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Forwards buy into the big idea as Roosters grind exhausted Knights to a halt

Date

Brad Walter

Roosters 24 Knights 6

Sam Perrett celebrates after scoring a 'hot potato" try.

Sam Perrett celebrates after scoring a 'hot potato" try. Photo: Darren Pateman

Win the game in the first half and score the points in the second. It's a saying as old as rugby league itself, but one that was as relevant as ever at Allianz Stadium yesterday.

MATCH STATS

The Sydney Roosters spent most of the opening 40 minutes camped down Newcastle's end of the field yet only went to the dressing rooms leading 8-6 after a Braith Anasta penalty goal as the siren sounded.

Roosters halfback Mitchell Pearce improved his chances for Origin selection with a fine display.

Roosters halfback Mitchell Pearce improved his chances for Origin selection with a fine display. Photo: Steve Christo

Often players from the other team will tell you that they get a lift when the opposition resorts to such a tactic, but the Knights were too tired.

By half-time the Newcastle players had made 166 tackles - a whopping 47 per cent more than the 113 first-half tackles made by Anasta's team.

It wasn't that the Knights ball control was poor or that they had been undisciplined and given away a series of penalties as Wayne Bennett's side completed 69 per cent of their sets of six during that period compared to the Roosters' 76 per cent.

Clash of the fullbacks ... Anthony Minichiello gets tackled by Darius Boyd.

Clash of the fullbacks ... Anthony Minichiello gets tackled by Darius Boyd. Photo: Steve Christo

Roosters coach Brian Smith wants his big but inexperienced side to grind opposition teams down this season and after eight rounds in which they won matches they shouldn't have and lost ones they should have, the boys from Bondi finally got close to executing the game plan to perfection.

Knights lock Adam Cuthbertson was forced to make 11 tackles in as many minutes at the start of the game, prop Kade Snowden was also targeted in defence and stand-in hooker Neville Costigan left the field exhausted after 27 minutes.

As a result, none of them were able to have the impact Bennett would have hoped and the Roosters upped the tempo in the second half to blow the Knights off the park.

That bad ... Chris Houston of the Knights looks dejected after a Roosters try.

That bad ... Chris Houston of the Knights looks dejected after a Roosters try. Photo: Getty Images

Led by Mose Masoe, who is listed in the NRL media guide as being 194 centimetres tall and weighing 120 kilograms, the Roosters bench forwards flexed their muscle in attack and defence, while halfback Mitchell Pearce limited the opportunities of Darius Boyd and Akuila Uate by repeatedly kicking the ball dead.

''That was so that Aku couldn't carry it back and neither could Darius obviously,'' Smith said of three successive second-half kicks by Pearce. ''One of them was 70 metres, and it went dead. The crowd went 'ooh' when the ball went dead but they should have been giving him a standing ovation. We didn't want them to stop in-goal.''

The Roosters started to throw the ball around in the second half, while Pearce, hooker Jake Friend and fullback Anthony Minichiello continually tested the Newcastle defence.

Pearce put second-rower Mitchell Aubusson over for the Roosters second try in the 58th minute and winger Sam Perrett crossed five minutes later off a long Minichiello pass after a movement in which the ball went through 11 sets of hands and was handled three times by centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall.

Pearce then completed the scoring in the 71st minute after Friend raced out of dummy half and caught out a tiring Snowden in defence.

Snowden was replaced soon after and Smith said the tactic not only helped teams to score points against tiring defences but also minimised the likelihood of a late rally from the opposition.

''At the back end of the game, we are all seeing it time after time, where teams flick a switch, they have to play a bit different when the clock is going to run out and teams can run up points in no time,'' he said.

''Taking the gas out of them and working them over so hopefully they can't come back with that at the end of the game is at least as important as scoring the points themselves.

''Of course you are trying to score … but you need to just keep working hard, and I thought that was a bit of a breakthrough for the Roosters today in our mentality. Our big boys won the game for us.''

SYDNEY ROOSTERS 24 (T Arona M Aubusson M Pearce S Perrett tries B Anasta 4 goals) bt NEWCASTLE 6 (J Mullen try W Naiqama goal) at Allianz Stadium. Referee: Shayne Hayne, Gavin Morris. Crowd: 12,728.

