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Roosters Overcome Late Scare to Down Eels in Magic Round

The Sydney Roosters have celebrated Captain James Tedesco's 100th game for the Club with a thrilling 31-24 win against the Parramatta Eels at Suncorp Stadium in Magic Round.

Tedesco continued his rich vein of form with a trademark try and over 250 running metres, while Sam Walker showed off his wizardry with a fifteen point haul in a memorable performance at Suncorp Stadium. 

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves joined former teammate Jake Friend as the fourth-most-capped Rooster after notching up his 264th appearance for the Club, capping the occasion with the opening try of the match, while Joseph Suaalii finished with a double. 

The Tricolours completed a third consecutive victory in the NRL's annual Magic Round, with a 21-6 halftime lead propelling them to a fifth victory for season 2022 despite a second-half scare from the Eels that at one point saw just a single point separating the sides. 

Waerea-Hargreaves Opens the Scoring

Despite the deluge across south-east Queensland throughout the week, the Roosters and Eels were greeted at a dry and humid Suncorp Stadium on a great day for end-to-end Rugby League.

It was the perfect start to the contest for the Roosters, who began proceedings with plenty of intent with the ball in hand which saw Jared Waerea-Hargreaves reach over the line to open the scoring after fooling the defence with a clever dummy.

Continuing their charge downfield, a leg pull saw Trent Robinson's men back in opposition territory - but just as Daniel Tupou looked to extend his try-scoring record, the referee called a forward pass in the lead-up.

Tedesco Pounces on a Walker Kick

Soon enough the Eels were over for a try of their own as Mitchell Moses split the defence before sending Isaiah Papali'i next to the posts in a fast first ten minutes. 

Needing to regain their early momentum, the Roosters got back to work through the middle of the field, and it was a deft kick from Sam Walker that provided the next points as James Tedesco beat fellow fullback Clint Gutherson to touch down. 

Walker continued his strong kicking form with a bending sideline conversion, regaining his side's six-point lead.

Wizardry From Walker

Further ill-discipline from the Eels saw Easts start their next set on halfway, and after Tedesco was denied a second after being tackled without the ball, Walker added two more points as Tom Opacic was sent to the sin-bin.

Sitili Tupouniua and Joseph Manu combined to put Joseph Suaalii in space on the right, and while lack of execution let them down on that occasion, Walker weaved his wand as he regathered a chip and chase to finish off a magnificent solo try.

Another error from the ensuing kick-off handed the Eels another chance to reply but after multiple sets defending their line the Bondi Wall's brave effort held off their opponents, highlighted with a try-saving cover tackle from Angus Crichton on Bailey Simonsson.

Crichton's Try-Saver Denies the Eels

With time ticking down, the Red, White and Blue continued to shut down raid after raid - and Walker potted a deft field goal to give the Roosters a handy 21-6 lead at the break. 

Both sides resumed pleasantries with a physical opening to the second stanza, with Nat Butcher intercepting an offload to bat the ball back and give his side possession in their opponent's half.

Paul Momirovski showed his own skills to send Daniel Tupou careening downfield, and soon after it was Joseph Manu's slick work with the ball putting Joseph Suaalii over for his fourth try of the season. 

Walker's First Half Field Goal

But just as they had extended their lead, the Tricolours conceded as Parramatta hit back through Papali'i, who burst out wide - and after Moses added a try to his tally on the next set, the lead shortened to seven points with half an hour remaining. 

Not deterred by their recent slump, Easts rolled up their sleeves and got back into the arm wrestle as both sides fought tooth and nail to post the next points - but a successful Captain's Challenge gave Parramatta the next shot to score.

Carrying their newfound momentum to the line, the Eels took advantage as former Rooster Ryan Matterson burrowed over under the posts, and all of a sudden there was just one point splitting the sides heading into the final quarter of the match.

Daniel Suluka-Fifita and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves looked to inspire their teammates with a powerful shot on fellow front rower Junior Paulo, and it was the outside backs putting on a show soon after as Suaalii soared to score from a Luke Keary kick.

Suaalii Scores From Silky Move

Suaalii Soars to Score

The Roosters weren't done yet, however, as they continued to ask questions of the defence, and the result was sealed after a high tackle on Sitili Tupouniua - which forced the bustling backrower from the field - as Walker gave his side a seven-point lead with a penalty goal. 

In a tense final few minutes, both sides threw everything at one another with the Tricolours prevailing in a heart-stopping finish to claim their fifth win of 2022, 31 points to 24. 

The Sydney Roosters will return home to the Sydney Cricket Ground next Saturday night as they host the Penrith Panthers in what is set to be an absolute blockbuster. 

Sydney Roosters 31 (Joseph Suaalii 2, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, James Tedesco, Sam Walker tries; Sam Walker 3 goals; Sam Walker 2 penalty goals; Sam Walker field goal) def Parramatta Eels 24 (Isaiah Papali'i 2, Mitchell Moses, Ryan Matterson tries; Mitchell Moses 4 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.