NYC Match Report: SYD 34 - CBY 30

The Sydney Roosters have hung on for another gripping NYC win, edging the Canterbury Bulldogs 34-30 at Allianz Stadium.


The Roosters started the match with a clear plan to attack the Bulldogs in and around the ruck. Alex Thomas was dictating terms from dummy half, linking up with big men Shaquille Blair and Brandon Tago for easy metres. Blair was the standout player in his twenty minute stint, leading both teams with 68 metres.


Thirteen minutes passed before the scoreboard attendant was troubled. A probing run from Blair saw the behemoth held up over the line. From the ensuing play, Tyler Cornish bombed away to the right corner for a flying Jack Goodsell to score.


The game was expected to be high scoring, and Goodsell's try well and truly opened the floodgates. It took only three minutes for the home side to extend their lead, with Taane Milne crossing out wide. Heading into the match with the most try assists in the competition, Samisoni Langi increased his tally to nine with a lofted ball to the charging right centre. Brendan Elliot had more luck wi his second kick, pushing the score to 10-0.


With both Roosters' starting front rowers leaving the field, the Bulldogs decided to focus their attention to the middle third of the field. Two tries in the space of two minutes to bookends Herman Ese'ese and a rampaging Lloyd Perrett gave the visitors their first lead of the night after 23 minutes.


Things got even better for the Bulldogs when Moses Mbye touched down for one of the best tries of 2013. Bulldogs fullback Patrick Templeman was the catalyst. After sliding to take a Cornish bomb, Templeman audaciously stepped his way down a narrow short side to catch the home side napping. The fullback then drew Dallas Wells, before linking up with Ryan Wilson, who tipped it on to the flying Mbye. Templeman's third goal of the evening gave his side an 18-10 lead after 31 minutes.


The Roosters had the last laugh in the first half, with Langi once again bamboozling the Bulldog defence. No one could stop the flying five eighth as he stepped his way through the line, before finding Wells in support. Elliot added the extras to reduce the margin to two at the break.


Both sides blew brilliant try scoring opportunities to start the second half. The Bulldogs had a try disallowed for obstruction, while Cornsih knocked on over the line. The Bulldogs made the home side pay from the following set, as an innocuous looking grubber fooled everyone, allowing Dylan Rintoul to score the easiest try of his buddying career.


It didn't take long for the Roosters to get back into the game, with Jack Goodsell crossing for his second try of the night. Elliot nailed the toughest kick of the night, bringing the home side to within two.


The good times kept coming for the red hot Roosters, with back rowers going back to back inside two minutes. Rhyse Martin gave the side a deserved lead with a typical captain's try on the last tackle, as he fought through three would be defenders. Willis Meehan then charged onto an Alex Thomas pass one minute later to give the side a 32-24 lead.


More known for their second half heroics, the Roosters needed to knuckle down in defence if they wanted the two competition points. Things looked good until the 70th minute, when Blake Carter burst from dummy half, before finding Mbye, whose hit and spin proved too much for the scrambling defence. Templeman's kick brought the score to 32-30, setting up another trademark grandstand finish.


It looked destined to finish all square with the Bulldogs awarded a penalty directly in front. To everyone's surprise, the visitors declined the gift two points from twenty metres out. It took just one play for the plan to backfire, with the Bulldogs coughing up the ball. To rub salt into the wound, the Roosters marched down field and we awarded a penalty of their own. With the siren about to sound, Martin had no hesitation in pointing to the sticks, with Elliot duly adding the two points.


The 34-30 win was the Roosters' fourth nail being win of the season and keeps them comfortably entrenched in the top four. They will look to extend their good form with another win in the ANZAC clash against the Dragons.