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Five Key Points: Round 26

The Sydney Roosters hosted the Wests Tigers on Saturday evening at Allianz Stadium.

Easts Hit Back

Conceding a try after just six minutes of play, the home side found themselves trailing in the early exchanges.

They responded swiftly, with returning halfback Sam Walker fending off multiple defenders on his way to the try line to find his team’s first points.

Walker is On!

After a penalty goal from both sides locked the game up at eight-apiece, veteran winger Daniel Tupou crossed in the corner in the final moments of the first half to put the Tricolours ahead at the break.

Suaalii Slots into Fullback

Standing in for the injured James Tedesco, Joseph Manu was forced from the field after 24 minutes - which left the responsibility of fullback to Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii.

He wasted no time in making his presence felt on the field, spectacularly stepping off his right foot to break through the line before he was rounded up by two defenders a few metres out from the try line.

Suaalii's Got Fancy Footwork

With less than 20 minutes left to play, Suaalii displayed his exquisite strength and speed as he accelerated through what seemed to be a tight gap and fended off defenders on his way to the corner, scoring and converting to put his side up by 18.

Roosters Take Control

Following a tightly contested opening 40 minutes, the Red, White, and Blue turned the intensity up in the second half and cruised towards a comfortable triumph.

In the 47th minute, interchange forward Terrell May charged onto a short ball from Luke Keary, scoring his first ever NRL try and boosting his side’s lead.

They closed the contest out with tries to Suaalii and Victor Radley, conceding zero points in the second half and recording a 32-8 victory.

Walker Returns

In his first NRL appearance in over four months, young halfback Sam Walker put in a strong performance to steer his side to victory.

Just 15 minutes into the match, he broke through the defensive line with a determined run, only to be brought to ground by an ankle tap from Stefano Utoikamanu.

On the very next play, Walker collected an offload from Brandon Smith before throwing a dummy, stepping twice off his left foot and spinning out of two tackles to score an incredible solo try.

Tricolours Tee Up High Stakes Clash

With their fourth-straight win coming against the Tigers, the Roosters now sit equal on competition points with arch-rivals the South Sydney Rabbitohs ahead of the final round of the regular season.

Scheduled to visit the Rabbitohs on Friday night at Accor Stadium, another chapter in the league’s oldest rivalry is set to be written in the context of a potential winner-makes-finals matchup.

The Roosters will be looking to put in another strong performance on Friday as they welcome back their Captain James Tedesco for the all-important clash.

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.