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Pearce, Maloney deliver for Roosters

They might not have set NSW alight during State of Origin, but Sydney Roosters halves James Maloney and Mitchell Pearce showed they can deliver on the big stage in Friday's NRL minor premiership decider.
Pearce, Maloney deliver for Roosters
by AAP

By Adrian Warren

SYDNEY, Sept 6 AAP - They might not have set NSW alight during State of Origin, but Sydney Roosters halves James Maloney and Mitchell Pearce showed they can deliver on the big stage in Friday's NRL minor premiership decider.

Together with star forward Sonny Bill Williams, the halves were the major architects of the Roosters' 24-12 win in front of a record NRL regular season crowd of 59,708 at ANZ Stadium.

With the Roosters trailing 12-10 at the break, their halves stepped up big time scoring all 14 of their team's second-half points.

Maloney scored two of the Roosters' four tries, with partner-in-crime Pearce delivering beautifully judged passes for both.

Pearce wouldn't be denied his share of the tryscoring glory, but got a massive helping hand for his four-pointer with Williams busting the Rabbitohs' defence before sending the halfback under the posts.

Williams was instrumental in the Roosters' first try, scored by Maloney, even though he didn't handle the ball.

Pearce used Williams as a decoy in a second-man play, with Maloney racing through a gap to score.

When the Roosters needed inspiration in the second half, it was Maloney who provided the spark.

He made a big break from his own in-goal area after fielding a Luke Keary kick and then stretched out over the line a few second later for the go-ahead try.

Pearce's try put the icing on a particularly tasty cake, as Williams completed a superb individual performance after the ignominy of being shoved away by Greg Inglis when the fullback scored the first try of the game.

Maloney kicked four from five to finish with a 16-point haul.

Pearce and Maloney clearly outshone Souths counterparts John Sutton and Adam Reynolds - who have been mooted to replace the Roosters pair as the Blues' halves in 2014 - who struggled to deliver effective last-tackle plays.


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