain as the Roosters were able to easily get the victory.
The Roosters will most likely be missing Tedesco but will be pleased with the way Suaalii adapted at the back, however, Joey Manu returns and is likely to play in the 1 jumper. For the Eels, they again need to re-evaluate their defensive scheme, they've got 11 days to do it before the match with the Tigers on Easter Monday.