You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Flegg Roosters Fall Short Despite Late Fightback

The Jersey Flegg Sydney Roosters have suffered their second loss of the season, falling 34-20 to the Penrith Panthers in a tough physical battle at St Mary’s Leagues Stadium on Saturday.

A double to Vaiala Tamati in the dying minutes of the match wasn’t enough to overcome the 2022 Premiers, whose defence proved too strong at home.

After a physical start from both sides, the Panthers struck first with an intelligent dart out of dummy half by Luke Philp who burrowed his way through the defensive line to give his side an early four-point advantage.

The Roosters returned serve just minutes later, winning possession after a dumping tackle from Alan Holten dislodged the ball. Pressing Penrith’s line, a strong run from Kyron Fekitoa saw him drag a defender backwards, allowing him to reach out and score. Hugo Savala converted from the sideline to give Easts a 6-4 lead after 12 minutes.

Penrith capitalised off a penalty coming out of their own end, with a heads-up play from their captain Connor Mason. The hooker played a short ball out of dummy half to a barnstorming Billy Phillips, who crashed over underneath the posts. The try was converted by Timothy Sielaff-Burns to make it 10-6.

Rising tensions in the middle of the park saw both sides reduced to 12 men as halftime approached, with Penrith granted a penalty. The hosts were able to extend their lead, with Ryley Smith producing a grubber kick for Angelis Hotere-Papalii who scored, before Sielaff-Burns converted to give Penrith a 16-6 advantage.

The home side found more points from the restart, with a chip kick into the backfield causing a miscommunication between the Roosters backline. The loose ball and was pounced on by Harrison Hassett, claiming Penrith’s fourth try of the half. Sielaff-Burns converted from out wide to give the home side a 22-6 lead at the break.

The Panthers picked up where they left off, finding another try just two minutes into the second half as second rower Aston Warwick produced a spectacular 60-metre effort, breaking through the defensive line to race away and score. Sielaff-Burns converted the try to extend their advantage to 28-6.

Penrith took the ball the length of the field after kick-off, finding another try through the middle as Mason set up Zac Lipowicz, with Sielaff-Burns adding the extras.

The Tricolours ended a 15-minute stalemate with a blistering solo effort from Savala, who tip-toed through the defence and sprinted 50 metres down the sideline to score.

Gaining handy field position from a penalty for an illegal steal, the Red, White and Blue found more points in the 65th minute, with Tamati diving over from dummy half for his side’s third try of the afternoon, reducing the deficit to 20.

Tamati secured a double just two minutes later, concluding a slick play out the back by diving over in the corner. The try was successfully converted from the sideline by Savala, making the final score 34-20.

Sydney Roosters 20 (Kyron Fekitoa, Hugo Savala, Vaiala Tamati 2 tries, Hugo Savala 2 goals) def by Penrith Panthers 34 (Luke Philp, Billy Phillips, Angelis Hotere-Papalii, Harrison Hassett, Aston Warwick, Zac Lipowicz tries, Timothy Sielaff-Burns 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.