All four Roosters teams are in the metropolitan NSWRL junior representative finals after finishing the regular season with strong performances on the weekend.
Going into the final games of the season, the Central Coast Harold Matthews side was the only side in jeopardy of missing the finals but earned their spot by defeating Penrith Panthers 24-10 at EDSACC Oval on the Central Coast.
Sitting just outside the top six going into Saturday’s game, the Tricolours came to play and put on 24 consecutive points, with Penrith only scoring in the final five minutes of the game.
A try and conversion from Hayden Ritchie put Central Coast up 6-0 at half-time, but a second-half brace from Jordan Tut-Chapman and tries from Mason Stottelaar and Robert Toia helped secure the side’s spot in the finals.
Central Coast were then able to scout their week 1 finals opponents later in the day when Sydney took on Western Suburbs Magpies.
Sydney, who coincidentally will take on Penrith in week 1 of the finals, lost a hard-fought game 24-26 against the Magpies.
The team will feel like it was a missed opportunity on the eve of the finals. Sydney did not score in the second half and conceded two tries to let a half-time lead slip.
The Roosters’ Tarsha Gale side will play finals football for the first time since 2018 after finishing third on the ladder.
The girls climbed up the ladder with a 30-10 win against Wests Tigers. Charlize Lloyd-Phillips finished the regular season the same way she started it, scoring her second hat-trick of the season.
Taneka Todhunter also continued her good form, scoring a brace as the Roosters scored 6 tries in the first half, while neither side scored in the second half.
Playing finals footy has been on the team’s mind since COVID-19 denied them the chance in 2020, and they will take on Cronulla in this weekend’s quarter-finals.
The SG Ball Cup side capped off a good day for the Roosters juniors by securing the minor premiership with a 36-18 win against Western Suburbs Magpies.
Kani Manu, Joshua Wong and Jordan Swann all scored two tries each to earn the Tricolours top spot and a week off during the first week of the finals.
All games on Saturday were played after originally being postponed in round 7 due to wet weather.
Roosters General Manager of Football Programs Craig Walker said the positioning of the pathways teams is no surprise since the establishment and emphasis on the Club's elite junior programs.
"Establishing the elite pathways programs from under 13s is seeing more and more talented players going through the grades with the Roosters," he said.
"We've got a number of young up and coming players coming into our elite programs and are proving they're not only talented, but they're winning competitions - in the case of our Andrew Johns and Laurie Daley Cup teams - and playing well.
"They're building together which creates a great framework and a model of success any club tries to achieve. We wish our junior teams the best of luck heading into the finals and we're looking forward to seeing them represent the Roosters."
SCOREBOARD HEADING INTO FINALS
TARSHA GALE CUP
Sydney Roosters 30 (Charlize Lloyd-Phillips 3, Taneka Todhunter 2, Iesha Duckett tries; Ruby Smith 3 goals) def Wests Tigers 10
Ladder Position: 3rd
Finals Week 1: Cronulla Sharks (3rd vs 6th quarter-final)
SG BALL CUP
Sydney Roosters 36 (Kani Manu 2, Joshua Wong 2, Jordan Swann 2, Corey Ross tries; Sandon Smith 4 goals) def Western Suburbs Magpies 18
Ladder Position: 1st
Finals Week 1: Bye - Automatically advance to the semi-finals
HAROLD MATTHEWS CUP
Sydney Roosters 24 (Xavier Sofeni, Josh Durkin, Dylan Roach, Salesi Foketi tries; Josh Durkin 4 goals) def by Western Suburbs Magpies 26
Ladder Position: 6th
Finals Week 1: Penrith Panthers (3rd vs 6th quarter-final)
Central Coast Roosters 24 (Jordan Tut-Chapman 2, Hayden Ritchie, Mason Stottelaar, Robert Toia tries; Hayden Ritchie 2 goals) def Penrith Panthers 10
Ladder Position: 5th
Finals Week 1: Western Suburbs Magpies (4th vs 5th quarter-final)