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Roosters tackle their way to win

A defensive display of epic proportions has guided the Sydney Roosters to a second straight victory against the Brisbane Broncos at Allianz Stadium.
Roosters tackle their way to win
by NRL

A defensive display of epic proportions has guided the Sydney Roosters to a second straight victory against the Brisbane Broncos at Allianz Stadium.

13,047 fans were on hand to see the Roosters record a sensational shut out victory. The8-0 result was the first time in 16 years the club had won a match when they were held to single figures.

James Maloney and Michael Jennings shone for the home side, with the pair combining for the only four line breaks of the match. Ad while Maloney went on to score all of his side's points, it was the entire defensive unit who should take a bow. The visitors dominated both the possession and territory stats, but couldn't penetrate Trent Robinson's brutal defence.

The Roosters showed off their newfound defensive vigour, holding out the Broncos for five consecutive sets of six. The up and in style from the fringes frustrated the Broncos, who simply couldn't find an opening in the early exchanges.

Both sides continued to test the waters, but were continuously thwarted by handling errors. A penalty, followed by a clean break from Michael Jennings put the Roosters deep on the attack, only for Sonny Bill Williams to spill the ball as he stretched for the line.

A tough call against Mitchell Pearce didn't sit well with the locals, with replays suggesting his tackle on Corey Norman was well below the shoulders. They were further frustrated when an apparent high shot on Anthony Minichiello went unnoticed by the officials.

The referees didn't miss a high shot from Matt Gillett in the 22nd minute, with the Brisbane back rower set to come under scrutiny from the Match Review Committee for his hit on James Maloney.

The tackle didn't seem to affect Maloney, who was all but through had he had not been ankle tapped on the 40 metre line. The mini break gave the Roosters great field position, but Pearce's grubber was just too strong for his chasers.

After 31 minutes, two of Bondi's newest recruits combined to open the scoring. Sonny Bill, a noted offloader, produced a peach of a short ball to put Maloney into a gaping hole from 10 metres out. The four pointer was just reward for a prolonged period of dominance, and soon became six when Maloney nailed the kick from in front.

Despite being on the back foot for much of the opening twenty minutes, the Roosters came out on top in most departments during the first half. The side made three clean breaks to zero, while only missing four tackles for the entire stanza. Sonny Bill was the stand out player, making 18 tackles, running for 65 metres and laying on the only try of the half.

In a replica of the first half, Brisbane had a mountain of possession to start the second forty. Five sets on the trot should have led to points, but the Roosters held firm time and time again. The unbreakable "wall" would have pleased coach Trent Robinson to no end, with the forwards and backs looking at ease against the persistent Brisbane onslaught.

Incredibly, the Roosters had only enjoyed two sets of six in the opening 14 minutes, with the hosts making 82 tackles compared to Brisbane's 21. Remarkably, the Roosters would be the next team to score. After finally forcing a Brisbane error, the home side worked the ball up field, culminating in a penalty for a ruck infringement. Maloney gladly added the two points, pushing the lead out to eight.

The Herculean efforts in defence were bringing the best out of the side, and the crowd was letting them know. Michael Jennings then created a chance out of absolutely nothing, with his speed leaving the defence clutching at straws. Unfortunately, the final pass went astray with the try line beckoning.

Last week it it was the Broncos managing to repel everything that came their way. Tonight it was their turn to be on the receiving end of a defensive master class. Penalties, line drop outs and tackle restarts were no issue for the tricolours, who were keen to atone for their40-22 loss at Allianz last year.

In the end, the Roosters were far too solid for the Broncos, who couldn't ask enough questions in the danger zone. Jake Friend led the way with 46 tackles, while Jared Waerea-Hargreaves ran for 146 metres and chipped in with 30 tackles of his own.

With momentum on their side, the Roosters will be looking to make it three on the trot when they host the Parramatta Eels on Easter Monday.


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