Roosters beat Knights in a thriller - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roosters beat Knights in a thriller

By David Beniuk 22/06/2008 08:56:16 PM Comments (0)

Braith Anasta's kicking game proved the difference as the Sydney Roosters five-eighth created three tries to lead his side to a 16-14 NRL win over Newcastle at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

Overlooked by NSW for the first two State of Origin games, Anasta pressed a claim, particularly with Blues pivot Greg Bird being stretchered off with a knee injury in Cronulla's clash with Parramatta.

In what was a virtual NSW State of Origin trial for several players, the Roosters scored three tries to two in front of 19,253 disappointed Knights fans.

The Roosters' points came through two tries to winger Shaun Kenny-Dowall and one to interchange forward David Shillington - all from Anasta bombs - and two goals from Craig Fitzgibbon.

For Newcastle, Cory Paterson and Danny Buderus scored tries while Kurt Gidley booted three goals.

As well as Anasta, props Ben Cross and Mark O'Meley, forwards Anthony Tupou and Steve Simpson and halves possibilities Gidley and Jarrod Mullen were all pushing their Blues claims.

The Knights led 8-6 at halftime with the benefit of a strong south-westerly wind, but the Roosters appeared to have retaken the lead four minutes after the break when Setaimata Sa crashed over out wide.

With the grounding of the ball unclear, video referee Tim Mander sent the decision back to referee Tony Archer who ruled the Kiwi international had been held up.

But the visitors only had to wait seconds more to hit the front when winger Kenny-Dowall grabbed an Anasta bomb and touched down with his leg perilously close to the dead-ball line, Mander awarding a benefit of the doubt four-pointer to put the Roosters ahead 12-8.

The see-sawing match swung back to the Knights in the 52nd minute, though, when Buderus scooted over from dummy-half, Gidley's conversion making it 14-12 to the home side.

But another Anasta bomb put the Roosters back in front in the 67th minute and Kenny-Dowall was on the spot for his second when the kick took a fortuitous bounce for the visitors to lead 16-14.

Knights fans believed Paterson had regained the lead for his side in the 73rd minute but Mander ruled the second-rower had come up with a double movement in putting the ball over the line.

And Roosters halfback Mitchell Pearce grounded a loose kick in his own in-goal in the final minute to deny the Knights a last-gasp victory.

The Roosters have now won six of their last seven matches.

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