The Late Mail: New Zealand v Tonga
9 mins ago | LeagueUnlimited Media
The Sydney Roosters have shown that they can still be a force in the NRL with a comfortable 36-16 victory over the Cronulla Sharks at Shark Park.
It was one-way traffic for the opening 40 minutes of the contest as the Sydney Roosters just dominated from the get go and it was just in the fourth minute when a last tackle play from Drew Hutchison down the short side left everybody surprised as he offloaded to Daniel Tupou to score out wide.
Despite holding the dominance, the Roosters took nearly twenty minutes to get their second try when the tricolours were able to get a redo on a scrum play and it was just way too easy as the defence were drawn in by Luke Keary who found the ball out to Daniel Tupou for a second.
The Sharks were getting more opportunities but they couldn't turn anything into points where as their opponents were able to strike when James Tedesco put Nat Butcher in over in the corner for the Roosters third try of the half.
Finding space on the outside of the defence wasn't hard to do for the Roosters as a beautiful ball from Paul Momirovski found Daniel Tupou on the outside to go down the sideline ball James Tedesco backed up in open space to score. The Roosters lead 20-0 at the half time break.
If you weren't watching the contest, you could've been fooled that the Sharks weren't just contesting with a brick wall as they just could not penetrate the Roosters defence despite having at least five sets on their opponents line as they came up with zilch. To rub salt into the wounds, the Roosters then got one attacking opportunity when Jared Waerea-Hargreaves charged at the line to score and extend the Roosters lead to 24-0.
Something must have woken the Sharks up, because they turned from Flake to become Great Whites as their attack suddenly found purpose and ferocity. Cronulla opened their scoring after Ronaldo Mulitalo got on the outside of the defence after a good ball from Sifa Talakai to score.
The Sharks had suddenly found their form of the opening to the season as they had the Roosters backtracking and with fifteen minutes to go, the hint of a comeback was starting to become more likely as Sione Katoa scored out wide.
Looking more and more likely, the potential of a comeback was confirmed for the Sharks when Cam McInnes managed to fool the Sharks defence and get over. Nicho Hynes converted and the Sharks were within 8.
The comeback hopes fizzled out in the final five minutes though as the Roosters ran in two late tries, one with Joey Manu taking an intercept and racing away before right on the stroke of full-time, Connor Watson scored out of dummy half to seal the 36-16 victory.
Next weekend, the Cronulla Sharks will have the Bye whilst the Sydney Roosters minus origin stars have a road trip to the Nation's capital for a clash with Canberra next Sunday afternoon.
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 16 - Sydney Roosters 36
Venue: PointsBet Stadium, Woolooware
Halftime Score: Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 0 Sydney Roosters 20
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - James Tedesco
2 points - Nat Butcher
1 points - Cameron McInnes
CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS (16)
Tries: Ronaldo Mulitalo, Sione Katoa, Cameron McInnes
Conversions: Nicho Hynes (2/3)
SYDNEY ROOSTERS (36)
Tries: Daniel Tupou (2), Nat Butcher, James Tedesco, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Joseph Manu, Connor Watson
Conversions: Sam Walker (4/6), Paul Momirovski (0/1)