It was a titanic encounter today at Aussie Stadium – a battle enjoyed by a crowd of 15,500 thousand NRL fans – as Brad Fittler kept his unbeaten record in tact since taking over from Chris Anderson at the Sydney Roosters several weeks ago.
It was the resurgent Sydney Roosters who exploded out of the blocks – their enthusiasm again getting them on a good roll early and they were able to jump out to an early 3 try lead.
It’s interesting to watch the Sydney Roosters style since Chris Anderson has departed. They aren’t 100% fluid in their offence; but they are hitting the line at speed, getting some good second phase and basically ‘forcing’ their way into games through sheer determination.
Passion and enthusiasm is always a good match for raw skill. That was the best way to summarize todays game. You had the giant Warriors, brimming with confidence and talent against the never say die, passionate mob from the Sydney Roosters – putting in the hard yards for their pride and their new coach.
Possession was the Roosters best friend early on. They were in the face of the Warriors forcing mistakes and were able to convert their good possession into points – only Craig Fitzgibbon’s missed conversions giving the Warriors any confidence early on.
After half time, the Warriors started to get some quality possession and they did what they do best – they threw the ball around and had some success on the Roosters left edge. Crockett screaming down the touchline in minute space – getting the Warriors going. The Kiwi side then going on a barnstorming run – scoring 30 points in the space of 35 minutes; looking to have the game sewn up with 15 minutes to go.
The Roosters somehow dug deep and remained committed to the contest. An amazing achievement in itself – considering their capitulation to the Manly Sea Eagles only a few weeks ago. Opportunistic tries and a hat trick of tries to outside back Joel Monaghan had the scores level with 5 minutes to go.
When Braith Anasta snapped the 35m field goal with minutes to go, it looked all the Roosters for the taking. The 2007 NZ Warriors are certainly a different side than in previous years; as they fought hard for possession and Michael Witt was able to steal a drop goal back for his team.
The see sawing contest ending in golden point time – with no winner. Both teams deserved one point from the classic match. The Roosters; former easy beats winning plenty of fans as they get their act together and the NZ Warriors – the new age Warriors; with skill, quality and a semi final like edge – seemingly able to keep themselves in the contest several times this year when they looked beaten for all money.
Ivan Cleary and the NZ Warriors will monitor Wade McKinnon and his ankle with the form fullback of the NRL struggling with the injury all game.