Our Proud History | 2010 Semi Finals

By the end of the regular season in 2010, the Roosters found themselves sitting in 6th place on the ladder, putting together an impressive (but patchy) year.

Considering the 2009 season finished with their first wooden spoon since 1966, any spot in the top 8 was a good position for the Club.

After a fairly unconvincing win over the Cowboys in Round 26, the Roosters had the tough ask of playing an in-form Wests Tigers outfit in the first week of the finals.

Missing the previous two matches with a hamstring injury, Anthony Minichiello recalls what it was like out there in what was one of the most physical games of the year.

"My hamstring was pretty much perfect," he said of his injury leading into the game.

"I could have played against the Cowboys (Round 26), but decided I'd be better off resting it, and it's lucky I did," he added. 

The game started out with the Tigers throwing as much as they could at the Roosters, and for the first twenty five minutes they were denied several tries.

Gareth Ellis was denied on three separate occasions, with the Roosters goal-line defence proving an effective, but tiring recipe in the opening stages.

After Todd Carney was hit with a high shot by Ellis, he took the two points in front of the uprights to make it a 2-0 lead.

It took the Tigers almost half an hour to crack the Roosters defence, scoring through Lote Tuquiri and Beau Ryan at the back end of the first half for a 2-10 lead.

The second half started the way the first half ended for the Tigers, when Blake Ayshford took an intercept to run 80 metres to score, despite some good hustle from Carney to chase him down.

To make matters worse for the tri-colours, Robbie Farah snapped a field goal to make it a 13 point lead.

"That year there were a bunch of games that we were able to come from behind to win.

"We were a confident team that didn't panic, and knew that if we backed ourselves we could put points on them."

They weren’t ready to lie down though, doing everything they could to battle against an aggressive Tigers outfit.

It was the 60th minute when they finally crossed the line, when Carney chipped, chased and popped a pass to Captain Braith Anasta.

With only six minutes left on the clock, Jake Friend put Carney through a hole, who then passed to Mitchell Pearce to cross the line and bring the score to within a point.

The Roosters looked to have one more shot to either level the game or win it.

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves would get the first run of the set only to have it end in the worst possible way.

He was cut down with a dominating shot from Simon Dwyer to force a dropped ball and give the Tigers the scrum feed.

There was 30 seconds remaining on the clock and an opportunity to win the game was looking slim.

"I thought we might have been done, but our forwards had other plans.

"To control that scrum the way they did was incredible, I don't think I've ever seen it in a game."

The ball was fed into the tightly packed scrum, there was plenty of pushing and driving, with the end result being a pounce from Frank Paul-Nuuausala to collect the loose ball and give the Roosters one more chance to muster up some magic.

Carney had the first crack and was thudded to the ground in a big tackle from Chris Heighington.

They pushed the ball to the left wing for Kane Linnett and Phil Graham to have a run, but that space closed.

They went back to the middle to Minichiello, he passed out to Anasta who was camped out on the 30 metre line.

"I got the ball after the left side ran out of space, so when I heard Braith screaming for the ball, I tossed it straight to him."

As good a strike that you’ll ever see, Anasta slotted the field goal straight over the black dot to take the game into Golden Point for the first time in an NRL Finals Series.

Back and forth it went in Golden Point, with both sides missing field goals.

Almost 100 minutes into the game and it was the leading try scorer of the 2010 season to come up with the game winning play.

Shaun Kenny-Dowall got an intercept on his own 20 metre line to sprint the length of the field.

Tuquiri chased and almost cut him down, but Kenny-Dowall was too quick and determined for the International winger. 

Plenty of emotion and entertainment in what was arguably one of the best games of Rugby League played to date.

"I was gassed, and all I could do was will him to the line. 

I'll never forget it, it was probably the best game of rugby league I've ever played in."

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