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The next generation of Roosters were on show in Friday night's dominant 46-10 Pre-Season Challenge win over the Rabbitohs. 

With both clubs' NRL squads having already set off for next week's NRL season opener in Las Vegas, the two Sydney powerhouses fielded sides consisting mainly of NSW Cup players.

But the inexperienced Roosters gave reserve-grade coach Brett Morris plenty to be excited about with Joseph Taipari steering the ship on the back of some dominant performances by forwards Corey Ross and Salesi Foketi.

It took just four minutes for the Roosters to kick off proceedings with Fijian forward Meli Nasau finishing off a slick left side shift. 

After a dangerous tackle gifted the Rabbitohs good field position, the Bunnies were quick to capitalise with Matt French barging his way over from close range to make it 6-4.

Turoa Williams Try

The Roosters hit back in the 17th minute with Turoa Williams crossing over the right edge untouched thanks to some nice lead up work by Taipari and centre Ethan Clark-Wood.

After coming up with several momentum shifting tackles, Ross was rewarded with a try when he barged his way through Rabbitohs defenders to ground a Taipari grubber. The halfback converted to make it 14-6.

Three minutes before half time and another Roosters forward got in on the action with Foketi steaming onto a Benaiah Ioelu offload from the ground to put the Tricolours in front 20-6.

Kyron Fekitoa Try

Eight minutes into the second term, the Roosters went further ahead with five-eighth Coby Thomas sweeping the ball down the left to send 2023 Jersey Flegg star Kyron Fekitoa streaming down the edge to score. 

Fullback Callum Gromek was next to get in on the action, running in two tries in six minutes to put the Tricolours well in front 36-6. 

Rabbitohs Top 30 member Leon Te Hau reduced the deficit 36-10 in the 66th minute but the Roosters had the last say with Michael Coleman and Emery Jolliffe crossing late in the game to put the game to bed 46-10.

Match Snapshot 

  • Roosters forward Tayson Fakaosi was placed on report in the 23rd minute for a dangerous tackle. 
  • Roosters backrower Corey Ross was also placed on report in the 23rd minute for a high tackle.
  • Roosters forward Zac Saddler left the field late in the first half for a head injury assessment after breaking his nose.
  • Tricolours lock Salesi Foketi made 23 tackles and made two line breaks in the first 40 minutes. He finished the game with 224 run metres.
  • Braidon Burns and Jarrett Subloo were the only South Sydney players to take the field with NRL experience.
  • Roosters back-rower Corey Ross had a day out in the No. 11 jersey with 23 tackles, a try and an assist before leaving the field late in the game for a head injury assessment.
  • Former representative forward Dylan Napa was the only player with NRL experience in Roosters' line-up.
  • Rabbitohs veteran Yileen Gordon missed the match due to a flight delay coming back from his daughter's touch carnival.
  • The Roosters earned two bonus points in their dominant display, one for scoring more than five tries and one for having more than five line breaks.
  • The Roosters are now on 28 points on the Pre-Season Challenge ladder after starting the weekend one point behind the Knights, Raiders and Dolphins on 15.

Corey Ross Try

Play of the Game 

Look at the size of this 40/20

What's Next

All attention now turns to Las Vegas with the Rabbitohs preparing to face the Sea Eagles at Allegiant Stadium and the Roosters meet with the Broncos.

Meanwhile, the Rabbitohs young guns will prepare for their opening NSW Cup clash with the Blacktown Sea Eagles on March 9 while the Roosters kick off proceedings against the Panthers.

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.