NYC Match Report | Round 23
The young Roosters put in a big performance in the Holden Cup on Sunday afternoon to defeat the second placed Penrith Panthers 42-24 at Allianz Stadium.
In what you would expect from a top four clash, the opening minutes played out in back-and-forth fashion with neither side willing to give their opponent much room to breathe.
Goal-line defence was exceptional from both sides, but it would be the Cowboys to execute first.
After twelve minutes of play, Cowboys hooker Brandon Smith stormed through a hole and offloaded to Ty Carucci pushing up in support to claim the first four-pointer of the day.
Much like a back-and-forth clash though, the Roosters would strike straight back through the boot of Jackson Hastings and a superb pick-up and put-down from Bernard Lewis on the left edge.
The Roosters had all the momentum, and would continue the kicking clinic just minutes later when Grant Garvey put in a nice grubber for Kiah Cooper to put down between the uprights.
The Cowboys were determined to not let it slip away, going in for their second of the afternoon through Cody Maughan on the right edge.
After Kiah Cooper misjudged a kick to the in-goal, Cowboys centre Enari Tuala took advantage, snatching the loose ball and planting it down between the uprights.
The lead would change hands once again in this neck-and-neck encounter when Nat Butcher took on the line, bursted through and planted it down between the uprights just shy of the break.
It didn’t take long for the Roosters to catch fire in the second half, scoring back-to-back tries in the opening fifteen minutes.
The first was scored by Jarred Anderson after collecting a Hastings bomb, and the second by Grant Garvey after darting from dummy-half, throwing the dummy and going himself.
Tahanui Tutavake scored for the Cowboys to give themselves a chance, but the Roosters went in again when Sukamanu Raki used all his strength to fight his way through four defenders to score.
Showing plenty of fight and down by sixteen points, the Cowboys made it a twelve point game when Enari Tuala made the break and passed it to his winger Nathan Traill on the right edge.
The Roosters were in no food for a comeback though, when Nat Butcher claimed his double in the closing stages after bursting through the defence between the uprights.