If the three-peat wasn’t already a go, it certainly is now.
The Roosters downed Brisbane 59-0 last week, and tonight’s 42-6 victory made it 101-6 from their last two matches. Both of those victories coming without one of James Tedesco or Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.
After a “remote” biosecurity concern, the match was rescheduled from it’s 4:05pm Sunday timeslot to 7:00pm on Monday, the reschedule not impacting Sydney in the slightest.
James Tedesco was ominous, the star fullback coming away with a hat trick of tries, two try assists, ten tackle breaks, two line breaks, five line break assists and 231 metres. His right hand men Luke Keary and Kyle Flanagan also had plenty to say in the Roosters masterclass.
James Tedesco had a night to remember
It was bad news for the Bulldogs from the get-go, a set restart and penalty paving the way for Luke Keary to open up their left edge on the back of a quick play the ball. Keary put Angus Crichton through the line and into the in-goal via James Tedesco’s quick hands to give the Roosters a 6-0 advantage within two minutes.
Short term chaos quickly became more Sydney ecstasy, giving them a 12-0 lead inside seven minutes of play. Keary’s attempted cut-out was nearly intercepted by Nick Meaney but the ball came loose, Flanagan pounced and dished off to Joseph Manu. Manu flicked to Brett Morris who cut infield and offloaded into a sea of support runners streaming for glory, the footy found Flanagan’s hands who ran it over the line.
The 24-0 Sydney half time lead came courtesy of more Tedesco smarts and creating.
First, he expertly shifted the Bulldogs defence to put Crichton through for his double. Then, Sitili Tupouniua broke the line with his first touch of the night and looked inboard to support runner Tedesco to score the first of his treble. His name rightly the buzz word of the NRL by nights end.
If there was to be a critique on the Roosters stellar display, it would be the 20 minute period to start the second half where they tried too hard to force the issue, subsequently turning the game into a Bulldog friendly scrap.
The Bulldogs caused some minor headaches. One in the first half after Kieran Foran and Will Hopoate combined to give Christian Chrichton a chance to be on tomorrow’s back page. He scored as athletically superb corner try that had to be seen to be believed, only to be cruelly denied after it was deemed his toe had clipped the painted grass of the touchline.
Christian Crichton's disallowed try that had to be seen to be believed
The second headache came early in the second half when Averillo broke the line, the try looked a certainty until Tedesco had something to say about it, desperately fingertipping the pass to his free support runner and forcing a scrum feed.
The one and only Bulldogs constellation try gave their beaten faithful something to cheer about in the 65th minute. Josh Jackson drew contact then got an overhead pass away to Hopoate. Hopoate slipped through the space and looked inside for the man who started the play to finish it – Kieran Foran.
Two Bulldogs errors on their defensive twenty, resulted in two more James Tedesco tries.
Putting the finishing touches on their masterclass, the Roosters were simply having fun. An offloading and passing free for all, bolstered by Victor Radley busting through the line, culminated in Kyle Flanagan putting a grubber to the unattended right corner where Brett Morris collected the spoils and left his former Bulldogs to lick their wounds.
Their playmakers were exhilarating, their forward pack starred in the absence of prominent Waerea-Hargreaves, and the Sydney Roosters are one step closer to that coveted three-peat.