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Second half burst guides Roosters to win over Warriors

The Roosters have secured their fourth win of the season, beating the Warriors 22-14 in a hard-fought contest at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

On a day the Roosters were celebrating their 2002 premiership victory with a host of old boys in the stands, the Tricolours weren't at their convincing best but did enough in the second half to secure the two competition points.

The Warriors shot out of the blocks early in the contest to set up an 8-0 lead with Addin Fonua-Blake busting the line to earn his side a penalty goal before Edward Kosi finished off a backline movement on the left edge inside 15 minutes.

An error from Warriors centre Adam Pompey enabled the Tricolours to get on the board in the 28th minute with James Tedesco creating space for Kevin Naiqama and Daniel Tupou to combine on the left edge from the scrum. 

The Warriors' second half started poorly with Reece Walsh kicking the ball out on the full. From there the home side got down the other end of the field before kicking a penalty goal to level the scores.

Walker squeezes through to extend Roosters lead

Further tries to Kevin Naiqama and Sam Walker allowed the Roosters to take a 20-8 lead with a quarter of the game left but the visitors got back into the contest.

A spectacular Warriors team try, started by Shaun Johnson and finished by Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, set up a grandstand finish until a failed captain's challenge stop the momentum.

The Roosters were awarded a penalty goal late in the match to kick their way out to an eight-point lead after Angus Crichton was ruled to have been interfered while playing the ball by Pompey.

Match snapshot

  • A perfect day with the boot from Sam Walker, who slotted five from five to go with a try, helped guide the Roosters to victory.
  • The Roosters' win was their 20th at the SCG from 26 matches since 2019.
  • Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was placed on report in the 23rd minute for high contact on Aaron Pene.
  • Roosters lock Victor Radley was placed on report in the 35th minute for high contact on Edward Kosi.
  • Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson picked up a knee concern late in the contest but finished the match.
  • Roosters five-eighth Luke Keary played his 100th game for the club.

Plays of the game

A try-saving effort from Fletcher Baker denied Warriors fullback Reece Walsh from scoring early in the second half before the 22-year-old turned defence into attack with a nice pass off the ground enabling Kevin Naiqama to score for a 14-8 lead.

Fletcher Baker makes a big tackle to halt the Warriors

Walsh had his own piece of magic shortly after, however, sending Watene-Zelezniak over the line with an amazing effort.

Walsh brilliantly sets up Watene-Zelezniak

What they said

"It felt good having Sammy (Verrills) back. It's a while since we've all played together ... I feel like our communication and direction was a lot better and felt more comfortable in that second half." - Roosters captain James Tedesco. 

Brown defends Radley

"That (Jesse Arthars no-try) decision was one of those 50-50 ones. It was one of those ones if we got it I'd have said 'great' ... When you're the aggressor and on the front foot you should get your 50-50 calls. The referee's not why we're sitting here on the losing side, we've got some things we need to worry about ourselves." - Warriors coach Nathan Brown.

What's next

The Roosters and Warriors will each have an eight-day turnaround to prepare for their respective ANZAC day clashes next Monday. 

The Roosters will return to the SCG for their annual match against the Dragons but it won't be considered their home game. Trent Robinson will be hoping to have Sio Siua Taukeiaho back on deck for the fixture.

The Warriors will travel to Melbourne's AAMI Park and search for their first win against the Storm in six years. Prop Matt Lodge is expected to be available.

Acknowledgement of Country

The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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