Roosters out of finals reckoning - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roosters out of finals reckoning

By Adrian Proszenko 09/07/2006 06:43:25 PM Comments (0)

The Sydney Roosters are set to miss the NRL finals series for the second consecutive year after another loss consigned them to second-last place on the competition ladder.

The Roosters, led by fiery prop Adrian Morley, provided some early resistance against Manly but were overrun 33-16 at Aussie Stadium to all but end any hopes of contesting the big matches in September.

Their lowly standing comes despite recruiting big names Ashley Harrison and Braith Anasta in the off-season and is a massive fall from grace after making three consecutive grand final appearances between 2002 and 2004.

Coach Ricky Stuart, who was scathing of his team's performance against Canberra a fortnight ago, refused to take another swipe at his players.

"I certainly can't complain about the players, the way they dug in and gave their all," said Stuart.

However, the pressure is set to intensify on the club, with rumours persisting that key players Craig Wing and Brett Finch could be offloaded by the tri-colours.

Newcastle captain Andrew Johns become the leading points-scorer of all time at Parramatta Stadium, but the Eels spoiled the party with a stunning 46-12 boilover.

Johns was too upset at the result to attend a post-match presentation in his honour, despite the fact former record-holder Jason Taylor was ready to personally congratulate him.

The win keeps alive Parramatta's slim semi-final hopes, while the Knights have now lost five of their last six matches to slump into eighth spot.

The New Zealand Warriors squandered a 16-point lead to crash to a 22-18 golden point defeat to the Bulldogs which will all but end their finals hopes.

A try two minutes and 20 seconds into extra time to Mark O'Meley sealed their fate, snapping a four match winning streak.

The Bulldogs will now meet St George Illawarra in a blockbuster clash at Oki Jubilee Oval on Friday, with the joint-venture club coming off a 38-28 victory against South Sydney.

The Rabbitohs threatened an upset, with scores locked at 22-all in the second half, but were again unable to go on with the job.

Canberra's semi-final hopes also suffered a blow when Penrith handed them their second consecutive defeat, a 24-12 loss at CUA Stadium. The Raiders may lose more than just the game, with skipper Clinton Schifcofske considering a switch of codes after the Queensland Reds expressed an interest in his services.

The Tigers also proved they aren't a spent force without Benji Marshall, handing Cronulla its second consecutive loss with a 22-10 result at Toyota Park.

The one constant in recent weeks has been the form of Melbourne, who continue their reign at the top of the table with a gutsy 10-4 victory over Brisbane. The Storm pulled their biggest crowd in six years, just days after the State of Origin decider drew a packed house at Telstra Dome.

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