The Roosters outlasted the Dragons on Monday night, grinding out a win at Allianz Stadium to put themselves back in the top four.
They showed that they were backing their defence early when an early penalty saw James Maloney take the kick for goal.
The Dragons opened the scoring early in the first when Nightingale rushed up on Ferguson to force the error, then Mata’utia picked up the scraps and barged over.
The Roosters returned serve minutes later when SKD leaped high to collect a kick from Maloney and put it down. That try saw Kenny-Dowall tie with Bill Mullins as the second all-time try scorer for the Roosters.
The game felt at times like an arm wrestle, and never quite in any one team’s favour, until Kane Evans stormed his way over between the uprights.
The Dragons would have no luck trying to crack the Roosters line, but elected to take the two when a penalty presented itself right before the break. The Roosters would go into half time with a 14-8 lead.
The first half of the second was grinding, physical and defence- minded football, with neither team getting any real advantage over their opponent. It took a moment of brilliance halfway into the second half from Kenny-Dowall to go over in the corner off a nice looking set play to become the stand alone second highest try scorer for the Sydney Roosters.
The Dragons clawed back into it late though, when Gareth Widdop shifted the ball wide, set up a line break then got the ball back to finish it up just next to the uprights.
It took some brilliance from Tuivasa-Sheck to step and run his way out of the in goal to avoid gifting the Dragons a drop out. The Roosters outlasted them in the end, boasting desperate defence at times and doing well to not give in despite missing some big names.
Jake Friend snapped a field goal right on the full time buzzer and the Roosters finished up in front 19-14.