Wests Tigers v Sea Eagles preview
3 hours ago | Tim Costello
Roosters move into second spot with a 24-16 victory against a tough Wests Tigers side tonight at Bankwest Stadium.
The defending premiers were made to work for their two points - the Tigers matched them for an hour but fell away late as the Roosters picked up their tenth victory of the season, scoring twice in either half to continue their superb streak against the Wests Tigers.
In their return, experienced pair Luke Keary and Jared Waerea-Hargraves stamped their mark on the contest. Hargreaves provided the pass for Nat Butcher's opening four=pointer while Keary showed superb touch with hand and foot with a pair of try-assists in each half.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson mentioned at half-time that he wanted the effort from his interchange forwards to be matched by their starting side. Bar the opening salvo, where Wests put themselves ahead 16-12, the visitors controlled the second half, wore down the Tigers side and Latrell Mitchell provided some magic to seal the points.
First the star centre broke through, stampeded past the defender before he linked with Keary to send Victor Radley across. Next, Mitchell did his best impression of a circus act with a forward roll to stretch the advantage to 24-16 then minutes later, completed a high-wire act to go with four conversions tonight.
Cher might be asking Benji Marshall how he has turned back time this season. Coming off representing his country a fortnight ago, Marshall found a way with a superb floater for Paul Momirovski to kick off the second half then a deft kick to find Esan Marsters had the faithful believing at 16-12.
From there, the Roosters wrestled control through their kicking game, turning around the previously energetic Tigers pack as the return of Keary has brought a sense of calm back to the side. It wasn't a vintage performance but enough, they move into second position.
For the Tigers, their fight for finals football remains alive but they continue in the continued purgatory of ninth place. The joint-venture competed well again, being within four at the break due to former Rooster Ryan Matterson's pinball effort but lacked the polish to hang in the fight in the final stages.
Wests Tigers 16 - Sydney Roosters 24
Venue: Bankwest Stadium
Halftime Score: Wests Tigers 8 Sydney Roosters 12
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Luke Keary
2 points - Latrell Mitchell
1 points - Benji Marshall
WESTS TIGERS (16)
Tries: Ryan Matterson, Esan Marsters, Paul Momirovski
Conversions: Esan Marsters (1/3)
Penalty Goals: Esan Marsters (1/1)
SYDNEY ROOSTERS (24)
Tries: Nat Butcher, Latrell Mitchell, Daniel Tupou, Victor Radley
Conversions: Latrell Mitchell (4/4)