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Sydney Roosters shrug off second-half demons to beat Penrith Panthers

Roosters 28 Penrith 14

Ready Rooster: Sonny Bill Williams on the burst against the Panthers at Allianz Stadium.

Ready Rooster: Sonny Bill Williams on the burst against the Panthers at Allianz Stadium. Photo: Getty Images

As it happened: Roosters v Panthers

A run of three losses early in the season had pundits questioning whether the Roosters' favouritism to replicate Brisbane's '92/'93 double was just pre-season fantasy, but a comfortable 32-12 win against the second placed Panthers has solidified them as the real deal.  

The Tricolours' resounding performance in front of 13,993 cold fans at Allianz Stadium bore some similarities to their 56-4 victory over a hapless Parramatta in round two.

Wrapped up: Panthers veteran Jamie Soward is engulfed.

Wrapped up: Panthers veteran Jamie Soward is engulfed. Photo: Getty Images

Sydney Roosters versus Penrith
View Match Statistics
Players Guerra, Aubusson, Casty, Cordner(2) Tries 5 Tries 2 Players Cartwright, Segeyaro
Players Maloney 5/5 (100%) Conversions 5 Conversions 2 Players Soward 2/2 (100%)
Players Maloney 1/1 (100%) Penalty goals 1 Penalty goals 0 Players
Players Field goals 0 Field goals 0 Players

That victory coming just nine days after being caught with their pants down by the Rabbitohs seeking to exploit a post World Club Challenge hangover.

A four-day retreat on the Central Coast where they mulled over how they lost the unloseable to a depleted Cronulla pack 30-28 a fortnight ago, proved to be the break from footy Trent Robinson's men needed.

Despite the comfortable win, the talking point from the game was Elijah Taylor's sin binning in the fourth minute, which came on the back of a quick tap from the Roosters after a 40/20. Meanwhile, with seven minutes to go, Jamie Soward was prevented from taking a quick tap due to a ball boy's tardiness to put the ball on the ground, an incident which frustrated Soward.

"There's no point in having it, is there?" Soward said. "You're not allowed to get the ball unless the ball boy has the ball on the ground and the ball boys were doing the best job that could but the reality is that Kevin Naiqama or Jamal Idris sprints down there a lot quicker.

"I'm surprised the NRL haven't looked at ways for that to move and flow."

Although the Roosters' all but had the game wrapped up at 26-6 in the 73rd minute, Soward said the performance of ball boys could potentially affect a tight game. 

"Today it was one of those things, a lot of frustration on my behalf, but of course it can affect a game," Soward said. "We saw it earlier on in the year, Parramatta took the tap three times. I don't know why have the rule if you're not going to encourage it." 

Cleary agreed with his interim halfback's view that the NRL need to ensure the quick tap doesn't lose its value. 

"We couldn't get a quick play the ball because the ball boy wasn't ready and I think that's something we need to fix," Cleary said. "Whether the ball boy is ready and has the ball on the ground I dont think it should be part of the experiment. 

"It's a good rule but it's over governed. Their ballboy was super quick though and had the ball on the ground." 

Roosters coach Trent Robinson said was happy with the way his players bounced back from their humiliating 30-28 two weeks ago, but said he is also on the bandwagon to get rid of the quick tap after a player kicks a 40/20. 

"I really don't like that 40/20 rule, I don't think he should get penalised," Robinson said of Elijah Taylor's sin-binning in the fourth minute. "He shouldn't have gone to the bin." 

Playmakers James Maloney, who copped a knock to the jaw from James Segeyaro in the dying minutes, and Mitchell Pearce experimented with success in attack, while Anthony Minichiello was his reliable self at the back, catching high balls coming down from a grey Sydney sky all afternoon.

Boyd Cordner bagged a double for the Roosters to go with his 202 metres from 22 carries and 37 tackles.  

For Penrith, the last time they claimed the minor premiership was in 2002, and Saturday's game was billed as the time to either prove or debunk their premiership credentials.

But their kicking lacked spark and fluidity, which coach Cleary said might have something to do with a cruel five-day turnaround after a 35-34 victory over Brisbane on Monday night.

"Any reasonable man would suggest it was going to be a hard ask," Cleary said. "It was the shortest possible turnaround you can have playing; a night game into a day game five days later against the premiers who have come off a bye. That was definitely challenging." 

8 comments so far

  • Panthers have had the benifit of a favourable draw all year, playing bottom of the ladder teams [mostly ] twice ! I will be very suprised if they are in the top 6 at finals time ! They are a perfect example of teams not playing each other twice and the for and against coming in to play giving some teams an unfair advantage yet again.!!

    central coast
    Date and time
    July 19, 2014, 6:43PM
    • Penrith and Parramatta have both flattered to deceive. You could say the same for the Tigers and Titans really.

      The cream is rising to the top.

      Date and time
      July 19, 2014, 7:43PM
    • Went to Warrior/Penrith game a few weeks ago..The Warriors looked like a 7th or 8th place finals team while Penrith looked like a side who would struggle to make the eight yet somehow are up top of ladder.Maybe they had an off day but put real pressure on Sowards kicking game and they will fail to beat most sides.Will be interesting how they go against more top sides soon but I believe they will struggle and blame it on injuries or something.

      Date and time
      July 21, 2014, 5:04PM
  • People need to stop complaining about the draw, how irrelevant and tiresome. It was decided last year, and many of this year's underachieving teams were in the finals last year, including the Sharks and Knights.

    As for those accusing the Panthers of not being the real deal as a result of this game, they were playing with their fourth choice halves and second choice wingers. Any team without four of their best will struggle. Credit where it's due, Roosters were the better side yesterday and deserve the win, but it's certainly no statement on the quality of their opposition, who were completely injury-depleted.

    Date and time
    July 20, 2014, 10:03AM
    • I hate all this stupid quick tap and rubbish! Winning a scrum feed is sufficient reward for a 40/20. As Trent Robinson said after the game - a 40/20 doesn't mean you should be rewarded with a try. And why should a team be rewarded with seven tackles just because the ball goes dead in goal! Commentators keep going on about how great the rule changes are, but the game has actually got too fast. It resembles touch football. There are also lots of errors from big forwards trying to play the ball too quickly to get a roll-on. I'd rather see teams earn their way upfield and be a bit creative. It's funny too, to watch wingers race up to take quick taps at the 22, even when it is obvious there would be no advantage from it.

      Date and time
      July 20, 2014, 11:34AM
      • I do think it all rubbish about where team are on the ladder you play who you play the Rooster lost to Cronulla, Tiger beat Dogs it makes little difference who you play or what side of the draw you're on, you can only play to win, no easy games no reason for bad form or attitude

        Date and time
        July 21, 2014, 12:51PM
        • Didn't know a 40/20 got rewarded with a try! WOW

          Date and time
          July 21, 2014, 5:02PM
          • The 7th tackle rule has not been thought through. Let's say you are 5mtrs from the try line, kick the ball dead-in-goal on the 5th tackle. The opposition get's 7 tackles. However if you knock-on on the 5th tackle (or drop the ball intentionally), its a change over. So actually a knock-on gives the attacking team a better outcome.

            Date and time
            July 22, 2014, 11:44AM

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