NRL Match Report | Round 23
After an exhausting 80 minutes of football at AAMI Park, the Roosters have fallen just short in a nail-biter to the Storm 13-16.
The Roosters did well to build intensity in the opening stanza, but a couple of quick penalties would see the Storm force their way into good field position and take the easy two points on offer through Cameron Smith.
It went on to be a frustrating first half for the Roosters who found themselves being penalised constantly on their own line and forced to defend set after set.
Smith would take another two points after receiving a penalty right in front of the uprights to give his side a four point lead.
The frustration would continue when Latrell Mitchell was ruled to have tackled Suliasi Vunivalu without the ball near the try-line to award the Storm a penalty try and a ten point lead.
A swift reply from the Roosters soon followed when Luke Keary pounced on a grubber kick from Captain Jake Friend to bring the scores to within four after Mitchell slotted the conversion.
The Roosters continued to concede penalties in the second half, with a high shot from Pearce in the opening ten minutes of the half resulting in two more points for the Storm.
One thing that didn’t drop after the break was the intensity, with both sides running into each other with plenty of intent.
With twenty minutes remaining in the half, Vunivalu would have a strange brain-snap and leap with his knees into the defensive line to give the Roosters a penalty.
On the back of that, the Roosters did well to level the scores with a determined try from Mitchell Aubusson when he was on the receiving end of a perfect pass from fullback Connor Watson.
A back-and-forth affair would follow as both sides crashed into each other for the remainder of the match.
Luke Keary looked to seal it for the Roosters after slotting a field goal in the closing seven minutes, but the Storm quickly countered with a four-pointer through second rower Joe Swanson.
It was a great contest between the top-of-the-table contenders, but the Roosters would fall just short on this occasion.