Roosters forwards power way to NRL victory

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James Tedesco was one of five Sydney Roosters’ tryscorers in his side’s 28-10 win over Cronulla.Sydney Roosters’ forwards dominated Cronulla’s representative pack to lay the platform for a 28-10 NRL victory on Friday night.
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Comprehensively beaten by the Warriors big men last week and criticised early in the year, the Tri-colours bounced back to nullify the impact of the Sharks’ forwards at Southern Cross Group Stadium.

Cooper Cronk and Luke Keary kicked twice for tries, leaving a James Tedesco show-and-go in the second-half as the only try that didn’t come off the boot.

But the stars of the night were the Roosters’ pack, who gave Cronk and halves partner Keary the field position to be at their clinical best and take the Roosters’ early-season record to 3-2.

Sio Siua Taukeiaho and Boyd Cordner both topped 145m, nullifying the output of Paul Gallen and Andrew Fifita who rallied late but couldn’t stop the Sharks’ third loss in five games.

“They’ve copped it but we haven’t had the ball,” Roosters coach Trent Robinson said of his forwards.

“I hear it a lot and they hear it. Some of it’s not their fault. But they wanted to stand up tonight and play better.

“But possession allowed those guys to run and it happened tonight.”

After Cronk got the Roosters moving with a kick for Ryan Matterson in the 20th minute to score, he landed the knockout blow before the break when he again booted the ball across field for the second-rower.

Keary also contributed with a grubber for Joseph Manu midway through the opening half, setting up the 18-6 half-time lead before Tedesco crossed after the break.

The five-eighth finished the job with another perfectly placed for winger Reece Robinson on full-time.

Cronulla’s loss was soured by a serious head knock to bench hooker James Segeyaro after he collided with Cronk’s knee while trying to charge down a kick.

Matt Moylan was easily the Sharks’ best in the first half after he was shifted to fullback for the injured Josh Dugan, while Valentine Holmes crossed twice on the right wing.

Moylan is the third fullback Shane Flanagan’s Sharks have used in five matches, while they are yet to run out the same spine in any two matches.

He set up three line breaks and had one of his own before the break, and also threw a cut-out ball for Holmes’ first try.

But his work was largely undone by the Sharks’ tendency to give away penalties late in the count, giving the Roosters’ halves too many opportunities to put their boots to work close to the line.

“We just kept gifting them position in the first half in particular,” Flanagan said.

“We gave away silly penalties and frustrating penalties late in the tackle count.”

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