SBW’s Roosters too good for Bulldogs

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    Sonny Bill Williams enjoyed a triumphant return to the his old Canterbury kennel, as his Sydney Roosters survived a late surge to score a 20-18 NRL win on Friday night.

    Outstanding back-rower Boyd Cordner and centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall each scored two of the Roosters’ four tries.

    Down 20-6 with 19 minutes to go, the Bulldogs scored the last 12 points, but ran out of time.

    Converted tries in the last six minutes to Dene Halatau and Krisnan Inu got the Bulldogs close.

    Playing against the Bulldogs at their ANZ Stadium home for the first time since walking out on the club in 2008, Williams displayed his full range of skills.

    Listed at halfback, Williams was cleared to play before the game after suffering a gluteal muscle injury on Thursday and relished his roving role.

    Often going into first receiver with regular playmakers James Maloney and Mitchell Pearce on NSW State of Origin duty, Williams skilfully mixed up his kicking, passing and running game against an out-of-sorts Bulldogs combination.

    Williams got plenty of support from forwards Cordner and Frank-Paul Nuuausala.

    In the backs, halfback Daniel Mortimer’s smart option-taking helped the Roosters overcome the loss to NSW of first-choice halves Pearce and Maloney, while winger Roger Tuivasa-Sheck excelled.

    Canterbury slipped to just their second loss in their past nine games, but could have few complaints.

    Leading 10-6 at the break, the Roosters took control by scoring the first two tries of the second half.

    Tuivasa-Sheck set up Kenny-Dowall in the 49th minute and Cordner surged onto a Mortimer pass to complete his double in the 61st minute.

    The Roosters dominated the first quarter, creating most of the early opportunities.

    Kenny-Dowall was held up off a Williams pass before crossing in the fifth minute following good ball movement and a well-timed pass from fullback and captain Anthony Minichiello.

    While much of the pre-match fuss surrounded Williams, it was the Bulldogs’ latest superstar, fullback Ben Barba, who snatched back the spotlight.

    The elusive Barba sliced through two attempted tackles to notch his eighth try in 12 games this season.

    Cordner regained the lead for the Roosters when he rushed onto a Mortimer pass at pace and smashed over the line, with Mortimer converting.

    Halfback Trent Hodkinson was at the heart of most of the Bulldogs’ best attacking moments.

    Roosters debutant Dylan Napa made his presence felt, being placed on report for a shoulder charge on James Graham just before the break and redeemed himself almost immediately by stripping the ball from Sam Kasiano.

    Graham did not return to the game.

    Williams said he felt pretty sore in the last 20 minutes and was struggling.

    “I had physio three times yesterday and iced up pretty much all night and then this morning had to take a couple of pain killers,” Williams said.

    “If it was any other week and we had a full strength side, I’d probably just try and get it ready for the next week.

    “But because we were understrength I knew I had to try and get out there for the boys.”

    Roosters coach Trent Robinson, who described it as a great win, was happy to leave the decision to Williams, who had a fitness test before the game.

    “I didn’t even ask him after the warmup because he would have told me if he wasn’t right, so he played and played well,” Robinson said.

    Asked about the report on Napa, Robinson said: “It looked like a shoulder charge but I’m hoping he got his arm around it.”

    Bulldogs coach Des Hasler said Graham hurt his back, but should be right after the coming bye.

    “They ran a little bit harder, they tackled a little bit harder and consequently they did enough to hang on,” Hasler said of the Roosters.

    “We’ve been up for a little while, but there was plenty for us to play (for) tonight coming off the back of a win last week and heading into the bye.”

    Robinson wasn’t sure how the last-minute knee injury on Martin Kennedy would affect the prop’s role of 18th man in the Queensland Origin squad.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (12)

    • June 22nd 2013 @ 8:39am
      wozza said | June 22nd 2013 @ 8:39am | ! Report

      Cmon where’s all whining roosters doubters ????

      • June 23rd 2013 @ 8:02pm
        Clark said | June 23rd 2013 @ 8:02pm | ! Report

        After getting rolled by the Warriors last week easily, I still have my doubts they can go all the way.

