Roosters knock Knights from finals - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roosters knock Knights from finals

By Darren Walton 13/09/2003 10:35:08 PM Comments (0)

The Sydney Roosters inflicted more telling pain on Newcastle with a controversy-laced 36-8 National Rugby League qualifying final win over the Knights at Aussie Stadium.

The Roosters piled on five unanswered tries to seemingly have the match sewn up leading 30-2 at halftime.

But Newcastle, playing for premiership survival, threatened to make an improbable comeback when halfback Kurt Gidley scored one try and was denied another in a highly contentious decision in the 53rd minute.

Trailing 30-8, the Knights appeared certain to reduce the deficit further only for Roosters captain Brad Fittler to hold Gidley back when he was about to score again off his own short kick.

Gidley, carrying the onerous playmaker's duties in the absence of injured Newcastle captain Andrew Johns, managed to re gather the ball but - with Fittler impeding him - was unable to ground it for a try close to the posts.

Video referees Phil Cooley and Mick Lewis opted not to award Newcastle a penalty try, yet still issued a penalty against the Roosters.

Compounding the issue, the two video referees also disallowed a try to Craig Hall a minute later when they adjudged the Newcastle winger offside from another Gidley kick.

With all hopes of a Knights revival extinguished, the Roosters sealed victory with Chris Flannery's second try of the night 14 minutes from time.

The win earned the premiers next weekend off and meant elimination for the Knights at the hands of the Roosters for the fourth time in six years.

In similar circumstances at the same venue last season, the Roosters downed a Johns-less Newcastle 38-12 in the second semi-final.

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