In a very special Rise For Alex match at Allianz Stadium the Roosters have overcome an injury ravaged Panthers side, to come away with a 32-12 win at Allianz Stadium.
With a new halves combination and two fill-in wingers in the side, Penrith struggled to find their rhythm and couldn’t put a proper game plan into action. Our kicking game was off and we weren’t creating the opportunities we have in previous weeks, and we let the reigning premiers get on top of us.
Both teams wore Rise For Alex wristbands as they ran out onto the field and there was a special presentation before kick-off, with the whole crowd paying tribute to Alex and his family. Nigel Plum wore the #16 jersey and a special Rise For Alex headgear.
Ivan Cleary threw everyone a bit of a curve ball when the boys took their places on the field and Matt Moylan started at fullback, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak moved to the wing and Bryce Cartwright took his place next to Jamie Soward in the halves.
It wasn’t a great start for the Panthers with Elijah Taylor sent off 4 minutes into the game after apparently tackling someone while offside and preventing a probable try. That had us down to 12 men when the Roosters were awarded repeat sets on their 10m line, and they made the most of the opportunity, drawing our defenders in and sending Aiden Guerra over for the first try of the day. James Maloney converted, giving the home side an early 6-0 lead.
16 minutes in and the Roosters had their second try after Mitch Aubusson collected the ball at dummy half from 2m out and decided to go himself, barging his way through a couple of Panthers defenders to get the ball over the line. Maloney kicked from in front to extend their lead to 12-0.
We had a close call in the 28th minute when Maloney picked up a loose ball from 10m out and put a grubber kick towards the in-goal which Moylan picked up, but as he was running it back Maloney tackled him and knocked the ball free, before getting it down over the line. The call went to the video ref who ruled a knock on, so play continued.
With 5 and a half minutes until the half time break, the home side got their third try after Remi Casty picked the ball up from a few metres out and barged his way over the line under the posts. Maloney’s boot put them 18-0 in front.
HALF TIME: 18-0 Roosters
After a light downpour during the half time break, light rain continued to fall throughout the second half, adding to the cold and windy conditions at Allianz Stadium.
In the 57th minute the Panthers put their first points on the board after the Roosters copped a penalty on our 20m line. Sam Mckendry ran the ball up before offloading to Jamie Soward who sent a solid ball to Bryce Cartwright, and he charged at the line and got the ball over. Soward converted to take the score to 18-6.
In the 64th minute the Roosters were awarded a penalty and took the kick for two to extend their lead to 20-6.
With 10 minutes on the clock the home side scored again when Maloney put a grubber kick over to the left side of the in-goal and despite our best efforts to bash it out of play, Boyd Cordner beat our men to the ball and got it down. With the conversion, the Roosters blew their lead out to 26-6.
In the 74th minute James Segeyaro crossed for our second try of the night, after collecting a pass from Soward on the 20m line and running behind a bunch of players to find a hole in the Roosters defence to run over the line to score. Soward’s conversion took the score to 26-12.
In the same play, Mitch Aubusson was involved in a head clash with one of his team mates and he ha to be helped from the field.
In the final minutes of the match, Boyd Cordner crossed for his second try of the day, barging his way through our back line to get the ball down. With the kick, the Roosters took their lead to 32-12.
FULL TIME: 32-12 Roosters