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.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 12 Sydney Roosters 24
Venue: Stadium Australia
Halftime Score: South Sydney Rabbitohs 12-10
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Sonny Bill Williams
2 points - Anthony Minichiello
1 point - James Maloney
SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS (12)
Tries: Greg Inglis, Jason Clark
Conversions: Adam Reynolds (2/2)
SYDNEY ROOSTERS (24)
Tries: James Maloney (2), Aidan Guerra, Mitchell Pearce
Field Goals: James Maloney (0/1)
Conversions: James Maloney (3/4)
Penalty Goals: James Maloney (1/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
Welcome to LeagueUnlimited.com's LIVE coverage from ANZ Stadium as the top two teams of the 2013 season battle for the JJ Giltinan Shield. The South Sydney Rabbitohs host the Sydney Roosters as they battle for the minor premiership and $100,000 in prize money.
Kick off is slated for 7:54pm and we will bring you all the action as it happens
TEAM NEWS: Rabbitohs - Luke Burgess has been ruled out, so the Burgess brothers are down to three. His brother Thomas fills the spot in the forwards. Matt King drop off the bench.
Roosters - Mitchell Aubusson has been ruled out, Aidan Guerra moves into the centres. Dylan Napa starts in Guerra's place in the second row, Martin Kennedy returns on the bench.
Rabbitohs: 1. Greg Inglis 2. Nathan Merritt 3. Bryson Goodwin 4. Dylan Walker 5. Dylan Farrell 6. John Sutton 7. Adam Reynolds 17. Thomas Burgess 9. Issac Luke 10. Roy Asotasi 11. Chris McQueen 12. Ben Te'o 13. Sam Burgess
Interchange: 14. Luke Keary 15. Jeff Lima 16. George Burgess 18. Jason Clark
Roosters: 1. Anthony Minichiello 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Michael Jennings 11. Aidan Guerra 5. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 6. James Maloney 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Jake Friend 10. Sam Moa 17. Dylan Napa 12. Sonny Bill Williams 13. Frank Paul Nuuausala
Interchange: 14. Daniel Mortimer 16. Isaac Liu 20. Tinirau Arona 24. Martin Kennedy
Both teams are out, the top sides are ready. Kick off in moments from now. The Rabbitohs will kick off
1 min: The Rabbitohs kick off and we are UNDERWAY for the JJ Giltinan Shield and Ron Coote Cup
1 min: Adam Reynolds from outside the 40 metre line fires a kick down to Anthony Minichiello. Both sides battling in the middle of the park so far
2 min: Line drop out ruled as Mitchell Pearce's kick is knocked dead by Nathan Merritt.
3 min: UNFORCED ERROR SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves makes an unforced error.
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves comes up with a mistake as he attempted to play the ball as Thomas Burgess helped the ball free in the ruck. Scrum for the Rabbitohs packs 20 metres off their own line
5 min: Penalty to the Roosters for a strip in the ruck from Issac Luke. Roosters kick for line and attack on halfway
7 min: UNFORCED ERROR SYDNEY ROOSTERS
James Maloney makes an unforced error.
James Maloney with a fumble off a poor pass from Tupou and the Rabbitohs escape without conceding points inside their red zone
7 min: Penalty to the Rabbitohs against Jared Waerea-Hargreaves for a high tackle and Roosters inside the 10 metres. South Sydney kick for line and begin their set 40 metres from the Roosters goal line
9 min: Nathan Merritt stabs a grubber kick on the last tackle, it's too big and a 20m tap ruled for the Roosters
10 min: Greg Inglis jumped above the pack and claimed possession on the zero tackle as Daniel Tupou knocks on the contest
11 min: Dylan Napa is penalised for a high tackle on Nathan Merritt. A free pass for the Rabbitohs as they march up to halfway
12 min: TRY SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
Scored by Greg Inglis. Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.
