Roosters stun Storm with easy victory - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roosters stun Storm with easy victory

By Steve Jancetic 27/07/2007 10:46:01 PM Comments (0)

He's not talking finals just yet, but Sydney Roosters caretaker coach Brad Fittler said his side had the belief to accomplish just about anything after pulling off the upset of the NRL season with a 26-16 victory over premiership favourites Melbourne.

The Roosters - second last on the ladder coming into the contest and only a faint finals hope - stunned the visitors with three tries inside the opening half hour before weathering all the Storm could throw at them over the back half of the match.

The win lifted the tri-colours to within two points of the top eight, with Fittler - who was given a standing ovation before and after the game - equalling Peter Sharp's record in 1999 with a hat-trick of wins after taking over mid-season.

Just like it had against Cronulla and Newcastle over the previous fortnight, the win had Fittler's fingerprints all over it with the Roosters playing with the type of commitment and passion not seen under Chris Anderson over the opening 17 weeks of the season.

The interim head coach, though, deflected the praise.

"We've got to be careful with who wins the game, most probably because I've got a profile with the Roosters that I'm a good target to put out there and it's a good story," Fittler said.

"But I did nothing tonight ... the boys went out there and just busted their guts.

"It goes to show that when you work hard during the week in footy, anything's capable.

"We most probably didn't get Melbourne's best game ... (but) our boys, they were outstanding - to hold them to that minimal amount of points ... they now realise what they can do."

The Roosters hit with aggression and numbers in defence and the Storm appeared rattled.

While the Storm faithful will claim it was the loss the club needed as it steamrolls its way to the finals, the uncharacteristic errors and impotency in attack would be a worry for coach Craig Bellamy.

"Hopefully it's only a little hiccup ... probably a few of our individuals just need to have an attitude check and learn from it and hopefully it doesn't happen again," Bellamy said.

While the drama surrounding veteran utility Matt Geyer, who was told earlier this week there may not be a place for him at the club next year, may not have impacted on the result, his absence was telling.

The Roosters ran in three of their four tries down the right side where Geyer normally defends.

The first, to Anthony Tupou, came after 12 minutes. And when John Williams backed up Ashley's Harrison's short-range burst with another in the same corner, it was 20-0 after 30 minutes.

When Storm teenage sensation Israel Folau scored his 15th try of the season five minutes before the break, there were some uneasy moments for the home fans.

But they needn't have worried as the Roosters held firm over in the second half.

Williams secured his double nine minutes from full-time before the Storm added some respectability to the scoreboard with late tries to Cooper Conk and James Aubusson.

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