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Fressard Hat-Trick Fires Roosters to Strong Victory

The Sydney Roosters clawed their way back from a 12-point deficit to score seven unanswered tries, including a hat-trick to Jayme Fressard, to defeat the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 36-12 at PointsBet Stadium on Sunday. 

Trailing by two at half-time, the Tricolours stormed home in the second stanza, with Tarryn Aiken setting up a host of tries to give the Roosters an edge in attack.

The Roosters scrambled in attack at the end of their first set to generate an opportunity in dominant field position with a banana kick from Jocelyn Kelleher causing problems for Sharks back-line, affording the Tricolours another set in close range. 

But a bullet pass from Keeley Davis to Keilee Joseph was spilt over the stripe, handing possession back to the hosts. 

Cronulla applied the pressure in their opening set, with a kick from Emma Tonegato forcing a handling error for the Roosters. Sending the ball from right to left, the Sharks capitalised off an overlap to find Kiana Takairangi unmarked on the wing, with Tayla Preston converting the try to make the score six-nil. 

Sharks centre Annessa Biddle dislodged the ball 10 minutes later to give the hosts another chance to strike, with a set restart allowing the black, white and blue to gain more metres. 

Prop Holli Wheeler took full advantage of the scattered Roosters defence to bulldoze her way over beside the posts. Preston added the extras to give her team a 12-0 advantage. 

Tarryn Aiken sent Isabelle Kelly through the Sharks' defence five minutes later with a crisp pass on the left edge, but the Roosters couldn't find points as the hosts rushed in from across the field to shut down the play. 

An off-target pass from Cronulla Skipper Tiana Penitani was gathered by Jayme Fressard, who sprinted 60 metres to get the Tricolours on the scoreboard in a monumental effort. Kelleher nailed the conversion to reduce the deficit to six. 

Fressard Fires

Jessica Sergis took on the line before offloading to Fressard five minutes later to send the speedy winger over in the corner for a first-half double, but the conversion waved away for Kelleher leaving the score at 12-10 as the opening stanza came to a close. 

Fressard Gets Her Second

Corban Baxter produced a phenomenal try-saving tackle on Talei Holmes after the Sharks back-rower broke through the defence at the beginning of the second half.

Absorbing the defensive pressure, the Tricolours made the hosts pay for an error in the 39th minute, with Aiken sending Kelly through the line once more, before the Jillaroos representative centre found Baxter back on the inside to deliver the Red, White and Blue another try. Kelleher's conversion sailed over the black dot, taking the visitors to a four-point lead.

Baxter Finishes a Beautiful Play

A pin-point grubber by Aiken forced the Sharks to concede a goal-line drop-out six minutes later, with the resuming set resulting in more points for the Roosters when an offload from Kelleher found Baxter who flicked a Harbour Bridge pass to Fressard on the wing for her hat-trick. 

Wheeler conceded a penalty to give the Roosters more time in possession, talking back to the referee to allow the visitors to progress a further 10 metres upfield for dissent. 

With ball-in-hand, prop Otesa Pule flicked an offload to Olivia Kernick to send her over for the Roosters fifth try of the match in the 56th minute. Kelleher made no mistake from distance, edging her team out to a 14-point lead. 

Kernick Goes Over

Off the restart, Kelly broke through the Sharks defence and stormed towards the try-line with a tackle from Tonegato shutting down the play. But on the next tackle Kelleher produced a brilliant chip-kick which fell into Sergis' grasp, with the centre flying over in the corner. 

Aiken set the Roosters up for their seventh unanswered try in the 66th minute, turning the Sharks defence inside out before offloading to her Captain who raced into the in-goal. Kelleher put the icing on the cake with her goal taking the Tricolours to a 36-12 win.  

Sydney Roosters 36 (Jayme Fressard 3, Corban Baxter, Olivia Kernick, Jessica Sergis, Isabelle Kelly tries, Jocelyn Kelleher 4 goals) Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 12. 

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.