Roosters retain top-four spot after Tigers scare

To retain their spot in the top-four, the Sydney Roosters needed to beat the West Tigers at Leichardt Oval with a number of big-name players out missing.

The Tigers started the brighter following a long run from Tommy Talau, and some stern defence keeping the Roosters in their own half.

However, after Luciano Leilua’s pass to Talau failed to reach the winger, Tedesco split the Wests defence open.

two quick play-the-balls and a set restart allowed Flanagan and Hutchinson to spread to ball out to Matt Ikuvalu who dived over.

In the 14th minute, Tedesco waltzed through the Tigers defence once again.

This time, Flanagan shifted the ball out to Joseph Manu on the right edge and flicked the pass out the back of his hands to Brett Morris.

Just minutes later, it was Sitlii Tupouniua who hit a gap on the half-way line and with Tedesco on his inside, and Josh Morris on his outside, he hit the centre with the pass to run and score in the corner.

A knock-on from Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, followed by an offside penalty gifted the Tigers good field position as they searched for a way back into the game.

However, a loose pass from Russell Packer resulted in a penalty to the Roosters after Marshall was deemed to have knocked on before Packer regained the ball.

Minutes later, Sydney crossed for try number four.

Flanagan and Hutchinson combined once again to give Brett Morris space to get on the outside of Talau and around the in-goal to score.

On the half-hour mark, Matt Ikuvalu picked up a bad ankle injury which caused a small break in play.

With being 20-points down, the Tigers were looking to force the pass as Luke Garner’s pass to David Nofoaluma found the side fence rather than the wingers hands.

HALF-TIME: Wests Tigers 0-20 Sydney Roosters

The Tigers started the second half just as bright as the first, but this time managed to get over the line.

After throwing the ball around, Marshall got to within a few metres of the line.

Jacob Liddle picked up from the ruck and burrowed underneath Hutchinson to score.

Benji Marshall had loosened is shackles at half-time and the Roosters were struggling to cope with the half-back.

He took the ball to the line, dummied and then whipped the ball to Adam Doueihi who crashed over to score.

Moses Mbye converted to make it 12-20 with 25 minutes left.

After dropping the ball to gift the Roosters good field position, Talau intercepted the ball to push Wests back up the field.

Garner knocked the ball though, and Sydney were let off the hook.

With 15 minutes to go, the Tigers were given a hammer blow to their chances of a shock win as Taukeiaho looked to crash over from five metres out but flicked a pass out the back of his hands to Hutchinson to dive over.

With 11 minutes left, the Roosters finished the game off.

Manu span out the tackle of Talau then stepped past Luciano Leilua and grabbed a try.

Just two minutes later, Josh Morris looked to have picked up his second.

James Tedesco knocked the ball back from a high bomb, which ricocheted off the head of Nofoaluma to Tupouniua, who passed onto Morris to score in the corner.

Wests had the ball in the final stages as Nofoaluma held off three Roosters tacklers, and grounded the ball on the line before going into touch.

FULL-TIME: Wests Tigers 16-38 Sydney Roosters


Wests Tigers

Doueihi, Nofoaluma, J Leilua, Mbye, Talau, Brooks, Marshall, Aloiai, Liddle, Packer, Garner, L Leilua, Eisenhuth

Interchanges: Taylor, Reynolds, Twal, Mikaele

Tries: Liddle, Doueihi, Nofoaluma

Goals: Mbye (2/3)

Sydney Roosters

Tedesco, Ikuvalu, J Morris, Manu, B Morris, Hutchinson, Flanagan, Waerea-Hargreaves, Friend, Taukeiaho, Tupouniua, Butcher, Liu

Interchanges: Lussick, Faamausili, Fifita, Collins

Tries: Ikuvalu, B. Morris (2), J. Morris (2), Hutchinson, Manu

Goals: Flanagan (5/7)

Referee: G. Atkins

Touch Judges: T. Smith, C. Sutton

Video Referee: B. Lowe

Image Source: @NRL (twitter)

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