 

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BRI 6vs SOU 36 Report Stats
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PAR 42vs MAN 12 Report Report Stats
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NEW 24vs NZW 14 Report Stats
GCT 18vs WST 19 Report Stats
NQL 4vs SYD 28 Report Stats
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PEN 24vs CBY 18 Report Stats
CRO 20vs CBR 24 Report Stats
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STG 4vs MEL 12 Report Stats
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CBY 32vs PAR 12 Report Stats
CRO 2vs BRI 10 Report Stats
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PEN 40vs GCT 0 Report Stats
MAN 24vs MEL 22 Stats
NQL 14vs NEW 16 Report Stats
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SOU 34vs SYD 26 Stats
CBR 6vs NZW 18 Report Stats
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WST 22vs STG 4 Stats
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MAN 12vs CBY 16 Report Stats
BRI 44vs NQL 22 Report Stats
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NZW 29vs PAR 16 Report Stats
CBR 20vs STG 22 Report Stats
MEL 36vs CRO 18 Report Stats
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SOU 20vs WST 6 Report Stats
GCT 18vs NEW 20 Report Stats
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SYD 20vs PEN 12 Report Stats
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PAR 29vs SOU 16 Report Stats
WST 24vs CBY 25 Report Stats
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NEW 26vs PEN 14 Report Stats
CRO 22vs GCT 24 Report Stats
STG 12vs MAN 4 Report Stats
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NZW 16vs BRI 24 Report Stats
SYD 34vs CBR 6 Report Stats
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NQL 18vs MEL 17 Stats
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CBY 17vs SOU 18 Report Stats
GCT 16vs BRI 26 Report Stats
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MAN 16vs CBR 29 Report Stats
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PAR 6vs WST 22 Report Stats
MEL 30vs NZW 14 Report Stats
PEN 10vs NQL 30 Report Stats
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BRI 22vs SYD 18 Report Stats
CRO 22vs NEW 6 Report Stats
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PAR 16vs GCT 38 Report Stats
NZW 32vs WST 22 Report Stats
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CBR 10vs MEL 14 Report Stats
STG 31vs CBY 6 Report Stats
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SOU 12vs NQL 30 Report Stats
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CBY 28vs MAN 16 Report Stats
STG 12vs BRI 10 Report Stats
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GCT 32vs PEN 6 Report Stats
NQL 28vs NZW 24 Report Stats
MEL 17vs SYD 16 Report Stats
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WST 22vs CBR 30 Report Stats
NEW 22vs PAR 28 Report Stats
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CRO 18vs SOU 10 Stats
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CBY 14vs WST 38 Stats
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NZW 28vs GCT 32 Report Stats
NEW 24vs NQL 26 Report Stats
SYD 12vs STG 14 Report Stats
MEL 10vs MAN 12 Stats
BRI 28vs PAR 16 Stats
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PEN 26vs CRO 18 Stats
SOU 22vs CBR 30 Stats
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BRI 8vs PEN 5 Report Stats
SYD 36vs WST 4 Stats
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CBR 56vs GCT 16 Stats
CRO 16vs NZW 20 Stats
NQL 23vs CBY 16 Stats
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MAN 30vs NEW 10 Stats
PAR 10vs MEL 28 Stats
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SOU 16vs STG 10 Stats
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CBY 10vs SYD 24 Stats
NQL 31vs BRI 20 Stats
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PAR 13vs NZW 17 Report Stats
GCT 22vs CRO 23 Report Stats
MEL 16vs SOU 12 Stats
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STG 32vs CBR 18 Report Stats
NEW 22vs WST 12 Stats
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MAN 10vs PEN 11 Stats
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SOU 14vs PAR 12 Report Stats
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WST 0vs NQL 8 Stats
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CBR 34vs CBY 41 Stats
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NEW 18vs BRI 31 Stats
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PEN 20vs PAR 26 Stats
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GCT 16vs SOU 22 Report Stats
CBR 12vs BRI 24 Stats
NQL 18vs MAN 14 Report Stats
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
NZW 24vs NEW 20 Stats
STG 42vs CRO 6 Stats
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BRI 44vs MAN 10 Report Stats
WST 20vs GCT 27 Report Stats
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NEW 22vs CBR 44 Stats
SOU 36vs NZW 4 Stats
PEN 0vs MEL 20 Report Stats
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CRO 10vs SYD 4 Stats
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CBY 29vs STG 16 Stats
PAR 30vs NQL 36 Report Stats
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WST 34vs SOU 6 Report Stats
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NZW 21vs SYD 25 Report Stats
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GCT 28vs CBY 14 Stats
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MEL 22vs PAR 26 Report Stats
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Round 15
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MAN 30vs WST 20 Report Stats
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CBR 20vs NQL 21 Report Stats
GCT 14vs NZW 36 Report Stats
CBY 24vs PEN 12 Report Stats
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NEW 28vs CRO 30 Report Stats
