The Sydney Roosters have claimed the 2013 Minor Premiership with a 24-12 victory over the South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium in front of a regular season record crowd of 59,708. Sydney Roosters return the JJ Giltinan Shield to Moore Park for the first time since 2004.
Sonny Bill Williams had a massive hand in the victory with 200 metres run to help the Bondi club charge towards the final series.
Greg Inglis was in doubt in the lead up with a knee injury, but it was not a problem as he single-handed overpowered the Roosters defence. He danced away from the rushed defence from Sonny Bill Williams to open the points account, Rabbitohs 6-0 after 12 minutes.
The Roosters responsed minutes later with back to back tries. James Maloney cracked first as he cut the defence back on the angle off a Mitchell Pearce pass. Aidan Guerra gave the Roosters the lead after 22 minutes as he attacked the blind side and fended easily through the Rabbitohs defence. The Roosters jumped ahead 10-6.
Shortly before half time, Jason Clark put the Rabbitohs back in control with a hole finding run thanks to a Jeff Lima pass. South Sydney went into the sheds leading 12-10 after 40 minutes.
The Roosters wrapped up the Minor Premiership as they held the Rabbitohs to nil in the second half. They sealed the JJ Giltinan Shield with back to back tries in the 60th minute as Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney crafted points.
Man of the Match Sonny Bill Williams led the charge for has his beautiful short pass saw Mitchell Pearce streak away. Meanwhile James Maloney surged to the goal line as he darted and reached over the Rabbitohs defence.
The boys from Bondi found their feet in the second 40 minutes as the held out the Rabbitohs. They played to the final minute and it was shown as Anthony Minichiello chased down a flying Nathan Merritt who looked to score a long range try.
Not since 2004 have the Roosters finished on top of the premiership table and tonight they returned to glory with a 12 point victory. Next week the final series kicks off as the Roosters to clash with either the Storm or Manly depending on games let to be played.
There is some positive news for the Rabbitohs as they claimed the Ron Coote Cup for aggregate points between the two games played (Round 1 and 26).
Stay tuned to LeagueUnlimited.com for fixture details for the 2013 finals series.