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Roosters Bow Out of 2022 Finals After Courageous Performance

In a match filled with drama, fortitude and courage, the Sydney Roosters fought tooth and nail against the South Sydney Rabbitohs in their elimination final, going down 14-30. 

The Roosters rallied courageously without James Tedesco for a majority of the contest, with Daniel Tupou, Angus Crichton and Siosiua Taukeiaho also leaving the field at crucial periods. 

Front rower Matt Lodge celebrated his 100th NRL match, while Victor Radley and Joseph Suaalii both produced powerhouse performances under heavy adversity with the likes of Connor Watson, Drew Hutchison and Paul Momirovski standing up when counted.  

In their second consecutive sold-out match at Allianz Stadium, the Roosters ran out to a raucous crowd and a sun-kissed track with plenty of fast-paced football expected. 

A forward pass denied Drew Hutchison early, and after tempers flared, Victor Radley and Taane Milne found themselves entangled, resulting in the firebrand being sent to the sin bin in unceremonious circumstances.

Crichton Levels Early

Needing to temper their emotions for the next ten minutes, the Tricolours were unable to prevent Alex Johnston from crossing for the first try of the match, with Latrell Mitchell's successful conversion seeing the Rabbitohs take a 6-nil lead.

But after Tedesco schemed on the outside as Paul Momirovski forced a drop out, clever work from Hutchison saw the makeshift centre cut inside to send Angus Crichton crashing over. 

Looking to continue their momentum, the Tricolours charged downfield and following a miraculous catch from Joseph Suaalii on the right, Daniel Tupou leapt out on the left to score his 133rd career try to turn their two-point deficit into a two-point lead. 

Buoyed by the return of Radley to the field, the lock forward fired up his troops with a number of earth-shattering shots - and while Thomas Burgess looked to emulate his fellow countryman, the English giant was sent to the sin bin after two head-high shots. 

Moments later, South Sydney were down to eleven men with Taane Milne sent for ten minutes following a horrific head-high tackle on Joseph Suaalii - and with that came an opportunity for Easts to bank further points. 

However, the opposite came to fruition as Latrell Mitchell scored in the corner - with the fullback converting his own try and bringing the scores to 12-8 with fifteen remaining in the half. 

Two long-range breaks saw the Roosters destined to get on the board once more, but with both sides missing opportunities in the shadows of halftime, the rivals returned to the sheds with no change to the scores.

After a well-deserved rest, the teams resumed their hostilities for the next 40 minutes, but it was another blow to Trent Robinson's men with Siosiua Taukeiaho coming from the field with a head clash.

Tupou Reaches Out to Score

A marginal forward pass close to the line denied an opportunity to strike first, and on the other end of the pitch, Alex Johnston dotted down in the corner with Mitchell's conversion bringing the scores to 18-8 with half an hour remaining. 

Tensions erupted from the kick-off as a mess of Red, White Blue, cardinal and myrtle came together with a swinging arm resulting in a penalty, before Waerea-Hargreaves was sent to the sin bin.

Needing to defend their line with vigour, the Tricolours came out firing, but after yet another disagreement between the two sides, the Rabbitohs struck again with Jai Arrow pouncing on a grubber.

Nat Butcher Pounces

Hope was not lost yet, however, as a dropped ball from the kick-off opened the perfect chance to reply - and they did exactly that with a like-for-like replica as Nat Butcher steamed onto a kick from Luke Keary to bring the deficit back to ten. 

With just over 20 minutes remaining and their enforcer back on the park, the red-hot Roosters headed back downfield in search of further points, but both sides were back to twelve men after Radley and Junior Tatola came to blows. 

Soon enough it was eleven on twelve with Milne sent back to the sin bin after replicating his ugly head-high tackle, and the Tricolours looked to be in moments later, only for Kevin Naiqama to be cut down just centimetres from the line.

A break down the edge saw Johnston away, but a Challenge saw the Roosters back in possession after a kick saw Suaalii stop the winger in his tracks - however, a knock on the ensuing set handed possession over and Souths struck once more. 

Despite a courageous performance from the men in Red, White and Blue, season 2022 came to a close, going down 14-30. 


Sydney Roosters 14 (Angus Crichton, Daniel Tupou, Nat Butcher tries; Sam Walker goals) def by South Sydney Rabbitohs 30 (Alex Johnston 2, Latrell Mitchell, Jai Arrow, Isaiah Tass tries; Latrell Mitchell 5 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.