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Five Key Points from Round 3

Rugby League’s oldest and fiercest rivalry was renewed once again as the Sydney Roosters hosted the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Allianz Stadium, recording a narrow 20-18 victory in front of their home fans.

Bench Boost Changes Momentum

Having been down by 10 points after the first 20 minutes, Trent Robinson’s men were in need of reinforcements to bring the game back into balance. They got exactly that, with Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Brandon Smith being injected into the action.

Smith made his presence known almost immediately, scooting out of dummy half 15 metres from the try-line and selling a huge dummy to dive over untouched for his first try wearing the Red, White and Blue.

Smith Scores His First Try As A Rooster

In his first game of the season, Waerea-Hargreaves led his forward pack from the front with an astonishing 174 run metres from 17 runs in just 38 minutes. He also put in 23 tackles, only missing one.

Skipper Saves the Day

Captain James Tedesco had yet another incredible performance in the no.1 jersey, particularly with his defensive heroics as he managed to stop two certain tries.

The first of these came in the 19th minute, when Cameron Murray busted through the defence and made a charge for the fullback. Tedesco produced a spectacular tackle on his left shoulder, hitting Murray low and bringing him to the ground.

Tedesco made a similar tackle during the opening exchanges of the second half, as South Sydney made a line-break through Campbell Graham, who took on the superstar fullback, only to be brought down 10 metres out from the try-line.

Newly re-signed Captain James Tedesco led from the back on Friday evening.
Newly re-signed Captain James Tedesco led from the back on Friday evening.

Wingers Run Riot

Not to be outdone by the ferocious big men in the middle of the park, the backline stamped their own authority over the contest - and none more than Jaxson Paulo and Daniel Tupou who shared three of the Roosters’ four tries.

In his first game against his former club, Paulo ran the most metres of any Rooster with 192. He also bagged a double, including finishing off a spectacular play out the back which saw Tedesco assist him with his signature bat-on pass.

Veteran winger Tupou cut himself a slice of the try-scoring pie as well, leaping above the pack to field an attacking bomb late in the first half from five-eighth and Irish international Luke Keary, who fittingly steered his side to victory on Saint Patrick’s Day.

Keary Nails It

End-to-End Sequence Sees Easts Through

With the game on a knife’s edge and the clock ticking down, the Tricolours produced a miraculous two minutes of rugby league which eventually propelled them to victory.

Just as Isaiah Tass looked destined to score off an Alex Johnston line-break, superstar centre Joseph Manu chased him down from behind, knocking the ball loose in a spectacular try-saving tackle.

Gaining field position from penalties, the Roosters were quickly on the attack. Scoring their fourth try of the game through Paulo and extending their points tally to 20, they were able to defend their lead until the final whistle.

Roosters Hold Off Late Raid

Leading by eight points late in the second half, the Men from Bondi were tasked with weathering a late run from the Rabbitohs.

With the game reduced to a 12-on-12 contest, a grandstand finish was set up when South Sydney winger Izaac Tu'itupou Thompson scored in the corner with two minutes to play, before the try was converted to make it a two-point contest.

A strong defensive set from the Tricolours kept Souths at bay, with a Latrell Mitchell two-point field goal attempt pulling up short to secure a brave home victory. 

Robinson & Keary: Round 3 Press Conference

The Roosters will enjoy a Round 4 bye, before they prepare to host the Parramatta Eels at Allianz Stadium in Round 5.

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.