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Paulo double helps Roosters edge past Warriors

Two tries from off-season recruit Jaxson Paulo helped the Roosters to their first victory of the year as they beat the Warriors 20-12 on Saturday afternoon in Sydney. 

After taking an 8-6 lead into the break, the Roosters scored two second-half tries and kicked a penalty with five minutes to go to secure the result at Allianz Stadium, although there will be concern around Brandon Smith failing to play the second half due to a back issue. 

The Warriors battled on through a hefty injury toll which saw them lose Jackson Ford (2nd minute) and Charnze Nicoll Klokstad (50th minute) to failed head injury assessments, while Josh Curran left the field 22 minutes from full-time with a hip pointer injury. 

They were also guilty of wasting three golden chances to tie scores in the final 15 minutes through basic errors. 

Paulo doubles up

Paulo scored four minutes into the first half and three minutes into the second, with Walker converting both and adding a penalty to put the hosts up by eight, before the No.7 scored one of his own off a Joseph Suaali'i break to make it a 12-point lead.

Addin Fonua-Blake's try with 18 minutes to go set up a thrilling finish, but Walker then kicked another penalty, which came after the Bunker overturned a possible Roosters try but found a Tohu Harris escort, to re-establish an eight-point advantage. 

The big man streaks away

One of the key moments in the game came on 45 minutes when what was initially a Roosters error became a penalty against the Warriors for a Marcelo Montoya high shot on Paulo, which led to Paulo scoring his second of the day. 

Match Snapshot

  • The Roosters have now won six of their past seven games in which they have been the home team.
  • James Tedesco came up with several try-saving tackles through the 80 minutes, while centre Joseph Suaali'i had 232 run metres and a pair of line breaks. 

Another Teddy try save

  • The Warriors are without a win in Australia since April last year. 
  • Thirty-degree temperatures at kick-off saw a drink break implemented in each half and the half-time break extended by five minutes. 
  • The Warriors lost Jackson Ford inside the first two minutes to a HIA which he failed, before fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad left the field with half an hour to go for a HIA which he also failed. Back-rower Marata Niukore underwent an assessment in the first half, which he passed. 
  • Josh Curran failed to finish the game with a hip pointer injury. 
  • Brandon Smith didn't play the second half due to a back issue.  
  • An error from Mitch Barnett on the Warriors' opening use of the ball, followed by the Roosters earning consecutive sets, led to Jaxson Paulo scoring the opening try in the corner, which Sam Walker converted. 

Paulo strikes first

  • After Adam Pompey was pinged for running a player off the ball on a Roosters bomb, Walker took the easy two points on offer to stretch the lead to 8-0. 
  • Tedesco pulled off what was likely a try-saving tackle on 19 minutes, as Ed Kosi charged towards the line. 
  • Following a penalty for a Roosters' late shot, a crisp interchanging of passing between halves Te Maire Martin and Shaun Johnson opened the Roosters up, before Johnson found Wayde Egan with a late offload to score their first try. 

A set-play special

  • Paulo grabbed his second nine minutes into the second period with a powerful carry over the top of Nicoll-Klokstad. 
  • Walker's try 23 minutes from time then took it out to a 12-point advantage, but the Warriors quickly hit back through Addin Fonua-Blake to make it 18-12. 
  • The Warriors wasted two golden chances to tie scores in the final 15 minutes, with Dylan Walker kicking dead while the Roosters were on the ropes following a Wayde Egan break, before they failed to get someone to dummy-half on a play the ball metres from the line and the Roosters recovered possession.
  • Walker kicked a penalty with five minutes to go to secure the 20-12 win. 
  • Joseph Suaali'i was placed on report for a late shot on Nicoll-Klokstad (50th minute) in the 24th minute. 
  • Marcelo Montoya went on report for a hit on Paulo after review from the Bunker, which ended up overturning a Roosters error and instead gave them a penalty. 

Play of the Game 

The try that got the Tricolours home in the end, and one which Joseph Suaali'i will be breathing a sigh of relief about, he initially ignored a wide open James Tedesco before finding his halfback looming in support. 

Razzle dazzle Roosters

What They Said

"I'm super proud of how hard we are competing, for how long, and when things aren't going our way we are not throwing the towel in, so super proud of that. We just keep making it really hard, putting ourselves under pressure. We will sort it out and if we combine that with the resilience and how hard we are working for each other, we are going to win enough games." – Warriors coach Andrew Webster.

Warriors: Round 2

"Some of those guys that usually play 15 minutes in the second half or play a small role around half-time, some of them started today and started for the first time, and some of those guys from outside the top 30 came in, and I really liked the role that they did." – Roosters coach Trent Robinson. 

Roosters: Round 2

What's Next 

The Roosters face archrivals the Rabbitohs in a Friday night blockbuster up next, with coach Robinson hopeful of having Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (back/hamstring) and Victor Radley (head knock) available again. The Warriors meanwhile head to Townsville to take on the Cowboys in their second road game in a row, with versatile forward Jazz Tevaga likely to be back in the frame after returning via the club's reserve-grade side in Round 2. 

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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