The Sydney Roosters have continued their impressive form streak in 2008, today accounting for the NZ Warriors in the tough melting pot of Mt Smart Stadium to the tune of 38-12.
Again it was the Mitchell Pearce and Braith Anasta show, as the halves combined well and more specifically kicked to perfection to totally dazzle the Warriors from the outset. Early chips and bombs from Pearce allowed Shaun Kenny-Dowall to crash over, the Kiwi outside back getting an early double – then Anasta benefiting from more Pearce kicking magic to send the Roosters away to the best possible start.
The Warriors, welcoming back prop Steve Price were brave early on – with lack of possession and an avalanche of points against them, they somehow hung in to register their own early points and actually keep themselves in contention before it was too late. In a match with plenty of feeling, Rooster James Aubusson and NZ Warriors back Brent Tate cited, the antics stirring up the home crowd of 12,000.
Aubusson was ruled to have tackled hooker Nathan Fien high and late, while Tate was alleged to have used an elbow during a heated moment with opposition five-eighth Braith Anasta.
Even without workhorse backrower Craig Fitzgibbon and custodian Amos Roberts, the Roosters only had to brave a few counter attacks from the Warriors who were pretty much outclassed all day.
With a handy 20-4 lead with 4 first half tries, the home side reducing the margin with a try to Ian Henderson before the break.
The conversion and subsequent penalty by Lance Hohaia got the Warriors back to 20-12.
The Warriors were dead and buried early in the 2nd term, any hopes of a major comeback snuffed out as the visiting Roosters poured on another 3 touchdowns in impressive fashion.
Kenny-Dowall secured his own hat-trick by diving over for his 3rd try in the second half, while pivot and temporary captain Anasta got himself a double in an impressive all-round showing from the NSW Origin hopeful.
With 14 minutes to go the Warriors could have placed themselves back in the match again when Epalahame Lauaki latched onto a intercept but he was unable to score, leaving the gap at 14 points.
It was Kenny-Dowall who put the match beyond doubt when he scored his hat-trick after an intercept of his own, running 80m before diving over.
Winger Sam Perrett iced the cake for the Roosters when he took in an Anasta kick to go over untouched.