Work in defence seals second win of the season for Roosters.
The Sydney Roosters secured a defining victory early in their NRL season as they grimly hung on to defeat the Brisbane Broncos 8-0 at Allianz Stadium.
In a good sign for Roosters’ coach Trent Robinson in 2013, the victory was the first time the side has secured back-to-back wins since rounds five and six last season.
The win was built off the back of the Roosters’ commitment in defence, which saw them forced to make an incredible 122 more tackles than the Broncos.
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, with 13 hit-ups and 25 tackles, produced a mixed bag in giving away penalties early before leading the Roosters’ pack forward in the second half.
“It was a courageous win and at half-time we just said we wanted to dig deep and we did it,” Waerea-Hargreaves said.
“Trent (Robinson) is trying to get us to improve our defence, I’m lost for words at the moment, I’m stoked.”
Despite enjoying 58 per cent of possession the Broncos looked lost in attack for much of the game with halves Scott Prince and Peter Wallace failing to direct the side around the park.
The late withdrawal of State of Origin star Justin Hodges due to a hamstring strain did hurt the Broncos’ attack, however, Wallace paid tribute to the Roosters.
“It is disheartening to not take our chances, but all credit to them for holding on, but we have some things to work on,” Wallace said.
“We need to build momentum, even though we had plenty of the ball a lot of it was coming off slow play the balls.”
The only try of the game came in the 28th minute when James Maloney hit a hole created by the ball running of Sonny Bill Williams, with the new Roosters five-eighth converting his own try for a 6-0 lead.
On the back of five penalties late in the half the Roosters took their slender lead into the break.
Brisbane did not win the ruck area for much of the first half, with 15 missed tackles also compounding their problems.
Sydney winger Daniel Tupou continued his ordinary night handling the ball early in the second stanza, spilling a Brisbane chip kick, as the Broncos looked to storm the Roosters’ line with Sam Thaiday held up.
In the 54th minute Mitchell Pearce made the Broncos pay for a penalty late in the tackle count as he potted the shot for goal to stretch the lead beyond a converted try.
Brisbane continued to hammer away at the Roosters’ line, at one stage being tackled more than 20 times on their opponents try-line, but again they struggled to break through,
The home side butchered chance to extend their lead soon after when Michael Jennings broke into the Brisbane backfield before an attempted offload went into touch.
As the clock wound down a gutsy play by Sydney’s Mitchell Pearce took some pressure off his side as he made his way just back into the field of play, after fullback Anthony Minichiello passed him the ball in their own in-goal area.
Brisbane will have plenty of work ahead of them this week ahead of playing the undefeated Melbourne Storm while the Roosters will look to make it three on the trot, when they face the Parramatta Eels.