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Five of the Best: Finals Week Two Victories

In recent years the Sydney Roosters haven't found themselves in too many second week finals matches, with plenty of week one victories propelling them straight into the Preliminary Finals.

However, that doesn't mean there hasn't been a fair share of memorable clashes in the second week of finals, and we've been able to nail down Five of the Best in chronological order. 

Freddy and Loz's Last Showdown: 2000 Semi-Final vs Canberra Raiders

After a heavy defeat to the Raiders earlier in the season, the Brad Fittler-led side returned serve in the final meeting between the Roosters' captain and Canberra's Laurie Daley in what would be his final match in the NRL. 

Both sides had near misses in the opening half an hour of the match, with centre Shannon Hegarty losing the ball over the line, while the Roosters bundled Raiders backrower David Furner into touch in the corner before fullback Luke Phillips cleverly prevented a 40/20 attempt from Daley.

But the Roosters claimed the first points as a Bryan Fletcher offload put Craig Wing under the posts, and then took a 12-nil lead into half-time as Fittler sent Ryan Cross barging over to score just minutes after.

Go Freddy: Brad Fittler takes on the Canberra Raiders defence.
Go Freddy: Brad Fittler takes on the Canberra Raiders defence.

Five minutes into the second stanza, Cross bagged his second from an Adrian Lam kick, and the result was beyond doubt as Wing swooped on a Fittler chip to send Matt Sing over.

While the Raiders scored two consolation tries, the Roosters crowed with young winger Anthony Minichiello bagging a double of his own as they propelled further into the 2000 play-offs with a dominant 38-10 win. 

Sydney Roosters 38 (Ryan Cross 2, Anthony Minichiello 2, Craig Wing, Matt Sing tries; Luke Phillips 5, Craig Fitzgibbon 2 goals) def Canberra Raiders 10

 

Tricolours Topple Premiers: 2002 Semi-Final vs Newcastle Knights

Following a strong win against the Cronulla Sharks in the first week of finals and coming up against the defending Premiers in the Newcastle Knights on a perfect day at the SFS, Brad the men from Bondi put in a memorable performance.

While the Knights scored the first points of the match four minutes in, the ill-disciplined Roosters were lucky not to concede a second as their opponents lost possession over the line twice in quick succession.

Easts were able to hit back from an error from their opponents, as replacement forward Chad Robinson scooped a loose ball to dive over, with a missed penalty goal in the dying stages saw the scores level at 6-all at the break after what was a surprisingly scrappy first half in otherwise perfect conditions.

The arm wrestle between the two combatants continued into the second half, with neither able to get on the board in the early stages, before the Roosters went end-to-end as Craig Fitzgibbon took a 90-metre intercept to score one of the all-time finals tries, crossing in the corner to break the deadlock.

Pointscorer: Craig Fitzgibbon found himself on the scoresheet against the Knights in the 2002 Semi Final with a try and two goals.
Pointscorer: Craig Fitzgibbon found himself on the scoresheet against the Knights in the 2002 Semi Final with a try and two goals.

The Tricolours crossed as winger Brett Mullins cleverly toed ahead a Brad Fittler kick for Todd Byrne, before Anthony Minichiello - who previously made a try-saving tackle on a runaway Sean Rudder - scooped a loose pass to dash 80 metres and score.

Mullins found himself on the scoreboard as Fittler collected a wayward pass just metres from the line, before Byrne and Minichiello completed their doubles as the Roosters ran away with an emphatic 38-12 victory. 

Sydney Roosters 38 (Todd Byrne 2, Anthony Minichiello 2, Chad Robinson, Craig Fitzgibbon, Brett Mullins tries; Michael Crocker 3, Craig Fitzgibbon 2 goals) def Newcastle Knights 12

 

Roosters Punt Panthers to Book Prelim: 2010 Semi-Final vs Penrith Panthers

Fresh off a memorable 100-minute contest against the Wests Tigers in one of the most dramatic finals games in the code's history, the Sydney Roosters were set to meet the second-placed Penrith Panthers in a do-or-die clash at the Sydney Football Stadium - and did not disappoint.

The Red, White and Blue continued their extravagant and unorthodox playing style from the week before, as they scored the first try of the match from deep within their half as a left-side shift saw halfback Mitchell Pearce complete an 80-metre effort.

The Bondi Wall remained firm in the first half, denying the Panthers two tries close to the line, and a sidestepping Pearce helped to set up the side's second with captain Braith Anasta sliding under the posts for a 12-nil half-time lead. 

