- As it happened
- Des Hasler slams 'dodgy' officiating
- Roosters accuse Michael Ennis and Sam Perrett of taking dives
It was the game that had it all: controversial video refereeing decisions, a video referee pressing the wrong button, fiery all-in brawls – minus the punches – and a player put on report for kung-fu kicking his way into the defensive line.
There was a player sent to the sin bin, a player wearing his shorts back to front and what could only be described as either Academy Award-winning acting or concussion cases to answer for the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium on Friday night.
But a Sonny Bill Williams-inspired Sydney Roosters overcame a fiery and heated first half to give axed NSW halves Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney something to smile about.
Don't let the scoreboard fool you, the Sydney Roosters were not as convincing as the 32-12 score suggests.
But a 10-minute period before half-time in which the Roosters had to defend for their lives paved the way for a memorable victory in what may be Williams' last game of rugby league against the club he once walked away from.
Williams scored two tries and played a hand in another on a night he finally returned to the type of form that saw him considered the best player in the game in 2013.
But it was the moment when a young pup tried to prove himself as the top dog that ignited the contest midway through the first half, David Klemmer and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves locking horns after a high shot from Klemmer.
While the pair went looking for each other the rest of the first half, it wasn't until the 38th minute of the contest that the game reached boiling point.
A high shot from Maloney on Sam Perrett went unpenalised, but given Perrett stayed down in the tackle, it gave the video referee enough time to review it and call a high tackle.
The Bulldogs may find themselves in hot water as Perrett refused to leave the field against the trainer's orders, and while he left the field two minutes later, it's likely the Bulldogs could be slapped with their second fine of the season for failing to adhere to the NRL's strict concussion guidelines.
Perrett's inability to get back on his feet after the tackle from Maloney angered a number of the Roosters' players who criticised the Bulldogs No.1 for taking a dive. So when Ennis stayed down moments later, after a high shot from Sam Moa, an all-in brawl erupted.
Klemmer and Sam Kasiano took exception to the high tackle from Moa, with most of the 26 players on the field coming together in a fiery push and shove on the stroke of half-time.
Ennis did not leave the field for a concussion test, leaving the Bulldogs with possibly two cases to answer from the loss.
Klemmer's immediate future is also in jeopardy after he was placed on report for a bizarre incident in 76th minute, which saw the prop run into Waerea-Hargreaves and Moa raising his legs in a kicking motion.
It even dumbfounded Ennis, who approached the referee and said "all you can do is reverse it" after the Roosters were initially penalised for an altercation in the ruck.
As far as the football was concerned, the game was in the balance after Mitch Brown grabbed his second try to leave the Bulldogs trailing by two points in the 58th minute.
However, when Tim Lafai was sent to the bin for interfering while the Roosters were trying to get a quick restart from a 40-20, all hope went with it as the Roosters ran in two quick tries to seal the deal.