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The Sydney Roosters have delivered a rout of the Newcastle Knights, victorious by 38 points. The first half was super competitive and perfectly balanced. The second half was anything but.
The Roosters suffered an early blow, with Hooker Jake Friend needing to come off with an injury to his forearm. Mercifully, this was unrelated to the bicep injury that has been causing him grief in the recent past, but nonetheless his day was done.
The scoring was opened within just seven minutes. Sydney’s superb, continual movement of the ball allowing James Tedesco to cross for a try. But that was it until the end of the first half – Tautau Moga scoring for Newcastle with just four minutes left.
The score at half time was 6-4 in favour of Sydney.
The scoring tone for the second half was set just two minutes in, Latrell Mitchell pouncing on a poor Jesse Ramien kick to charge all the way down the other end.
Herman Ese’ese would score soon after to bring the margin back to two points, but it was all downhill from there for the Knights.
Boyd Cordner, Siosiua Taukeiaho, Victor Radley, Mitch Aubusson, Nat Butcher and Daniel Tupou would all cross once each, as error and seemingly low effort plagued the Knights.
The eight tries plus Latrell Mitchell’s perfect kicking made for a truly ugly scoreline. Roosters 48, Knights 10.
The score gives the Roosters a very handy boost to their plus/minus as they return to second on the ladder.
Newcastle meanwhile are hanging onto eighth for now, but the list of clubs able to hop them in the next few rounds is growing longer.
Sydney Roosters 48
Newcastle Knights 10
Saturday afternoon footy has the Sydney Roosters hosting the Newcaslte Knights at the SCG. Join The Roar from 3pm (AEST) for live scores and coverage.
The third-placed Roosters come into this one after losing last round’s match against North Queensland, by way of a late field goal and penalty goal from Jake Clifford.
Newcastle are also backing up from a loss, their’s coming at the hands of Canterbury.
In positive news for both sides, a number of star players are set to return.
Sydney have James Tedesco and Boyd Cordner coming back into the side after being left out of last round’s squad following their successful Origin campaign with NSW.
Tedesco comes in at fullback, with Joseph Manu moving back to his familiar centre.
Brett Morris is pushed to the bench, and Poasa Faamausili comes out of the squad altogether. Cordner returns to the 2nd row, with Nat Butcher moving to the bench.
Newcastle meanwhile are set to welcome back Kalyn Ponga and Mitchell Barnett. Ponga returns at fullback while Barnett comes into the second row for Connor Watson and Jamie Buhrer respectively who both move to the bench. Mason Lino and Josh King make way.
When these teams last met back in Round 11, it was The Knights who came away with the points after a 38-12 victory up in Newcastle. Kalyn Ponga was kicking truly that day, with 8/8.
Both teams’ recent form is even, but Newcastle have been without Ponga. Both teams have lost matches they perhaps should have won to atone for.
The signs point towards Sydney, but you can’t discount Newcastle. Especially when they need a win to stay in the eight with Brisbane, Cronulla, North Queensland and Wests Tigers all within touching distance.
Knights by 6.
Join The Roar for live scores and updates from 3pm (AEST) and don’t forget to leave a comment below.
When: Saturday, 20th July. 3:00pm (AEST)
TV: Fox League, NRL Live Pass, Kayo
1 James Tedesco
2 Daniel Tupou
3 Latrell Mitchell
4 Joseph Manu
5 Ryan Hall
6 Luke Keary
7 Cooper Cronk
8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
9 Jake Friend
10 Siosiua Taukeiaho
11 Boyd Cordner
12 Mitchell Abusson
13 Victor Radley
14 Isaac Liu
15 Nat Butcher
16 Angus Crichton
17 Brett Morris
1 Kalyn Ponga
2 Hymel Hunt
3 Tautau Moga
4 Jesse Ramien
5 Shaun Kenny-Dowall
6 Kurt Mann
7 Mitchell Pearce
8 Daniel Saifiti
9 Danny Levi
10 David Klemmer
11 Mitchell Barnett
12 Sione Mata’utia
13 Tim Glasby
14 Connor Watson
15 James Gavet
16 Herman Ese’ese
17 Jamie Buhrer