1. The motivation of reaching the finals is overrated
The events of yesterday proved this again. The Tigers had everything to play for, yet they could not produce. The Gold Coast also failed this weekend with everything on the line, and the Warriors have produced their worst football when the stakes were at their highest over the past seven weeks. Perhaps the pressure affects some. The Tigers, who normally thrive in must-win situations, were awful in the first half, looking anything but a team hell-bent on salvaging their season.
2. Martin Kennedy is a future rep star
The performances of Roosters front-rowers Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Kennedy was stunning. Both played long minutes and, importantly, made them count. Kennedy was exceptional, running for 181 metres from 20 hit-ups, while also making 33 tackles. Their efforts put the Roosters on the front foot – and kept them there.
3. The ‘‘kick to Matt Utai’’ option is an oldie but a goody
Utai’s one of the smallest wingers in the game, and Daniel Tupou had a field day against him. He scored his first try with a leap from a Braith Anasta kick – Utai did not even attempt a jump, instead opting to try and tackle his opposite. The Roosters had more success when another kick was sent in the direction of Utai early in the second half. Beau Ryan provided cover, but Utai held back. The Roosters came down with possession and halfback Mitchell Pearce subsequently scored.
4. The Roosters know how to unearth class out wide
Tautau Moga, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Daniel Tupou have been blooded with success this year. The latter scored a hat-trick in just his second match. We have been reminded all year that the Roosters are a young side with potential and while those with itchy feet have been disappointed in their season, there is little doubt they will have a strong roster in coming years with new blood alongside young blood.
5. Mitchell Pearce is a generous chap
He could have grabbed the glory himself, but the halfback proved he was no, ahem, party-pooper when, in the 66th minute, he handed fullback Anthony Minichiello a try in his 250th match when he was over the line himself. Well played to both of them. It was a nice moment.