MEL 12vs BRI 14 Report Stats
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STG 14vs SYD 19 Report Stats
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Round 16
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI 44vs NEW 22 Stats
SOU 20vs MAN 8 Report Stats
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NZW 30vs CBR 8 Stats
NQL 18vs CRO 24 Report Stats
PAR 16vs STG 12 Report Stats
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SYD 20vs GCT 10 Stats
WST 12vs PEN 35 Stats
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CBY 20vs MEL 4 Report Stats
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Round 17
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PEN 20vs SOU 6 Report Stats
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STG 12vs NQL 18 Report Stats
Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN 28vs CRO 16 Report Stats
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WST 16vs PAR 28 Stats
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Round 18
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR 36vs NEW 22 Stats
Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN 4vs SYD 24 Stats
CBY 8vs BRI 16 Stats
Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW 28vs MEL 14 Report Stats
CRO 28vs STG 8 Report Stats
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GCT 6vs MAN 38 Stats
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Round 19
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PAR 4vs CBY 28 Report Stats
MEL 52vs PEN 10 Report Stats
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CBR 20vs CRO 21 Report Stats
NEW 30vs GCT 2 Report Stats
STG 8vs SOU 24 Report Stats
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SYD 24vs NZW 0 Report Stats
BRI 42vs WST 16 Stats
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MAN 12vs NQL 30 Stats
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Round 20
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BRI 34vs GCT 0 Report Stats
WST 8vs SYD 33 Stats
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NZW 12vs MAN 32 Stats
MEL 22vs STG 4 Stats
SOU 52vs NEW 6 Stats
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PEN 24vs CBR 34 Report Stats
CBY 16vs CRO 18 Report Stats
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NQL 46vs PAR 4 Stats
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Round 21
Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD 38vs CBY 28 Report Stats
WST 34vs MEL 16 Report Stats
Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW 14vs CRO 18 Stats
NQL 32vs CBR 24 Stats
MAN 44vs BRI 14 Stats
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STG 46vs NEW 24 Stats
SOU 20vs PEN 16 Report Stats
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GCT 24vs PAR 14 Stats
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Round 22
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BRI 16vs CBY 18 Report Stats
MAN 28vs SOU 8 Stats
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NZW 0vs STG 36 Stats
CRO 30vs NQL 18 Stats
PAR 10vs PEN 4 Stats
Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
MEL 36vs GCT 14 Report Stats
NEW 22vs SYD 38 Report Stats
Mon, 10 AugTimes shown AEST
CBR 18vs WST 20 Stats
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Round 23
Thu, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
NQL 18vs SOU 31 Stats
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BRI 32vs STG 6 Report Stats
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WST 18vs NEW 24 Stats
PEN 24vs NZW 10 Stats
SYD 28vs PAR 18 Stats
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CBR 24vs MAN 26 Stats
CBY 36vs GCT 14 Report Stats
Mon, 17 AugTimes shown AEST
CRO 2vs MEL 30 Stats
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Round 24
Thu, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
STG 19vs PEN 12 Report Stats
Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
SOU 18vs CBY 32 Report Stats
Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
CRO 40vs WST 18 Report Stats
NZW 16vs NQL 50 Report Stats
SYD 12vs BRI 10 Report Stats
Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
GCT 28vs CBR 12 Stats
MAN 16vs PAR 20 Report Stats
Mon, 24 AugTimes shown AEST
MEL 6vs NEW 20 Report Stats
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Round 25
Thu, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
SOU 12vs BRI 47 Report Stats
Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
MAN 10vs SYD 46 Report Stats
Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
PAR 28vs CRO 35 Stats
NEW 18vs CBY 20 Stats
MEL 14vs NQL 6 Report Stats
Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
WST 50vs NZW 16 Report Stats
GCT 28vs STG 26 Stats
Mon, 31 AugTimes shown AEST
CBR 34vs PEN 18 Stats
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Round 26
Thu, 03 SepTimes shown AEST
BRI ($1.77)vs MEL ($2.10) 19:45SUN
Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
SYD ($1.35)vs SOU ($3.30) 19:45AS
Sat, 05 SepTimes shown AEST
PEN ($1.96)vs NEW ($1.88) 15:00Pepp
STG ($1.70)vs WST ($2.20) 17:30ANZ
NQL ($1.22)vs GCT ($4.40) 19:301300
Sun, 06 SepTimes shown AEST
PAR ($1.60)vs CBR ($2.40) 14:00Pirtek
CRO ($1.53)vs MAN ($2.55) 16:00Rem
CBY ($1.06)vs NZW ($10.00) 18:30ANZ
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NRL Ladder 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D Pts
Sydney Roosters 23 17 6 0 38
Brisbane Broncos 23 17 6 0 38
North Queensland Cowboys 23 16 7 0 36
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 23 14 9 0 32
Melbourne Storm 23 13 10 0 30
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 23 13 10 0 30
South Sydney Rabbitohs 23 13 10 0 30
St George-Illawarra Dragons 23 11 12 0 26
View all
 

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