A beautiful day in Auckland delivered some exciting action as the Roosters held on to win over the Warriors by 30-24.
Finally the Ericsson faithful were delivered the kind of football they hoped the Vodafone Warriors would produce as the home side pushed the Roosters for the full eighty minutes.
A very even contest, the score of 14-12 in favour of the Roosters at the halftime break promised to deliver an exciting second half in great conditions. And the fans from both sides were not disappointed with the two teams playing some great ad-lib footy.
In the end it came down to the Roosters making the most of the opportunities that came their way with the tries to Wing and Morley sealing the game for the visitors although the Warriors kept them on their toes until the very last play.
Stand out players for the Roosters were Crocker, Wing and Cayless while Jerome Ropati playing out of position at fullback was outstanding for the Warriors along with Iafeta Paleaasina, Monty Beetham and Awen Guttenbeil, along with Jones having a perfect day with the boot and netting over 500 career points
The Warriors now have their last home game against the Bulldogs while the Roosters are still in Minor Premier contention as they head into the last round up against the Eels.
Ericsson Stadium Referee: Steve Lyons Scorers: WARRIORS 24 Tries: Guttenbeil, Te Mata, Vuna, Ropati Goals: Jones 4/4 defeated ROOSTERS 30 Tries: Tupou, Wing, Crocker, Wing, Morley Goals: Walker 5/6
By the clock: A lot of Roosters fans have made the trek across the Tasman, Brad Fittler likely to be playing his last NRL game on NZ soil. A beautiful day in Auckland for the match. Fitzgibbon out for the Roosters with Catic coming into the line-up. The Warriors playing in a one-off strip for the match
0 min: Kick off!
5th min: NEWS - A penalty apiece so far in the match as the two sides settle into the game in perfect conditions
6th min: TRY - Guttenbeil (Warriors) Paleaasina gets the go forward needed by the Warriors as they looked a little lost on attack close to the line. A grubber kick toed through by Jones is pounced on by Guttenbeil. Jones reaches 499 career points with the successful conversion. Warriors 6-0
10th min: NEWS - The Roosters make an unforced error handing possession to the Warriors 40 metres out from their line. The Warriors work through their set ending with the ball going dead in goal
14th min: NEWS - After Minichiello makes 60 metres plus to set up the Roosters well, the line drop-out is left by Hegarty to bounce over the sideline handing possession to the Warriors who look close to scoring but the last pass is a good metre forward. Warriors lead 6-0
16th min: TRY - Te Mata (Warriors) The Warriors backing each other on attack this time with Faumuina and Koopu making the metres. Te Mata in support is under the posts for his 1st ever NRL try. Jones hits the 500 point mark with the conversion. Warriors 12-0
21st min: TRY - Tupou (Roosters) Play 20 metres out from the Roosters line and Tupou easily break through the defence to score under the posts. Walker's conversion is successful Warriors 12-6
25th min: NEWS - Fittler looking for the 40/20 is denied right at the death with Ropati just managing to flick the ball in and regather to take it to the opposition
29th min: TRY - Wing (Roosters) The Roosters offloading with regularity. Fittler puts Wing through a perfect gap to have a free run to the line. Walker from out in front ties up the game 12 all
32nd min: Cross (Roosters) heading to the shed clutching his back and may not return to the game
35th min: NEWS - Crocker (Roosters) penalised for going on with the tackle 20 metres out from the Warriors line. Martin has a clear run to the line but drops the ball. Still locked up at 12-12
40th min: PENALTY GOAL - A late charge by Paleaasina on Finch is caught by the touch judge. Walker adds 2 points. Roosters 14-12
HALFTIME: An even contest thus far, 14-12 to the visitors at the break The Warriors are completing 71% of their sets with the Roosters not far behind on 67% in an otherwise close game
Second half underway...
45th min: NEWS - Both sides choosing to kick early in the tackle count as they settle into the second spell
48th min: TRY - Crocker (Roosters) Back to back sets to the Roosters close to their line proves to be the undoing of the Warriors defence. A offload rolling down the back of a Warrior player is snapped up by Crocker who twists through the defence on the line to score. Walker adds the 2 points. Roosters 20-12
52nd min: NEWS - 40/20 to the Roosters courtesy of Finch fires up the Roosters
57th min: TRY - Vuna (Warriors) After Faumuina intercepts and sets sail for the other end of the field the following plays ends with a beaut little grubber which bounces up nicely for Vuna the youngest ever Warriors player, who scores his first try in the competition. Jones from the sideline kicks a nice conversion. Roosters 20-18
65th min: NEWS - Young Warriors players are starting to get their chance in the match
66th min: TRY - Wing (Roosters) A penalty following a top tackle by Guttenbeil on Catic but called offside. Quick plays and Wing sucked in the defence to duck in out wide. Walker from the sideline and looking into the sun, misses the conversion. Roosters 24-18
70th min: NO TRY - Minichiello (Roosters) is denied a try from the video ref after he taps the ball down out of Lauaki's hands and dives on it, ruled as a knock on. Roosters 24-18
74th min: TRY - Morley (Roosters) Tiring defence by the Warriors allows some great attacking play by the Roosters for Morley to sprint to the try line unopposed. Walker from out in front adds 2 points. Roosters 30-18
76th min: TRY - Ropati (Warriors) A mistake from the shallow kick off gives possession back to the Warriors. Long passing and Ropati nips over in the corner. Jones from way out adds 2 points. Roosters 30-24
80th min: NEWS - A field goal attempt goes begging for the Roosters
FULL TIME: After a penalty is given to the Warriors right on the hooter, full time is held up as one last play by the Warriors is swallowed up by Hegarty to finish the match. Roosters win 30-24
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - C Wing (Roosters) 2 - J Cayless (Roosters) 1 - I Paleaasina (Warriors)