What has happened to the Sydney Roosters? Grand finalists last year to now at the bottom of the ladder. The Newcastle Knights however are doing pretty well considering there might be a degree of expectation around next year as opposed to this year, with Wayne Bennet taking the reins in 2012.
The game started as a bit of a stalemate until the Roosters scored in the 8th minute from what was really the Knights halfback’s second mistake. Justin Carney eventually scored near the left post for the Roosters.
But as seemed typical of the whole game for the Roosters, they quickly made a mistake from the kick off in the first play the ball after the kick off. The Knights pounded their line briefly and then Sa'u got a lovely short ball on the line and went over on the left.
This took the wind from the Roosters sails a bit and the Knights started to dominate. Essentially, they went on to dominate through into the second half. They had an 8.00% domination for the first half which generally translates into being perhaps more than one try ahead. But their mistakes were their undoing as they were for the Roosters. In fact the Roosters largely went missing in the first half as their attack misfired and they seemed a wee bit lethargic as well.
The second half wasn’t quite the “mistakathon” of the first half but there were mistakes nonetheless. There was a huge highlight when Uate made an inspiring try saving tackle on a storming Minichiello in the 52nd minute. Minichiello is extremely hard to tackle at the best of times but to stop him in his tracks, lift him and push him back one-on-one was nothing short of miraculous.
The Knights then had an enormous amount of possession from about the 60th minute to the 70th minute, but they only got through once for an 18-4 lead meaning the Roosters had to score three times, which was never going to happen.
Unfortunately, in the 73rd minute, there was a play that was indicative of the Rooster’s day. They were on the attack and Todd Carney was all but tackled and passed from the ground......to the Knights. Despite having that bad day, Rooster’s second try came largely against the play. From the half way, Todd Carney made a break and got a sort of inside out pass to a sprinting Minichiello who went in under the posts. These two combining beautifully but all too late.
The Knights finished well over the top of the Roosters for a second half domination of nearly 10% and overall domination of just on 9%. 18-10 and 3 tries to 2 was perhaps a little in favour of the Roosters given the domination, but a good win by the Knights nonetheless. It keeps them in the top eight. But Brian Smith has a few problems with his Roosters.