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Courageous Roosters Conquered by Knights

A brave effort from the Sydney Roosters wasn't enough to keep their SG Ball season alive, with the side conceding a 35-10 elimination final loss to the Newcastle Knights at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Saturday evening. 

Cassius Tia dominated the early stages of the game for the Roosters, dictating attacking plays across the field while inspiring his team to defend courageously. 

But the Knights held on to possession, completing full-field sets and setting up try-scoring plays to end the Roosters' season. 

Receiving the kick-off the Tricolours impressed early, progressing the full length of the field on the opening set of the match, before the ball found Cassius Tia on the fifth tackle.

Putting boot to ball, the five-eighth generated something from nothing, with his chip kick ricocheting off the posts to land in-goal. With only one Knights' defender nearby, starting lock Hayden Barton scrambled to put his hand on the loose ball to claim the first points of the game. Tia kicked the conversion from close range, giving his team a six point lead.  

Newcastle responded five minutes later through a Jye Linnane grubber that sat up perfectly for Malachi Smith to pounce. Ethan Ferguson converted the try, locking up the scores at six-apiece. 

The Roosters escaped trouble five minutes later after Knights back-rower Jermaine McEwen dropped the ball on his run towards the Bondi Wall after his team were granted repeat sets in their attacking half. 

An opportunistic play by Tia afforded the Roosters a chance to re-gain the lead in the 20th minute as the five-eighth sent a right-edge cut-out ball to Cade Mellon who delivered an early ball to winger Siaosi Kaliti. As he approached the line, the Easts flyer bumped off two Knights who rushed in, grounding the ball in the corner with ease. Tia's conversion waved away from touch, leaving the margin at four. 

Knights winger Kyle Colburn received an offload from second-rower Elijah Salesa Leaumoana in the 24th minute, racing down the sideline to cross in the corner for Newcastle's second try of the evening. The conversion attempt from Ferguson failed to find the black dot, leaving the scores locked. 

Newcastle got the opportunity to take the lead through a penalty goal in the 28th minute after the Roosters were penalised for dangerous contact in the process of making a tackle, with Ferguson kicking the goal from in front. 

An error in the ruck from the Tricolours afforded possession back to the Knights who used their time with the ball wisely, sending Colburn over for his second try of the half in a play that replicated his first. Ferguson added the extras to give his team an eight point lead on the stroke of half-time. 

On the opening set of the second half, the Roosters stormed towards the try line, with an offload from Michael Abdow finding Tia, who exploded through the defence. Knights interchange player Jayden Harris was sent for a stint in the sin-bin for a professional foul after holding the Tricolours five-eighth down so his men could get back in the line. 

But an infringement on the ensuing set gave the ball back to Newcastle, who used their time in possession to progress into their attacking half. Repeat errors by the Roosters allowed the Knights to inch closer to their try line, allowing halfback Taj Blackman to take advantage of a two-on-one overlap and put his team ahead by 12 in the 41st minute. Ferguson's conversion sailed through the uprights, extending his team's lead to 14.

Malachi Smith crossed for his second try of the match just six minutes later after he plotted a grubber in the in-goal meant for captain Myles Martin. But after a collision between the skipper and the Roosters defenders occurred, the door was open for Smith to collect the loose ball and put it down on the line. 

A chip kick from Smith set up Colburn for a hattrick in the 63rd minute, with the winger streaming down the sideline to collect the ball before crashing over in the corner. 

Ferguson kicked a field goal on the siren, giving the Knights a 25-point win to see them into the Semi Final. 

Sydney Roosters 10 (Hayden Barton, Siaosi Kaliti tries, Cassius Tia 1 goal) def Newcastle Knights 35 (Taj Blackman, Malachi Smith 2, Kyle Colburn 3 Tries, Ethan Ferguson 4 goals and a field 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.