The Sydney Roosters have moved into the NRL’s top four with a 10-point win over the Gold Coast Titans in Gosford.
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Sunday afternoon footy came to the Central Coast for a Roosters home game.
The Titans shuffled several players around in different roles than their usual positions. But the move didn’t have the desired effect.
The Roosters dominated in the first half but then had to hold on in the second.
The last quarter was filled with mistakes as the Tricolours eventually triumphed 20-10.
Their win was built on an impressive first 40.
Shaun Kenny-Dowall touched down on the right flank to get the first try.
The Kiwi is really enjoying his move out on to the wing.
Against the run of play the Titans responded.
The Roosters were camped on Gold Coast’s line but Anthony Don intercepted the ball and flew downfield.
The winger ran 90 metres to score and tie things up.
But the Roosters, to their credit, didn’t let this fluster them.
They kept playing and got their reward when Michael Jennings touched down.
The NSW and Australian centre, back in the team after a one-week ban, showed his speed and fancy footwork.
He found some space on the left flank and burned the Titans’ defenders to score.
The Titans were struggling.
And right on half-time things got worse.
Jennings broke through the line and found James Maloney on the inside to score.
It was a killer blow for the Gold Coast and sweet for Maloney, who hails from the Central Coast.
The Roosters went to the sheds 18-4 in front.
They had enjoyed 55% possession compared to the Titans 45% and had completed 15 of 21 sets.
Crucially, the Roosters had made three line breaks to none for the Titans and the visitors had missed a whopping 21 tackles.
Gold Coast had offered very little in attack.
In the second half the Roosters dropped off, thinking the game was won.
They started to drop the ball frequently and coasted along.
But the Titans just couldn’t crack the Roosters defence.
They finally got a second try but it was a fortunate one, coming off a Roger Tuivasa-Sheck mistake.
A grubber came in and the Roosters fullback should have had it covered.
But his mistake gave the Titans some hope, Nene Macdonald scored against his former team.
The score changed to 18-10.
The Roosters kept dropping the ball but the Titans couldn’t take advantage.
Gold Coast made a fair few errors of their own in what was really a sloppy second half.
Maloney slotted a penalty right on full-time for the final score of 20-10.
The Roosters finished deserved winners in the end and they are collecting scalps at a good time as the sem-finals near.
The Titans are in the middle of an injury crisis and are being severely tested.
A few losses now means they are in the fight to avoid the wooden spoon.