Resolute Roosters take down Newcastle

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The Newcastle Knights and the Sydney Roosters were the second game on Super Saturday, with the Knights playing at home to a decent crowd in a bid to keep in touch with the top 8. The Roosters were looking to cement their spot in the top 8 with the teams incredibly close from 5-9th positions. The Knights were coming off a huge 30-4 win against a lackluster Parramatta Eels, while the Roosters were able to just hold on against a valiant Wests Tigers.

Both teams had a few changes, with the Roosters losing Boyd Cordner. Dylan Napa would end up being dropped to the bench, with Victor Radley and Mitch Aubusson coming into the starting line up as well as Jared Waerea-Hargraves. Nat Butcher would come onto the bench in the 18. Newcastle would lose Daniel Safiti with injury, as Josh King comes into the starting line up. Jacob Lillyman would be the man to come onto the bench.

It would be a fast and furious start for both teams, with the Roosters drawing first blood thanks to a long range try from Luke Keary. Latrell Mitchell, backing up from Origin would go around a lazy couple of tackles and streak up field, with Keary inside to get the pass and score after just 4 minutes in. Mitchell would convert to make it 6-0.

The Knights would hit straight back, with Sione Mat'autia going through some flimsy Roosters defense to go over minutes after. Ponga would not only convert, but then hit a penalty goal to give the Knights an 8-6 lead.

Isaac Liu was so close to going over after some remarkable work from Mitchell and Daniel Tupou, only to get absolutely smashed by Slade Griffin and lose the ball as he was going over. The next 15 minutes would consist of sloppy ball work, a few penalties and some good goal line defense by the Knights to hold out an uninspiring Roosters attack. Isaac Liu would go over again, only this time for half of the Newcastle team to swarm him and hold him up.

It would not take much longer for the Roosters to finally crack the Knights defense though, with a set piece off a scrum going from Luke Keary to Blake Ferguson from 10 metres out to get the Roosters back in front with just 8 minutes left in the half for a 12-8 lead. It would stay that way at the break, with some sloppy penalties towards the end of the half showcasing the quality of the attack from both teams.

The start of the second half would be amazing for the Roosters, with Kalyn Ponga knocking on to give Sydney another set. They would make the most of it with a last tackle dummy half run from Blake Ferguson to go over Ken Sio and the try line. Latrell Mitchell would hit the post with his conversion to make it 16-8.

A few penalties for Newcastle got them into good field position, but they decided on taking a penalty goal to make it 16-10 with over 30 minutes of time left in the match. It would work out a few minutes later, with Newcastle earning a repeat set off the boot of Ponga and the chase of Lachlan Fitzgibbon. It wouldn't come to fruition, with a bit of a snooze fest in the first 20 minutes of the second half ending with a sin binning and a penalty goal to the Roosters to make it 18-10.

It would go back into a snoozefest, however a bomb from Cooper Cronk nearly truned into a fluky four pointer to Latrell Mitchell. It would only be a fingertip touch from Luke Keary as he contested the bomb that would save the Knights from a match-sealing try 10 minutes from time.

The game wasn't over yet, with Kayln Ponga making some magic with Sione Mat'autia to burst through the Roosters line and score under the sticks to make it 18-16 with just over 3 minutes of game time left. The following set wasn't what the doctor ordered, with Connor Watson trying to make something up but nothing happened. The Roosters would make the Knights have to go 90 metres if they wanted to think about tying the game up, let alone winning.

It would be another full time scramble for the Roosters as the Knights tried to find a way through the defense, with the Knights managing to make 35 metres on the last play before Herman Ese'Ese held onto the ball for a bit too long. His pass would find the ground and Cory Denniss couldn't grab it to hand the Roosters a 18-16 win.

The Roosters will be at Allianz Stadium next week against the Penrith Panthers, while the Newcastle Knights are back at home to try and tame the Melbourne Storm.



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