Roosters lose Morley but down Dogs 29-16 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roosters lose Morley but down Dogs 29-16

By Laine Clark 15/04/2005 09:42:41 PM Comments (0)

Any doubts over the Sydney Roosters' premiership credentials disappeared after they overcame British forward Adrian Morley's second half send-off to defeat defending NRL champions the Bulldogs 29-16.

Morley - who has a shocking disciplinary record - was given his marching orders in the 48th minute by referee Paul Simpkins for a high tackle on Bulldogs winger Matt Utai.

"You swung out, you got the head, you're gone," Simpkins told Morley, a veteran of 17 Tests for Great Britain.

Roosters captain Luke Ricketson responded: "You're kidding. You can't be serious", describing the tackle as "reflex".

Morley looked to be harshly treated by Simpkins, his arm appearing to slip around Utai's neck rather than making heavy contact.

It marked the seventh time in the last two years that Morley has been in trouble on-field.

Instead of wilting, the incident only sparked the undermanned Roosters who turned a 16-12 deficit into an 18-12 advantage following tries to Anthony Minichiello (50th minute) and Joel Monaghan (57th).

Halfback Brett Finch potted a field goal in the 70th minute and centre Ryan Cross bagged his double in the 75th to clinch the miraculous win and silence the 27,111-strong, mostly pro-Bulldogs crowd.

Tension was brewing in the match and spilled over in the 45th minute when Ricketson clashed with Bulldogs reserve Reni Maitua.

Utility Maitua reacted to a Ricketson facial in a tackle and the pair clashed as teammates piled in.

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