Roosters pay price for tight NRL win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roosters pay price for tight NRL win

By Adrian Proszenko 08/04/2006 10:57:14 PM Comments (0)

Sydney Roosters have paid a heavy price for their thrilling 28-24 victory over Cronulla at Toyota Park, with Craig Fitzgibbon, Shane Shackleton and Ryan Cross set to spend time in the casualty ward.

Cross, who has been targeted by rugby union's Western Force in a possible cross-code switch, suffered ankle ligament damage in a Phil Bailey tackle in the 27th minute and is set for a 4-6 week stint on the sidelines.

The news was no better for back-rower Shackleton, who lasted just 15 minutes before he was forced from the field after dislocating his left shoulder when tackled by Sharks captain Brett Kimmorley.

Fitzgibbon, who kicked a goal to give him his 1000th point for the club despite suffering an ankle injury moments earlier, is some chance to play next weekend but will undergo precautionary scans during the week.

"Shane and Ryan are both looking at about 4-6 weeks on the sidelines," confirmed club doctor John Orchard.

"It's a high ankle sprain for Ryan, so he'll be out for a while."

Fitzgibbon said he was hopeful of playing against Brisbane on Friday night.

"I've had ankle injuries like this before, but it's hard to tell how bad it is - hopefully I'll be right (for the Broncos)."

All three were unable to finish the match, with Roosters coach Ricky Stuart praising the courage of his side to hold off the fast-finishing Sharks.

"Very courageous," said Stuart, who dropped halfback Jamie Soward to the interchange bench in favour of Craig Wing, while Ashley Harrison was also benched in a reshuffle which saw David Shillington promoted to the starting side.

"We've talked about this week having the senior players ... showing some guidance."

Despite the setbacks, the visitors dominated the opening 40 minutes, skipping away to a 16-0 first half lead courtesy of tries to Amos Roberts, Anthony Tupou and Craig Wing.

The Sharks stormed back into the contest in the second stanza, levelling the scores at 18-18 by the 58th minute via three unanswered tries.

Adam Dykes was instrumental in the first two, setting up David Simmons in the 45th minute before doing likewise for Kimmorley eight minutes later.

With possession and momentum in their favour, centre Beau Scott levelled the scores when he broke through some tired Roosters defence to level the scores.

"Even when they got into the match I thought we could still hold them off," said Roosters pivot Braith Anasta.

"We showed a lot of courage to guts it out."

Just as the Sharks threatened to steal the game, Brett Finch gave the Roosters a 22-18 lead when he dummied his way to the line from close range. Fitzgibbon's conversion gave him his 1000th point for the Roosters.

In a see-sawing half, the Roosters seemingly buried the Sharks through a Harrison try on the back of a Soward 40-20 kick, but it was soon cancelled out by a converted Luke Covell try six minutes from fulltime to draw his side within four points and set up a grandstand finish.

Dykes almost scored on the buzzer, only for Chris Flannery to make a desperate covering tackle.

Sharks coach Stuart Raper said his side needed to cut down its error rate to compete with the top teams.

"What we are certainly not going to do is change what we are doing, panic or make radical changes and do things like that because we are playing a good brand of football," he said.

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