Roosters NYC too strong for Panthers

The Roosters have proved too good for the Panthers NYC team today, beating them 32-18 in cold, wet and windy conditions at Allianz Stadium.

It was a very heated game throughout, with a fight and three sin-bins, which left both sides a little rattled. We played very strongly in the first half and went try for try with the home side, but despite a god start to the second half, we became unstuck and couldn’t put a game plan into action.

Our defence was strong for the first 10 minutes and we did well to withstand several attempts by the Roosters to cross their line, but after being awarded a penalty within the 10m line the Sydney side capitalised, drawing our defenders off their marks to leave enough room for fullback Latrell Mitchell to run the ball over the line. Halfback Jackson Hastings converted to give the home side a 6-0 lead.

A few minutes later we hit back when hooker Sione Katoa picked up the ball from dummy half on the 10m line and decided to go it alone, running hard at the Roosters defence and barging his way over the line, managing to get the ball down through half a dozen hands. Corey Harawira-Naera kicked to level the score 6-6.

The home side scored their next try in the 25th minute thanks to a blistering run by Willis Meehan, who dragged several Panthers defenders about 15m before being brought down. Captain Alex Thomas collected the ball at dummy half and through a perfectly timed cut out pass to an unmarked Mitch Mamary, who jogged over the line. Hastings sent the ball straight through the uprights to give them a 12-6 lead.

The Panthers were putting up a fight and with 7 minutes until the half time break we evened the score, after Brendan Attwood spotted a hole in the Roosters defence from about 15m out and charged at the line, diving over to score near the posts. Harawira-Naera’s kick took the score to 12-12.

The try-for-try trend continued as we neared the half time break, with the Roosters running in their third with 2 minutes on the clock. After getting the ball to their 10m line they sent it from one side of the field to the other, before Hastings threw a cut out pass to Brendan Elliott who ran straight into a hole in our backline to score. The successful kick put the home side out in front 18-12.

HALF TIME: 18-12 Roosters

The Panthers made the most of some messy play by the Roosters 6 minutes into the half and forced a goal line dropout, which led to our next try. A very poor kick handed Penrith the ball 40m out from our line and after a couple of tackles, Sam Scarlett put Attwood into a hole and sent him over to score! Harawira-Naera converted to level the score 18-18.

In the 53rd minute the Panthers almost bagged another one after Scarlett put a kick over to the left wing and Brent Naden jumped on a loose ball in the in-goal. The ref awarded the try but the Roosters challenged and won, so play continued.

The Roosters were next over the line after winger Jack Goodsell was left unmarked on the wing and a solid pass from Taane Milne sent him over to score near the corner post. A fight broke out in the in-goal with plenty of punches thrown from both teams, leading to Brent Naden and Goodsell being sin binned. Once everything had calmed down, the score went to 22-18.

In the 62nd minute they backed that up with another try to Brendan Elliott, who got the ball from 20m out and ran straight past a group of Panthers defenders who didn’t even try to stop him, and touched the ball down behind the posts. The conversion extended their lead to 28-18.

Play had to be stopped a few minutes later after Harawira-Naera fell awkwardly after being taken out mid-air as he jumped for the ball. He was eventually able to get up and play on after medical staff gave him a quick check.

In the 72nd minute play had to be stopped again after Atonio Pelesasa put a big hit on Elliott and he stayed down, and he had to be helped from the field.

With 6 minutes on the clock, Brendan Attwood was sent off for back chatting, meaning Penrith was again down to 12 men. The Roosters made the most of it and sent the ball wide to the left side where Vincent Leuluai barged his way through a pack of Panthers defenders and managed to get the ball down over the line. The kick was waved away so the score went to 32-18.

For the last few minutes both sides tried desperately to get one final try, but their defence was as good as their attack, and the Roosters came away with the win.

FULL TIME: 32-18 Roosters