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Sydney Roosters slide past Gold Coast Titans in the wet

Date

Chris Boulous

Roosters 26 Gold Coast 18

Hard to hold in the wet: Roosters fullback Anthony Minichiello tries to give the Gold Coast defence the slip.

Hard to hold in the wet: Roosters fullback Anthony Minichiello tries to give the Gold Coast defence the slip. Photo: Getty Images

As it happened: Roosters v Titans

The Anthony Minichiello farewell tour has started on the right note with the fullback and fullback-in-waiting Roger Tuivasa-Sheck helping the Sydney Roosters back into the top four with a scrappy win over the Gold Coast Titans on Monday night.

A week after he supplied the match-winning tackle against St George Illawarra, the Kiwi international delivered the decisive try in the second half as the Roosters put an end to the Titans finals hopes. With the game in the balance, Tuivasa-Sheck picked up a loose ball, kicked and regathered in one motion to give the Roosters their fourth and ultimately final lead of the match.

Farewell to the Titans: John Cartwright looks on during his last match as head coach of Gold Coast.

Farewell to the Titans: John Cartwright looks on during his last match as head coach of Gold Coast. Photo: Getty Images

Not to be outdone, Minichiello scored a try and looked dangerous with every touch of the ball as his Roosters teammates signaled their intention to have the tour reach the first week of October. Try as they might the Titans couldn’t send outgoing coach John Cartwright out a winner as they slumped to just two wins from their last 12 games.

The first half will go down as one of the most bizarre in 2014. One of Sydney’s worst winter days reduced the crowd to a paltry 6345 fans and the game did little to inspire them as the two teams traded tries and errors in a stop-start half that reached no great heights.

It started in the third minute when James Maloney swooped on former teammate Daniel Mortimer’s grubber and had visions of sending Michael Jennings on a 90-metre sprint to the tryline. The only problem was the flyer had switched to the inside and his pass fell into the waiting hands of Anthony Don who crossed for perhaps the easiest tries in the NRL this year.

The Roosters were quick to respond as Tuivasa-Sheck gifted Minichiello a try in his third last regular season game at Allianz Stadium with a deft pass to the veteran who reverted to usual wing position in the attacking zone. Maloney made up for his earlier howler by creating and scoring the Roosters' second try with a 2013-like Maloney dart close to the line.

Just as you thought the premiers were starting to find the grove the visitors responded via Dave Taylor with one of his first touches of the ball as he took advantage of a Roosters defence minus key men Jake Friend and Sonny Bill Williams to cross out wide. The Roosters must have thought they did enough to enter the sheds with the lead when a return to the good old rugby league basics of run hard and tackle hard eventually led to Nene MacDonald muscling his way in for the home side's third try.

However, the crazy half was fittingly concluded with a razzle dazzle play from the Titans which ended with Greg Bird crossing after the siren courtesy of a Mortimer cross field kick.

The heavens opened to start the second half and the wet surface made conditions difficult. The Roosters dominated the early stages of the half and were rewarded with what proved the pivotal Tuivasa-Sheck try. But as was their trademark early in the season the Titans wouldn’t go away and at one stage had 18 consecutive tackles on the Roosters line.

But in the end the Roosters ground out the two points as Jennings crossed for his third try in two weeks to secure the win. A late penalty extended the margin to eight in the closing minutes.

The Roosters will need to improve as their top four credentials will be put to the test in the next fortnight with trips to Leichhardt Oval and Mt Smart Stadium. For the Titans, incoming coach Neil Henry will be thrown straight into the deep end with the club to host league leaders Manly on Sunday.

12 comments so far

  • Look I've never been a fan of non necessary Monday night football but to any doubters if I can ever say "game,set and match" to that argument I can now.

    Bring back the necessary Sydney Sunday blockbuster and let's get some respectability into our crowds.

    #embarrassing

    Commenter
    Chieftain
    Location
    If
    Date and time
    August 11, 2014, 9:39PM
    • I love my Monday night footy. Money comes from TV rights as well.

      #getwithit #nottwitter

      Commenter
      Freddy
      Date and time
      August 12, 2014, 8:24AM
  • I'm glad Chooks won but agree with you!

    I'm a reserved seat Chook Pen member but why the hell would I watch a game that is better palyed on Sunday arvo, I would have gone to game but idiot broadcasters will piss off the awaverage league fan otherwise!

    Commenter
    Red Rocker
    Date and time
    August 11, 2014, 11:17PM
    • 6000 to watch the premiers play!! Cmon what are the excuses this time?? im sure all the Leaguies have used them up

      Commenter
      FC of Sydney
      Date and time
      August 11, 2014, 11:37PM
      • So in other words, over round 22, the NRL averaged 15,650, despite taking one game to Darwin and having 6000 people turn up to another. 2,500 more than the A League averaged last season, leading into a World Cup, with the four biggest supporter bases all making the finals. Nah well done.

        On Friday night, there were two NRL matches within an hour of each other that attracted more than 27,000 fans. the A League did it five times in a whole season. Well done on getting 5,046 to a 55,000 seat venue at one point as well. You're killing it.

        Commenter
        Phat
        Date and time
        August 12, 2014, 10:19AM
      • Phat I know geography maybe a challenge mate but SCG and Suncorp Stadium is a tad further away than one hour, but ill forgive you on that one. You just be satisfied with those crowds, and how good did ANZ stadium look with more than 10,000 in it you wouldn't be used to that

        Commenter
        FC of Sydney
        Date and time
        August 12, 2014, 11:31AM
    • Lots of variables here why people didn't turn up. A freezing cold night, a team that can't make the finals whose supporters live 1000km away & won't fly down on a worknight vs a team whose fans consistently refuse to turn up and support their team. You can't just blame Monday night on the crowd not turning up, even if the usual Monday crowd barely reaches over 10,000.

      In fact, take one of the teams using ANZ Stadium as a base and swap their home ground with the Roosters, and take advantage of an opportunity wasted by a fanbase who clearly don't respect the fact their home ground is in the most central location to everything.

      Commenter
      shane
      Date and time
      August 12, 2014, 12:36AM
      • Last year this corresponding fixture was played on a. Sunday and drew 22,000.

        Last year Roosters v Manly MNF drew 8,000 but 2 years earlier the Sunday game drew 31,000.

        Monday night is the only variable - refer poor crowds since day (night) one.

        Commenter
        Chieftain
        Date and time
        August 12, 2014, 7:31AM
      • A 'freezing cold night'. Hilarious!

        As others have said, Monday + night are the key reasons the crowds are almost non-existent.

        Commenter
        wear the fox hat
        Date and time
        August 12, 2014, 9:25AM
      • As a loyal Chookpen member, I was at the game. The atmosphere felt like a preseason trial against Bathurst. The second half was better but I think that's because those that were there were huddled together undercover once the rain hit at half time. I was always worried that a Monday night game against a lowly ranked out of town team was going to be a poor draw. The cold and rain probably didn't help. Poor scheduling in my view. I like to watch the TV game on Monday night but I think a Sunday afternoon is a better idea. In fact, I've grown rather fond of Saturday afternoon again. Back in the 70s, nobody turned up to those.

        Commenter
        Combat
        Location
        Sydney
        Date and time
        August 12, 2014, 2:37PM

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