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Roosters Post Half Century on Central Coast

The Sydney Roosters have celebrated Trent Robinson's 250th match as Head Coach with a 54-26 victory over the St George Illawarra Dragons at Central Coast Stadium.

Robinson became the first Roosters boss to claim the 250-game milestone, with his side producing a blockbusting performance that saw them breach the 50-point barrier for the first time in 2022. 

Coming into Round 18 off the bye and looking to claim their first victory since May, the Tricolours shot out of the blocks to lead 12-nil, but rallied with three tries in a five-minute period after being behind by two at the break. 

The State of Origin contingent of Captain James Tedesco, Daniel Tupou and Angus Crichton successfully backed up with powerhouse performances, while clubman Drew Hutchison notched up his 50th NRL appearance.

Radley Breaks Through the Middle

In the process, the Roosters recorded their third consecutive victory at Central Coast Stadium, which saw Matt Lodge become Sydney Rooster no.1210 and Sam Walker notch a personal tally of 22 points from a try and nine goals. 

On a sun-kissed day in Gosford, the Tricolours ran out to an electric atmosphere with plenty of Red, White and Blue support in the stands in fantastic conditions, with the Roosters showcasing plenty of energy in the opening stages. 

Tedesco and Tupou showed little sign of fatigue from their Origin appearances, combining to spur their side in attack, while the likes of Sitili Tupouniua, Joseph Suaalii and Paul Momirovski showed plenty of physicality in defence to hold off their opponents. 

Suaalii's Shot on Ramsey

Easts missed an early chance with Suaalii going oh-so-close to claiming a try from a kick, but dazzling ball-playing from Tedesco and five-eighth Joseph Manu up the middle saw Victor Radley streak through to score under the posts. 

Suaalii produced a massive hit of his own on Cody Ramsay, and off the back of their high-tempo, free-flowing style of play, the scores extended soon after as Manu burrowed over from dummy half through a barging solo effort. 

Manu Powers Over From Dummy Half

Now up 12-nil after a strong opening 20 minutes, the Roosters looked to have the wind behind their backs, however, a quick shift in momentum was about to come. 

A handling error saw the Dragons with possession in the Roosters' end, and after numerous indiscretions, it was their captain Ben Hunt pirouetting to close the deficit to six points.

Hunt backed up his effort with a 40/20 on the following set, and with Zac Lomax crossing in the corner, the scoreboard read 12-all with just over ten remaining until the break. 

Looking to regain the ascendency, the Roosters were forced to shuffle their side with Manu reverting to the centres as Hutchison took the field, but once again handling errors crept in at their own end.

Momirovski Sends Watson Charging Through

A penalty at the scrum saw the Dragons take the lead for the first time, with the Red, White and Blue holding off a late raid to keep the difference to two points as they headed to the sheds. 

Needing to replicate the beginning of their first half, Crichton led from the front as the Tricolours went back on the attack, with Momirovski cutting inside to a charging Connor Watson who strode through under the posts. 

In a perfect start to the second 40, the Roosters regained the lead after 3 minutes, with Walker's conversion giving them a four-point advantage. 

Manu Burrows Over Again

Radley poked his nose through the line but an offload to Tedesco went to ground, before Tupou charged downfield to put his side back in position to extend their newfound lead.

Walker looked to produce more points from his boot, and after being illegally taken out, the Dragons were down to twelve men with the halfback taking the opportunity to extend by two. 

The score very well may have extended further as Tedesco charged onto what looked to be a well-timed pass, only for it to be called forward, with the Dragons hitting back in the corner through Mat Feagai. 

With just under half an hour remaining, the scores were level at 20-all following the successful conversion, with Matt Lodge taking the field for the first time in Red, White and Blue.

Walker Spins and Scores

The visitors looked to run around the outside, but with a forced error in their own half, the Tricolours rallied with three tries in quick succession. 

Firstly it was Manu who crashed over from dummy half for the second time after Crichton was stopped inches from the line, before Walker spun around to beat a defender metres out.

All of a sudden Tedesco added his name to the scoresheet, running off his back rower to notch his ninth try of the season and his side's third in a whirlwind five-minute period. 

Tedesco Leads the Charge

A short kick-off was recovered by the Dragons as they searched to emulate their first-half comeback, but a desperate legs tackle from Momirovski prevented Feagai from bagging his second with the line open.

Crichton was cruelly robbed of a well-earned try as the bounce of the ball eluded him, with a poorly timed offload was swooped by Dragons fullback Cody Ramsey, back to a twelve-point difference with fifteen remaining.

Looking to land the killing blow, Joseph Suaalii stole the show, going full circle to crash over in the corner before more Manu brilliance saw the Kiwi sensation kick through for Momirovski to add his name to the scoresheet.

With just minutes remaining, the Roosters got their half-century as Tedesco bagged his brace with a powerful charge as the Chookpen faithful rejoiced. 

The Sydney Roosters will head up to Newcastle next Friday night to face the Newcastle Knights in their Round 19 clash at McDonald Jones Stadium. 


Sydney Roosters 54 (Joseph Manu 2, James Tedesco 2, Victor Radley, Connor Watson, Sam Walker, Joseph Suaalii, Paul Momirovski tries; Sam Walker 8 goals; Sam Walker penalty goal) def St George Illawarra Dragons 26 (Ben Hunt, Zac Lomax, Mat Feagai, Cody Ramsey tries; Zac Lomax 4 goals; Zac Lomax penalty goal) 

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.