Steggles Plays of the Game finals week 2

Rookie centre Kane Linnett was held up over the line just five minutes on resumption, but the Tricolours found further success when they spun the ball to the right which saw Sam Perrett dive over in the corner. 

The Panthers hit back with a try of their own, but the Roosters spine was too hard for them to handle as Anasta sent fullback Anthony Minichiello over to further the lead before Pearce offloaded to Dally M Medallist Todd Carney to ice the result. 

Penrith scored a consolation try in the dying stages, but it was Carney who put the cherry on top with a perfect grubber for Perrett to claim his second as the Roosters romped to the Preliminary Final with a 34-12 win. 

Sydney Roosters 34 (Sam Perrett 2, Mitchell Pearce, Braith Anasta, Anthony Minichiello, Todd Carney tries; Toddy Carney 5 goals) def Penrith Panthers 12

 

 

Close Shave Against Cowboys: 2014 Semi-Final vs North Queensland Cowboys 

Few could predict that the Roosters would kick-off the 2014 finals series with two back-to-back one-point thrillers, but that's exactly what happened as they edged out the Cowboys in a dramatic high-scoring contest at the SFS. 

Licking their wounds after a 19-18 loss against the Penrith Panthers the week prior, the Tricolours shot out of the blocks with Mitchell Pearce dashed 90 metres downfield to score after intercepting a fifth-tackle kick to open the scoring. 

A short-side raid saw James Maloney float a cut-out to Daniel Tupou, and the Roosters made it three tries in 20 minutes as Michael Jennings dived on a Maloney grubber which was halted by the goalposts. 

Roosters v Cowboys | Semi-Final, 2014

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Five minutes later Tupou was over for his second as burst through the defence to streak away for a long-range four-pointer, and after Maloney barged over to score himself, the Red, White and Blue found themselves with a 30-nil lead after as many minutes. 

Despite the Cowboys striking twice in quick succession, the Roosters were still in command 30-12 at the break, although the tide would swing in the second half.

Five minutes into the second half, North Queensland closed the deficit as Johnathan Thurston crossed, and in the next ten minutes, the visitors struck twice to surprisingly level the scores at 30-all with just under half an hour remaining.

Through a strenuous 20 minute period, the points dried up as neither side could grab the lead, before a cool, calm and collected James Maloney sank a field goal to give his side a 31-30 lead with five minutes left. 

The shadows of full-time weren't without drama though, as the Cowboys looked to have scored a try with less than a minute remaining, only for the video referee to identify a knock-on in the process. From there, the Tricolours marched on and completed a closely fought, hard-earned 31-30 victory. 

Sydney Roosters 31 (Daniel Tupou 2, Mitchell Pearce, Michael Jennings, James Maloney tries; James Maloney 5 goals; James Maloney field goal) def North Queensland Cowboys 30

 

SKD Scores Three as Roosters Romp to Prelim: 2015 Semi-Final vs Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

Not to be deterred from their opening-round loss of the 2015 finals, the Sydney Roosters bounced back in strong fashion with a big win over the Bulldogs at the Sydney Football Stadium.

James Maloney opened up the scoring with a gift penalty goal, and soon it was Shaun Kenny-Dowall who scored from a brilliant effort which saw a flying Blake Ferguson tapping back the ball to his teammate. 

Although the Bulldogs hit back with a try of their own to Tim Lafai, neither side could extend in the opening half as Easts took an 8-4 lead going into the break. 

Despite the continuation of poor discipline to open the second half, the Tricolours broke through the rut to strike in quick succession as front-rower Kane Evans barged over before Tuivasa-Sheck bagged his second to give the side a 20-4 lead with just under half an hour remaining.

RTV-FW2-Sheds-SKD

Canterbury-Bankstown struck again with a try to Damien Cook, but the Roosters went on with the job, as Kenny-Dowall scored his second of the night with a fighting effort in the corner, while Boyd Cordner sealed the result, running a trademark line to the chalk.  

Kenny-Dowall finished the match with a third try to his name after plucking a perfect kick to slam the ball down over the line, and despite the Bulldogs scored in the final minute, it was the Roosters who progressed to the preliminary final with a convincing 38-12 victory. 

Sydney Roosters 38 (Shaun Kenny-Dowall 3, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2, Kane Evans, Boyd Cordner tries; James Maloney 6 goals; James Maloney penalty goal) def Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 12

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More Five of the Best on Roosters.com.au

Five of the Best: Finals Week One Victories

Five of the Best: Encounters with Penrith

Five of the Best: Battles with the Eels