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Red-Hot Roosters Breeze Past Dragons to Claim Impressive Victory

The Sydney Roosters breezed past the St George Illawarra Dragons on a windy afternoon at Collegians Sporting Complex on Sunday, claiming a 34-12 victory following an impressive second-half display in the Jersey Flegg Cup.

Easts ran in six tries to the Dragons two, with impressive performances from halfback Tyler Colley, centre Vaiala Taimati and fullback Xavier Chatfield-Mooka securing an important win to keeping the Roosters in the winner's circle. 

An early penalty for the Dragons allowed them to strike just two minutes into the match, when halfback Ashton Ward placed a deft grubber into the in-goal area for his winger Te Umuariki Heremia-Tukere to score. Ward kicked the conversion to give the hosts a six-point advantage.

In the tenth minute of the match, an error from St George Illawarra coming out of their own half gifted possession to Easts, but the Red, White, and Blue couldn’t convert the opportunity into points, as hooker Alan Holten found himself held up over the try-line on the last tackle.

The Roosters weren’t to be denied a second time, as a slick passing move cut a hole through the Dragons' defence, resulting in prop Tayson Fakaosi linking up with his centre Vaiala Tamati to crossing for Easts' opening try of the match. The four-pointer was converted by Tyler Colley to level the scores 17 minutes in.

The visitors backed up their efforts just minutes later, receiving a penalty inside their own half, then marching down the field with purpose. A strong attacking set ended with a rampaging run from back-rower Jordan Swann, who crashed over next to put the Roosters in-front. Colley converted to extend the margin to six.

Straight from the kick-off the Roosters showed their attacking firepower once more, with Tamati sprinting clear and running 90 metres before being cut agonisingly short of the line.

An offside Dragon in Benjamin Rumble on the resuming play led to a sin-bin, and Easts made them pay, with Colley’s pin-point floating pass finding Kyron Fekitoa who then put winger Matua Robinson over. Colley’s sideline conversion attempt was unsuccessful, keeping the scores at 16-6.

After allowing the Dragons kick-off to trickle dead in-goal, the Roosters were forced into a goal-line dropout, but they managed to stand defiantly in defence to keep their lead in-tact heading into the break.

The half began with a phenomenal defensive effort from Easts fullback Xavier Chatfield-Mooka, who sprinted across the field to stop runaway winger Rumble, forcing an error, and saving a try in heroic fashion.

But it was the Dragons who struck first following the interval, as Kyan Hjaltason took advantage of a gap in the defence to dart over the line from dummy half. Ward converted from in-front to cut the Roosters' lead down to four.

Following a long period of back-and-forth play, the Dragons once more found space down the left touchline, with Chatfield-Mooka making another sensational cover tackle to prevent a try.

On the ensuing play, Taimati intercepted the ball and powered down the field, finding his halfback Colley in support as the Roosters stormed menacingly towards the line.

A slick right edge shift saw Robinson return the favour for his centre, setting up Fekitoa for a four-pointer in the corner, his third in as many games. A sideline conversion from Colley made the scores 22-12.

With just five minutes to play the Red, White and Blue iced the game, with Colley placing a perfect grubber into the in-goal for his halves partner Jack Smith, who beat the Dragons fullback to the ball to score. The try was converted by Colley to extend Easts advantage to 16.

The points continued to flow, as Chatfield-Mooka made a barnstorming run to the line, smashing through the tired Dragons defence to secure himself a well-deserved four-pointer, which Colley converted to end the game at 34-12.

The Bondi Boys will look to back up their efforts next week when they return home to Wentworth Park on Sunday afternoon to take on high-flyers the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks.

Sydney Roosters 34 (Tayson Fakaosi, Jordan Swann, Matua Robinson, Kyron Fekitoa, Jack Smith, Xavier Chatfield-Mooka tries, Tyler Colley 6 goals) def St George Illawarra Dragons 12 (Te Umuariki Heremia-Tukere, Kyan Hjaltason tries, Ashton Ward 2 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.