The Sydney Roosters have celebrated Women in League Round with a famous 21-20 victory against the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.
In what was a drama-filled, see-sawing contest, the Roosters claimed their fourteenth win of the season with a penalty goal in the final minute deciding the outcome.
Dale Copley marked his first appearance in the Tricolours since Round 26, 2016 with a try, while young second rower Naufahu Whyte - the latest of Trent Robinson's debutants for season 20121 - became the 1205th player to don the Red, White and Blue in first grade.
Isaac Liu and Siosiua Taukeiaho led from the front with the absence of enforcers Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Angus Crichton, with the former scoring the side's opening try and the latter setting up the final four-pointer of the night.
Adam Keighran starred with the boot, nailing three conversions and the game-winning penalty goal, while James Tedesco was influential with a try and a try assist with Sam Walker kicking a field goal in the dying stages.
Match: Broncos v Roosters
Round 22 -
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
An inspirational chase and tackle from Tedesco set the tone for the match, and after just three minutes the Roosters captain found himself over the line - only for the ball to dislodge from his grasp on his way to the ground.
The Roosters handed an opportunity to their opponents with an uncharacteristic error on halfway, and although a brave tackle from Nat Butcher cut down Payne Haas just centimetres from the try line, the Broncos front rower found the line on the following set.
The Tricolours got themselves back in the battle for territory after a soaring Daniel Tupou disarmed an attacking bomb, and Isaac Liu replied in kind after reaching over the line thanks to a clever pass at dummy half from Sam Verrills.
Verrills Feeds Liu Close to the Line
A chance to strike again went begging as poor execution from a scrum ten metres from the line saw a pass go into touch, and the Broncos took advantage after a fortuitous bounce of the ball saw them cross in the corner on a fifth tackle kick.
Lack of discipline invited their opponents back into the red zone following a high tackle, but brave efforts from Drew Hutchison and Tedesco prevented the Broncos from extending their lead.
Back on the charge and in an arm wrestle through the middle, a leaping Joseph Manu came oh-so-close to touching down before Tedesco looked to inspire his teammates with a scything 55-metre dash, and the Red, White and Blue were on the board again as he followed up his effort with a deft kick for Copley to score.
Adam Keighran's kick from the sideline sailed between the posts, and the sides were level at 12-all with less than ten minutes left in the first half.
Tedesco Puts it on the Toe for Copley
The first half finished in a scrappy fashion as over-enthusiasm got the better of both sides, and the scoreboard remained level with Trent Robinson's men looking to execute their opportunities in the second stanza.
While the Broncos threatened to reclaim the lead in the early stages of the second half, the Bondi Wall held strong as a try-saving effort from rookie duo Fletcher Baker and Egan Butcher was followed by a seven-tackle set for the Roosters.
A Sam Walker linebreak led to a wayward flick pass, but after a frustrating period, neither side was able to convert their chances heading into the final half-hour of the contest.
Taukeiaho Bursts Through and Tedesco Dots Down
Naufahu Whyte found himself in a dangerous tackle after his first carry of his NRL career and while the teenage forward brushed himself off as the Roosters looked to break the deadlock with their newfound territory, it was Brisbane who regained the lead as ad-lib play found Albert Kelly under the posts.
Not to be deterred, the Roosters clawed their way back once again as front rower Siosiua Taukeiaho busted the line with some late footwork and displayed soft hands to put Tedesco over under the posts, and with Keighran's conversion successful, the scoreboard read 18-all with as many minutes remaining.
Walker Edges Roosters into Lead
The Broncos threatened to make a break down the sideline following an aerial contest, but with Hutchison intercepting a pass back on the inside, the boys from Bondi had their best opportunity to take the lead.
A well-weighted kick from Tedesco forced a drop out, and with just over seven minutes left on the clock, Walker gave the Roosters the lead for the first time in the match by calmly plotting a field goal.
Keighran Drills Pressure Kick to Win it
Another layer of drama entered the contest as a controversial penalty for a dangerous tackle on Kelly saw the Broncos reclaim the lead with a penalty goal from in front of the posts.
The match was far from over, however, and the Roosters continued to strive for victory after regaining possession from the kick-off, with a Captain's Challenge revealing a head-high tackle on Sitili Tupouniua.
Stepping up to the plate and in the final minute of the contest, Keighran calmly slotted the penalty goal with a raucous crowd behind him, with the Roosters claiming an emphatic 21-20 victory.
Sydney Roosters 21 (Isaac Liu, Dale Copley, James Tedesco tries; Adam Keighran 3 goals; Sam Walker field goal; Adam Keighran penalty goal) def Brisbane Broncos 20 (Payne Haas, Jordan Riki, Albert Kelly tries; Tyson Gamble 2, Selwyn Cobbo goals; Selwyn Cobbo penalty goal)
Stay tuned for more from Roosters.com.au including Match Highlights, Roosters TV Post-Match Interviews and Head Coach Trent Robinson's Press Conference!