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Resolute Roosters Scrape Past Broncos in Thriller

The Sydney Roosters have made it back-to-back victories in Queensland with a resounding 24-20 comeback win over the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.

The Roosters overcame multiple deficits - trailing 10-nil at the break - to complete an eight-point win over a brave Broncos side, holding off the home side in a frantic finish that went to the death.  

Joseph Manu claimed a brace of tries for the second time in as many weeks, while barnstorming second rower Sitili Tupouniua sealed the result with just minutes remaining from a Sam Walker grubber kick. 

Walker had a night to remember, scoring the side's opening try before providing the match-winning four-pointer along with kicking three conversions.

Suncorp Stadium was packed to the brim for a Friday night blockbuster between Sydney and Brisbane, and appropriately it was Maroons Origin forward Lindsay Collins taking the first hit-up of the match.

Easts made inroads through the opposition defence, carrying momentum from last week's win, with Daniel Tupou starring both under the high ball and through the middle of the field.

Both sides looked to gain ascendency in an evenly-matched arm-wrestle as a Drew Hutchison 40/20 attempt fell agonisingly short, while Brisbane squandered an early chance to score after throwing a forward pass metres from the line.

Walker Gets Roosters Crowing

The Roosters absorbed further pressure as a wayward grubber on fifth tackle trapped Kevin Naiqama behind the line, and the resolute defence prevented further points as Joseph Manu stopped his opposite Herbie Farnworth in his tracks. 

Both sides continued to throw everything at one another in an intense opening quarter, but it was the Broncos who claimed first points as consecutive repeat sets allowed Corey Oates to reach out to score in the corner. 

With Adam Reynolds' conversion waved away, the Broncos took a 4-nil lead after nineteen minutes. 

A chance to reply came on the following set as miscommunication handed possession back to the Tricolours, but just as Luke Keary looked to force a dropout, the Broncos were saved as Selwyn Cobbo miraculously made his way back into the field of play.

The Bondi Wall was under further pressure with the Broncos attacking the line, but Tupou showed poise to clean up the scraps and relieve the defence as Connor Watson, Angus Crichton and Fletcher Baker added plenty of punch from the bench.

Sitili Tupouniua looked to be charging through the backfield before a forward pass was called in another blow for the visitors, while desperation from James Tedesco prevented Cobbo from scoring off a wayward kick.

Naiqama replied in kind with a cool 50-metre dash from the ensuing scrum feed - but disjointed attack and further penalties saw the home side score from a charging solo effort from Kotoni Staggs.

The successful conversion from Adam Reynolds found the Roosters with a 10-nil hill to climb in the shadows of halftime. 

A penalty with 30 seconds remaining gave the Tricolours one last shot to reply before the break, but a dropped ball over the line on the end of a Joseph Manu grubber told the tale of the tape in a cruel finish to the first 40. 

Manu Burrows Over

Looking to reset and brush aside their first-half performance, Easts had first opportunity to strike back as a bruising tackle from Tupou forced an error before a desperate tackle from the defence denied Nat Butcher just inches from the line.

An escort penalty on Manu opened yet another chance for the Roosters, and it was fifth time lucky as Crichton and Sam Walker reversed roles, with the tearaway backrower stepping around the defence to put his halfback over to score. 

Paul Momirovski's conversion closed the deficit to four points with half an hour remaining in the contest - and the comeback was on. 

The Bondi Wall faced its next test sooner than they had hoped, as a dropped ball on the ensuing set gave the Broncos possession 25 metres from the line, but Manu's nouse saw the strike centre pluck an intercept.

A flurry of offloads sent the Tricolours downfield, and following a barnstorming run from Tupouniua in a frantic set, Manu finished the job as he crashed over from dummy-half. 

After 55 minutes, Sam Walker's conversion saw the Roosters claim the lead for the first time in the match. 

Now with their newfound confidence, Easts trundled downfield from the kick-off following another error from the home side, but the Broncos' defence contained the raid as they forced the ball into touch.

Manu Takes Matters Into His Own Hands

Brisbane sent a counter-attack as Staggs revved up again, and soon enough they regained the lead as Oates leapt to collect a bomb in the corner with Adam Reynolds' sideline conversion taking the scores to 16-12.

The two sides came together in disagreement as tensions flared, and one of the most bizarre occurrences on a Rugby League field followed as Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was deemed to have attacked a defenders' knee. 

James Tedesco issued a successful Captain's Challenge on a Sam Walker intercept called as a lost ball - but it proved to be in vain as a dropped ball cruelled another opportunity for points. 

Not to be deterred as they continued to chase points, the Roosters chanced their arm with some expansive play, and again Tedesco looked to challenge a knock-on - but the skipper's fortunes ran out as it was ruled he had lost possession.

Sitili Seals It

The contest continued to see-saw as both sides looked to land the next blow in the final ten minutes, and Manu stepped up to emulate his first four-pointer, barging over the line to level the scores in emphatic fashion.

Sam Walker then stepped up to the plate to kick the sideline conversion, coolly nailing the conversion in front of a hostile crowd give his side an 18-16 lead with five minutes to go. 

A misfiring short kick-off gave the Roosters a penalty on halfway, and the result was sealed as Tupouniua made amends as he dived on an attacking grubber kick, despite the Broncos scoring a consolation try in the shadows of fulltime. 

 

Sydney Roosters 24 (Joseph Manu 2, Sam Walker, Sitili Tupouniua tries; Sam Walker 3, Paul Momirovski goals) def Brisbane Broncos 20 (Corey Oates 3, Kotoni Staggs tries; Adam Reynolds 2 goals) 

Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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