    • June 22nd 2013 @ 10:43am
      Razza said | June 22nd 2013 @ 10:43am | ! Report

      GIVE IT UP

      SBW’s Rooster’s ????, why does everything that is said or written about the Rooster has SBW somewhere in it.

      He is a brilliant player with rare skills, but come on fair dinkum, he doesn’t even have to be on the paddock and he gets the glory and that backhand pass that he threw that resulted in a try was lucky it didn’t hit a spectator it was so wild, only for the brilliance of the winger ?? who did an AFL type jump to gather it and the Fred Astaire footwork that led to the try it would not have been one and SBW gets the nod, come on get real.

      “GO THE EAGLES”

      • June 22nd 2013 @ 5:24pm
        nayfo said | June 22nd 2013 @ 5:24pm | ! Report

        if SBW had taken the tackle and not lobbed the ball over to RTS then there would be no try, both are special players who create special plays from nothing, think you need to get real. half the tries scored every game every week have some aspect of luck

      • June 22nd 2013 @ 8:14pm
        derrick said | June 22nd 2013 @ 8:14pm | ! Report

        He played with some muscle strain & admitted after that he struggled with the pain in the last 20 mins of the game. Imagine if he had been fully fit and confident?! He definitely needs to be played in the halves another time when fully fit. Then we will see if he has real potential in that position.

    • June 22nd 2013 @ 1:56pm
      kiwiinoz said | June 22nd 2013 @ 1:56pm | ! Report

      Tuivasa-Sheck had a blinder. What a find he has been. SBW played well but not brilliantly. Any ideas for him next year??

      • June 22nd 2013 @ 4:22pm
        Meesta Cool said | June 22nd 2013 @ 4:22pm | ! Report

        KIWINOZ, NRL will discover that Roosters are paying players in brown paper bags behind the stands, some of their up and coming Star Kids will want more money because the press have told em how good they are and will move on to other clubs that have better accountants. — Brisbane will signe both last nights wingers etc,etc,etc The wheel keeps turning!. I got this info from a Chinese copy of Wazza’s Crystal Ball.

        • June 23rd 2013 @ 1:28pm
          wozza said | June 23rd 2013 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

          Dodgy chinese junk meesta ….my ball is predicting a four to five yr roosters dynasty with robbo at the helm ….and the young guns sacrificing the big $$$$ for the chance to be part of the “brotherhood of the rooster” SBW has his ego massaged on a regular basis by a bevy of blonde Bondi bimbos which is untraceable under the salary cap and retires at BJ and opens a baaaaarbers shop where he gets to reminisce with customers about his glory days ….

          • June 23rd 2013 @ 8:04pm
            Clark said | June 23rd 2013 @ 8:04pm | ! Report

            SBW is like Folau. Only likes one year contracts. He’ll go to the highest bidder

    • June 22nd 2013 @ 2:49pm
      Klee gluckman said | June 22nd 2013 @ 2:49pm | ! Report

      Sonny bill is the main event. He is like mike Tyson. Not the best but always entertainment. I am guilty I have never liked the roosters but enjoy watching him play. Sonny has become an event. Rabbits warren rants about him. Last night he constantly when on about him exageratimg anything good that he did. He has become a showinitself. Off the field he has been good as well.

    • June 22nd 2013 @ 2:49pm
      Klee gluckman said | June 22nd 2013 @ 2:49pm | ! Report

      Sonny bill is the main event. He is like mike Tyson. Not the best but always entertainment. I am guilty I have never liked the roosters but enjoy watching him play. Sonny has become an event. Rabbits warren rants about him. Last night he constantly when on about him exageratimg anything good that he did. He has become a showinitself. Off the field he has been good as well.

    • June 22nd 2013 @ 2:55pm
      Big Time said | June 22nd 2013 @ 2:55pm | ! Report

      Can the Dragons please sign Mortimer. He is one of the toughest little blokes going around and often takes the correct option. I love how he takes it to the line even though he knows he will get whacked, and keeps getting up.

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