Greg Inglis has charged through the Roosters defence as Sonny Bill Williams rushed out of the line to catch him, he missed and the Rabbitohs fullback slipped through for first points. Adam Reynolds with an easy attempt first up slots the goal
South Sydney Rabbitohs 6-0
14 min: The Rabbitohs complete their set with a bomb kick on the last, Anthony Minichiello collects the ball and is met by the defence on his own 10 metre line
15 min: Daniel Tupou has an air swing at the kick from James Maloney and the ball bounces over the sideline. Scrum feed for the Rabbitohs 10 metres off their own goal line
16 min: Shaun Kenny-Dowall allows the stabbing kick from Adam Reynolds on the last tackle to bounce dead behind the posts. 20 metre restart called for the Roosters
17 min: Burgess is penalised as Jake Friend jumped up quickly and caught the defence offside. Roosters kick ahead and attack 20 metres out
18 min: TRY SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Scored by James Maloney. Conversion attempt by James Maloney successful.
James Maloney has levelled the scores as he cut back on the angle and bolted through the defensive line off a Mitchell Pearce pass. The Roosters hit back to lock the game up as Maloney slots the conversion
22 min: TRY SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Scored by Aidan Guerra. Conversion attempt by James Maloney unsuccessful.
The Sydney Roosters have gone back to back as Aidan Guerra has powered through the defence on the blind side as he charged off a pass from Jake Friend. The Rabbitohs defence unable to cover up the mistake, James Maloney is unable to extend the Roosters' lead from the western sideline.
Sydney Roosters 10-6
24 min: Penalty to the Rabbitohs against Aidan Guerra blocking the play. Rabbitohs attack 40m out from the Roosters goal line
26 min: Sonny Bill Williams with an easy take in goal from the Reynolds kick, Roosters attack from a 20m tap
27 min: Penalty to the Rabbitohs for a second attempt at tackle from the Roosters. Souths over halfway with the free kick taken by Adam Reynolds
28 min: KNOCK ON against George Burgess as he lost the ball in a heavy tackle from Frank Paul Nuuausala - Scrum for the Roosters on their own 10 metre line
31 min: Dylan Farrell juggles the ball as Dylan Walker short passed to him on the last tackle down the blind side. Change over for the Roosters 30 metres off their own goal line
32 min: SBW is penalised for passing off the ground after the tackle was completed. The ball carrying arm was on the ground as he passed the ball as he charged through the line. Rabbitohs kick for line and attack 35 metres out from the goal line
33 min: UNFORCED ERROR SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
Adam Reynolds makes an unforced error.
James Maloney as forced the ball free as Adam Reynolds looked to pass the ball short on the blind side. Scrum for the Roosters 30 metres off their own line
38 min: TRY SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
Scored by Jason Clark. Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.
Jason Clark has charged through a hole for the Rabbitohs to post their second try as Jeff Lima provided the questionable pass to him on the inside. Adam Reynolds slots the conversion from in front
South Sydney Rabbitohs 12-10
39 min: Anthony Minichiello is forced over the sideline with 30 seconds to play in the first half. Scrum South Sydney
40 min: HALF TIME at ANZ Stadium sees the South Sydney Rabbitohs lead the Sydney Roosters 12-10, a massive crowd on hand which is providing a great atmosphere. The Minor Premiership on the line, second half in 15 minutes from now
41 min: The second half is UNDERWAY at ANZ Stadium as the Sydney Roosters kick off and trail 12-10.
41 min: Trent Robinson's message didn't get through. Penalty in the opening tackle. Souths kick for line and attack 10 metres short of halfway
42 min: Adam Reynolds with a short kick on the last tackle, but he tripped over James Maloney as he bolted through. Roosters dive on the ball and start their set 10 metres off their own line
42 min: James Maloney stabs a kick downfield to the corner and the ball bounces touch in goal and a 20 metre tap is called for the Rabbitohs
43 min: SBW cleans up in goal and some out gets out into the field of play. Luke's kick almost leading to a try
44 min: Martin Kennedy undoes the work from SBW as he leaves the ball behind him. Scrum for the Rabbitohs
45 min: George Burgess returns possession to the Roosters as he loses the ball in the tackle.
45 min: Dylan Walker concedes a penalty for holding down Minichiello too long. Roosters attack 40 metres out from the Rabbitohs goal line
47 min: PENALTY ROOSTERS! Burgess is penalised for being offside. Roosters taking the 2 points with a penalty goal
48 min: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Penalty goal attempt by James Maloney successful.
