Smith takes blame for interchange clanger - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Smith takes blame for interchange clanger

David Beniuk 27/03/2011 06:52:38 PM Comments (0)

Sydney Roosters coach Brian Smith admits he gambled and lost with a game of interchange roulette that left his side with 12 men for the crucial final minutes of Sunday's 24-20 NRL loss to Canterbury.

The Roosters played out the final 10 minutes of the see-sawing match a man down after winger Sam Perrett continued a horror weekend of injuries by suffering a suspected broken ankle in the 70th minute at ANZ Stadium.

With forward Mose Masoe having run on for Jason Ryles seconds earlier, it meant the Roosters could make no more replacements as they feverishly chased down the four-point deficit.

"You run the roulette with interchange every week but today I think the ball jumped off the table," Smith said.

"I've got to take responsibility for that.

"That's somewhere between unforgivable and very dumb. And a bit unlucky."

Smith said he "almost always" saved his final interchange until the final five minutes, but had a hunch Masoe would help his side come from behind.

"We were chasing points and Mose had been very good for us in the first couple of stints he'd done before and after halftime so I felt the urge to make the significant change that it was and you hope that no one gets injured.

"I'm not happy with myself but them's the breaks.

"I'm taking responsibility for not having 13 players on the field in the last 10 minutes and it could well have caused us to win if we'd had him there."

Bulldogs coach Kevin Moore said the Roosters' predicament had surprised him.

"It's easy to be critical post-game but you obviously have a plan and things go to plan probably eight time out of 10," he said.

The Roosters certainly didn't look like they were undermanned as they threw everything at the Dogs in the final minutes.

In a physical encounter played in front of 23,723 fans, Bulldogs fullback Ben Barba and Roosters centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall bagged doubles in a four tries apiece affair that was ultimately decided by goalkicking.

Canterbury's Bryson Goodwin booted four from five, while Roosters skipper Braith Anasta could only manage two from four.

The Bulldogs led 18-14 after a seesawing first half that they had led 12-0 after 13 minutes, with Michael Ennis and Jamal Idris scoring their first two tries.

The Roosters hit back through Todd Carney and Kenny-Dowall but allowed Barba to grab his first a minute before the break when he latched onto a brilliant Corey Payne offload.

They extended their lead by two with a 46th minute Goodwin penalty goal and clung to their lead when Trent Hodkinson amazingly prevented Roosters winger BJ Leilua grounding the scraps of a Carney kick three minutes later.

Barba got his second in the 51st minute after Trent Hodkinson had made the bust and it was 24-14.

But it was game-on when Kenny-Dowall got his second in the 63rd minute at 24-20.

"I wouldn't say we more than matched them but probably matched them is a fair summary," Smith said.

"Looking at the stats, we beat them everywhere but on the scoreboard today."

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