The Sydney Roosters have continued their solid start to the 2013 NRL season with a 34-10 win over the St George Illawarra Dragons in front of a record crowd at Allianz Stadium for the two clubs annual ANZAC Day clash.


The 40,000+ crowd was the largest ever ANZAC Day match crowd and also the largest ever Sydney Roosters Home crowd at Allianz Stadium.


With the Dragons having won the last five ANZAC Day clashes, and 8 of the 11 played since it became an annual fixture, the boys from Bondis form was ignored in the lead up to the match with many expecting a close encounter like the 2012 fixture which ended with just a try between the two sides.


It took just four minutes for the opening points with a Nathan Fien bomb finding Matt Cooper, who batted the ball back to Jason Nightingale to dive on.


The decision was met with disappointment from the Roosters faithful as calls for a knock on were head throughout the ground, after a suspect arm from Cooper seemed to have touch the ball and propelled forward into a Roosters defender.


Jamie Soward missed the conversion from just to the left of the uprights, leaving the scores at 4-0.


With the defensive wall broken at Allianz Stadium for the first time since Round 1 against Souths, fears of the hoodoo setting in were starting to take over.


The first Roosters try wasnt long away however and came through a fantastic little left side play, with Boyd Cordner offering a brilliant short ball up for a flying Mitchell Aubusson to reach out and dive over.


Aubusson, who this week re-signed with the club for a further two seasons, showed the Roosters faithful why they had chosen to extend the utility forwards deal and the stadium erupted as the fan-favourite dived over.


Jimmy Maloney missed the conversion, like Soward, and the scores remained at four-a-piece.


The third try of the match was a special one.


A neat line by Aubusson to find space off a Maloney pass, saw him find room for an offload to Michael Jennings. The NSW Blues centre made little work of fullback Nightingale and put the burners on to run around him at the back and score down the left corner.


The crowd were on their feet for the 2013 Roosters recruit, with his neat footwork and speed the reason he was brought into the club and his try-scoring ability beyond question after showing Nightingale a Kiwi international up with ease.


Maloney converted to extend the lead.


The fourth try was one for the fans, with the prodigal son Sonny Bill Williams charging at the Dragons defence after scooping up a loose ball and offloading to a flying Mitchell Pearce, who drew the fullback and found his skipper Anthony Minichiello in support to dive under the posts and make it a 12 point lead after 25 minutes.


Maloney converted to again extend their lead.


The next points were just five minutes before the half time break with replacement hooker Daniel Mortimer darting out of dummy half just out from the Dragons line and finding a flying Marty Kennedy who had little trouble with the Dragons defence and crashed over to score. Maloney again converted to extend the lead and make it 22-4 at the break.



SECOND HALF


The first points of the second half were something special, with a neat banana chip from Jimmy Maloney causing trouble for Nightingale at the back and an awkward bounce popped up for Pearce to flick away to a flying Minichiello.


The skipper however had headed inside for the switch and the ball found the ground, but Maloney latched onto it and ducked out of the tackle to fire a pass out wide left to Daniel Tupou who carried Chase Stanley six metres to reach out his big left arm and score just to the left of the uprights.


Maloney converted to again extend their lead.


After a twenty minute spell on the bench it didnt take long for the centurion, Jake Friend, to make an impact when he came back on.


After some strong lead up play from the Roosters big men in the middle, Friend darted blind out of dummy half and dropped a perfectly weighted grubber into the in-goal for a flying Michael Jennings to come through and dive on to register his second for the match.


Maloney again had little trouble with the conversion and the lead was out to 34-4 with just over 15 minutes to play.


The Dragons managed to get on the board again with a consolation try late in the second half to Matt Cooper.


An early kick in the set by Fien found Minichiello at the back alone and Cooper had enough speed and time to scoop up the ball and touchdown, un-touched by the Roosters defence to ensure his side got to double digits.


Soward converted to make it 34-10, where it remained.



Boyd Cordner, after last weekend making his representative debut for Country RL, was awarded the inaugural Ashton-Collier Medal for the Man of the Match.



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