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Tedesco supreme as Roosters take down Sharks

Author: 

Martin Lenehan, NRL.com Senior Journalist

Tedesco tuned up for Origin One with a dazzling display which included a try, two try assists, nine tackle breaks and 242 running metres.

The Roosters had the early ascendancy thanks to a Daniel Tupou try in just the fourth minute after Drew Hutchison took the odds to running on the last tackle and found his winger with a crafty offload.

Come the 21st minute and Tupou had his second of the night and 125th of his career after Luke Keary and Tedesco combined from a scrumbase play to give the winger a saloon passage to the line.

With the Roosters creating plenty of second-phase play it was an offload from young gun Joseph Suaalii that set them on another march downfield which finished with Nat Butcher scoring off a brilliant Tedesco flick pass.

In the 31st minute the Roosters had their fourth try when Sam Walker sparked a short side raid that featured magic hands by Paul Momirovski and was finished off by Tedesco for his eighth try of the year.

The Sharks came out with more intent in the second half and asked plenty of questions but the Roosters defence stood tall with Walker, Fletcher Baker and Sitili Tupounia coming up with big tackles.

Having kept the Sharks at bay the Roosters stormed up the field courtesy of a weaving 40-metre run by Tedesco and several players handled before Jared Waerea-Hargreaves plunged over and it was 24-0 after 50 minutes.

The Sharks finally gave a huge home crowd something to cheer about in the 56th minute when Siosifa Talakai busted the line and found Ronaldo Mulitalo for their opening try.

In the 65th minute it was Connor Tracey with a slick catch and pass to put Sione Katoa over in the right hand corner but Hynes' conversion attempt hit the upright and the margin stayed at 14 points.

When Cameron McInnes darted over from close range to make it three tries in 14 minutes the Sharks were back to 24-16 and the Roosters could hear the footsteps.

Desperate defence by Momirovski and Tupou denied Katoa with six minutes to play and the Roosters were able to put the game to bed when Joseph Manu scooped up a loose ball and raced 60 metres to score.

Connor Watson grabbed the final try of the night as the Roosters got the margin out to 20 points.

Match Snapshot

  • The Roosters continue to come up big against high-quality opponents with five of their seven wins in 2022 coming against the Sharks, Cowboys, Broncos, Eels and Sea Eagles.
  • Siosifa Talakai was at his tackle busting best for the Sharks, finishing the night with nine tackle breaks to go with 151 running metres.
  • Thomas Hazelton entered the field of play in the 34th minute for his NRL debut. The 23-year-old who hails from Goulburn became Shark No.552.
  • Joseph Suaalii was deemed a category one HIA and was ruled out for the remainder of the game after he was taken from the field midway through the second half.
  • Cronulla's 2016 premiership hero Andrew Fifita racked up his 200th game for the Sharks.
  • James Tedesco has scored seven tries in his past five games.
  • The Roosters have won their past seven games against the Sharks.
  • Jared Waerea-Hargreaves led the way for the Roosters in the middle of the ruck with 16 hit-ups for 152 metres.

Play of the Game

The Roosters' fourth try was a thing of beauty - Sam Walker going left and sending a bullet pass to centre Paul Momirovski who rode a tackle and got a great offload away to a flying Daniel Tupou. The veteran winger skipped down the sideline and then delivered a perfectly timed pass back inside to skipper James Tedesco who raced away to make it 20-0 and silence the PointsBet Stadium crowd.

What They Said
"It got close there [in the second half] but I thought we had some outstanding defence on our goal line that we had to do. We had six or so sets in that second half. I thought it was well defended. I thought our style of play was really clear tonight. I feel like we laid a good platform and then exploited it in a few different ways, whether it was short sides or long open sides or through the ruck. I thought the balance was really good. You can always nitpick and we will because that's what we do, but overall to come down here and play like that was a good step forward for us." - Roosters coach Trent Robinson

"We're lacking the consistency of the top few teams. They're looking the same every week they take the field and we haven't done that. There's probably only been two or three games where we haven't but that's a lot in 12 games. We're still working at it, we understand it and it's just where we are at, we've got to go through it. Obviously a stern lesson out of tonight and we'll go back to address it tomorrow and see what happens." - Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon

What's Next 
The Sharks are one of eight teams with the bye in round 13 before they set sail into the second half of the season with a trip to Redcliffe to face the Warriors in round 14. That match is on a Sunday so any Sharks who play State of Origin will have three days to recover before attempting to back up.

The Roosters will head to Canberra in round 13 without skipper James Tedesco on Blues Origin duty. Lindsay Collins and Angus Crichton are also in the Origin mix so the Roosters' depth will certainly be tested.

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