The Sydney Roosters Junior Reps season got underway on the weekend with the Harold Matthews Cup and SG Ball Cup teams flying to Melbourne to take on the young Storm squads at Casey Fields. After 3 months of training and trials, it was a big challenge for the young players with many of them on their first interstate trip.
On a balmy afternoon in Melbourne with rain late in the day, the Sydney Roosters Harold Matthews got on the board with a cracking performance against a much bigger Melbourne Storm outfit. After a solid but nervous start to the match, the young chooks found their groove midway through the first half running in 3 tries to none to take an 18 point to nil lead into the halftime break.
The second half was all the young Roosters with some great tries and a relentless defense which had the Storm on the back foot the entire match. Lachlan Lam had a great start to the season with 3 tries. He was well assisted in attack by Stephan Blair whose combination with Lachlan looks to be a highlight for the coming season. Up front Charles Taufa was strong in attack and defense and lock forward Victor Radley worked tirelessly all afternoon.
Sydney Roosters 36 (Tries: Lachlan Lam 3, Stephan Blair, Charles Taufa, Caine Matthews-Wood / Goals: Stephan Blair 6) def Melbourne Storm 0
The SG Ball has been in fine form during the trials and was hoping to bring that form into Round 1. It was a blinding start for the Roosters when they raced out to an 18 points to nil lead and it looked as though it was to be a carbon copy of the Harold Matthews game. But the Storm with 6 players playing this one game before moving up to the NYC team, showed fighting qualities and with dominating possession late in the half hit back with 2 late tries to have the Roosters head into the sheds 18 – 12 up. In a bruising second half with 2 Roosters players ruled out of the second half with injuries, both team shared the lead.
With less than 10 minutes to go and the Roosters behind by 4 the boys made a late surge and a clever cross field kick by Travis Edwards to Chevi Ellis had him scoring in the corner. Travis Edwards who had a perfect day with the boot slotted the sideline conversion to put the Roosters back in front. A late individual try to fullback Latrell Mitchell locked up the result and gave the young Roosters a perfect 2 from 2 afternoon.
Best for the Roosters was young hooker Grant Garvey who setup the second try with a great 40/20. Poasa Faamausili had some big charges up the middle and Travis Edwards had some classy touches.
Sydney Roosters 42 (Tries: Chevi Ellis 2, Poasa Faamausili, Grant Garvey, Ryan King, Travis Edwards, Latrell Mitchell / Goals: Travis Edwards 7) def Melbourne Storm 34 (Tries: Nelson Tinio Asofa-Solomona, Kurt Bernard, Connor Donehue, Melvin Fifita, Amanaki Manu, Sheldon Pitama / Goals: Zac Greene 5)
This week will see the young Roosters take on the North Sydney Bears back in Sydney at TG Milner field, Eastwood. As a perfect warm up to the World Club Challenge come down and support the young Roosters as they will be looking to put together back to back victories.
Round 2: Sydney Roosters vs North Sydney Bears
Venue: TG Milner Field, Eastwood (at Eastwood Rugby Club)
Kick Off: Harold Matthews 10:00am / SG Ball 11:30am