The undefeated Parramatta Eels faced the Sydney Roosters at Bankwest Stadium as the away side, in what had been dubbed the match of the round, as the two title contenders went face to face.
After a Josh Morris break down the left-hand edge, the Roosters looked to score the first try of the half, as Brett Morris came close on both sides of the pitch, with Josh then wrapped up on the fifth tackle.
Sydney were certainly on top in the opening stages, but a 70-metre break from Clint Gutherson swiftly put the tri-colours under pressure.
Ryan Matterson looked to cross on the right-hand edge, but Josh Morris stripped the ball out his grasp, in a two-on-one tackle just short of the line.
With both sides playing their usual style of free-flowing rugby, the number of chances to sore were coming thick and fast.
The Roosters should have scored just before the 20th minute as Josh Morris’ quick catch and pass should have been gathered by Daniel Tupou.
However, the winger, who was carrying a knock, was a few metres back and not up with the play.
With exactly 20 minutes gone, James Tedesco’s pass hit the deck in front of Joseph Manu and bounced through to Brett Morris.
The winger then beat the tackles of Dylan Brown and Gutherson to score.
Five minutes later, Kyle Flanagan made up for his missed conversion with a penalty after Brown was penalised for a dangerous tackle on Manu.
Despite the slim lead for the Roosters, they still weren’t in control, of the game. However, handling errors from Parramatta were not helping the visitors cause.
With minutes to go until the break, Blake Ferguson believed he had scored in the corner. However, he tackled Daniel Tupou in the air before grounding the loose ball.
In the final seconds of the half, James Tedesco was tackled high by Oregon Kaufusi, and Kyle Flanagan converted the two points to make it 8-0 at the break.
HALF-TIME: Sydney Roosters 8-0 Parramatta Eels
The Eels started the first five minutes of the half with ball in hand, picking up three sets on the bounce.
The early pressure on the Roosters line, brought about a score as well, as Mitchell Moses and Dylan Brown shifted the ball to Michael Jennings, who dummied past Joseph Manu to score his 150th NRL try.
In their very next attacking set, Jennings found himself in the same position as the one he scored in, but this time was wrapped up by Manu.
Parramatta took the lead with 20 minutes to go as Michael Jennings busted two tackles on the left-hand edge. He then offloaded to Maika Sivo, who ran straight over the top of James Tedesco to score a wonderful try.
Moses converted to make it 8-10.
It didn’t take long for the Roosters to regain the lead, as, in the very next set,Luke Keary broke through the left-hand edge and popped the ball to Boyd Cordner who crashed over for the reigning premiers to push them up to a 14-10 lead.
Nathan Brown was then penalised for a high tackle, and Flanagan duly delivered with a penalty to make it a six-point lead with just under 15 minutes remaining.
Minutes later, Morris and Keary combined to get deep into the Eels half. In order to stop the Roosters scoring a certain try, Michael Jennings didn’t retreat the ten metres and made a deliberate stop to the Sydney attack.
Jennings received a yellow card and Flanagan converted to make it 18-10 with ten minutes to go.
With a man advantage, the Roosters were looking to kill the game off with another try.
Further ill-discipline from Parramatta gave them the chance to do exactly that and showed the Eels that, whatever you can do, we can do better.
The ball was shifted slowly out towards Josh Morris, who pushed off Waqa Blake, causing Blake Ferguson to commit to him. As soon as this happened, he offloaded to Tupou to pick up the third Roosters try of the night.
Sydney looked to finish the game in style, and picked up a fresh set of six inside the Eels ten-metre line, with 45 seconds remaining.
However, Keary’s kick was batted down by Peni Terepo, it what would be the final play.
FULL-TIME: Sydney Roosters 24-10 Parramatta Eels
Tedesco, Tupou, J. Morris, Manu, B. Morris, Keary, Flanagan, Waerea-Hargreaves, Friend, Taukeiaho, Cordner, Crichton, Radley
Interchanges: Liu, Butcher, Tupouniua, Aubusson
Tries: B. Morris, Cordner, Tupou
Goals: Flanagan (6/7)
Gutherson, Sivo, Jennings, Blake, Ferguson, Brown, Moses, Campbell-Gillard, Mahoney, Paulo, Lane, Matterson, Brown
Interchanges: Stone, Niukore, Kaufusi, Terepo
Tries: Jennings, Sivo
Goals: Moses (1/2)
Referee: B. Cummins
Touch Judges: D. Munro, Z. Przeklasa-Adamski
Video Referee: B. Galea
Image Source: @NRL (Twitter)