James Maloney slots the penalty goal to lock the game up at 12-all
48 min: UNFORCED ERROR SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Tinirau Arona makes an unforced error.
Tinirau Arona coughs up possession in a tackle and the scrum feed packs for the Rabbitohs 30 metres out
49 min: Sam Burgess backed himself to charge for the corner looking for the Rabbitohs 3rd try, however Dylan Napa has forced the ball free. Scrum for the Roosters 10 metres off their own line.
51 min: UNFORCED ERROR SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Shaun Kenny-Dowall makes an unforced error.
KNOCK ON SKD! He charged back from the Reynolds kick and ruled to have dropped it
52 min: Dylan Walker has bombed a certain try off a short kick. 20m tap for the Roosters as the Rabbitohs 3rd try is lost
53 min: We have a crowd record broken tonight at ANZ Stadium as we have a new record for the highest regular season, 59,708
58 min: TRY SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Scored by James Maloney. Conversion attempt by James Maloney successful.
James Maloney has darted away from the Rabbitohs defence as the referees called play on after being taken high in a tackle. He danced, dived and reached over the try line to give the Roosters their 3rd try. Maloney extends the lead with the conversion attempt
Sydney Roosters 18-12
60 min: TRY SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Scored by Mitchell Pearce. Conversion attempt by James Maloney successful.
The Roosters have gone back to back as Sonny Bill Williams has broken the Rabbitohs defence to show us his speed. He linked with Mitchell Pearce beautifully to send him away to under the posts. James Maloney with the conversion attempt extends the lead
Sydney Roosters 24-12
61 min: FORWARD PASS ruled from Pearce to SKD. Scrum for Rabbitohs 10 metres short of halfway
62 min: Dylan Napa is caught not square at marker, Issac Luke playing the hooker correctly. Souths attack 30m out
62 min: Dylan Walker is collected high as he slipped over. Video Referee having a look here at the contest
63 min: Sonny Bill Williams has found his spot tonight, in goal took the kick and gives SYD the 20m tap
64 min: Kick from the Roosters is out on the full as Daniel Tupou knocked the ball out as he took the ball on the sideline. Change over for the Rabbitohs
66 min: VIDEO REFEREE for the Rabbitohs, but we have NO TRY looking at a blocker
66 min: NO TRY! Dylan Farrell is penalised for taking Tupou out in the kick contest before he cleaned up and then raced away for the goal line
68 min: Double Knock on called, First off the Rabbitohs and Mitchell Pearce fails to take the Sonny Bill Williams short pass. Scrum Roosters on halfway
69 min: TIME OFF, video having a look a few things including this blow up here between players including Pearce
69 min: Video referee is looking at the JWH elbow on Chris McQueen has he charged for the goal line.
69 min: Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is ON REPORT for the elbow to Chris McQueen. Sam Burgess is warned for using knees in the tackle. Penalty awarded to Souths and they kick for line and attack 60 metres from the Roosters goal line
71 min: UNFORCED ERROR SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
Nathan Merritt makes an unforced error.
KNOCK ON! Nathan Merritt drops the ball as Keary passed to him quickly on the last tackle. Change over for the Roosters
73 min: Jennings throws the ball to the touch judge and Tupou no where to be found. Change over Souths
73 min: MINI ON MERRITT! That was all class from Anthony to cover Nathan up as he bolted away down the sideline. Scrum for the Roosters 10 metres out from their goal line
76 min: UNSUCCESSFUL FIELD GOAL SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Field goal attempt by James Maloney unsuccessful.
James Maloney snaps a field goal, it's missed and then a penalty to Rabbitohs for Roosters offside from the kick
Sydney Roosters 24-12
77 min: Mitchell Pearce dives on the loose ball and the Roosters look home now as Sam Burgess coughed up possession
78 min: Penalty to the Rabbitohs for a dangerous tackle. Rabbitohs attack 25 metres short of halfway
80 min: FULL TIME at ANZ Stadium has seen the Sydney Roosters claim the 2013 Minor Premiership as they have won the JJ Giltinan Shield with a 24-12 victory over the Rabbitohs. However, based on total points, the South Sydney club wins the Ron Coote Cup