The Roosters were without big men Willie Mason and Nate Myles both copping a club enforced ban for apparently only having a few beers at home last Sunday afternoon.
Despite not having bulk in their forward pack, they still almost managed to keep the Eels to nil, before a late Jarryd Hayne try prevent any nudie runs.
A poor showing of only 11,231 fans turned up at the game, a worrying sign given the talk of expansion in the past week or so.
The win gets the Roosters on to 4 competition points, now the same as the Eels. However, coach Fittler won’t be under any illusions – that the Eels probably made the Sydney side look better than they actually were.
The Eels too will be back to drawing boards as coach Andrerson trys to salvage something from that mess. Stats suggest the Eels were tackled over 50 times in their opponents 20m zone, but could only manage one late try against the run of play. Also concerning was the fact the Eels won the penalty count, but still couldn’t use it to their advantage.
The win-loss sequence for the Roosters remains, big defeat, big win, big defeat, big win.
While the Eels couldn’t conjure anything in attack, the Roosters deserve credit for physical, error-free defence.
Outside back Shaun-Kenny Dowall turned in another impressive performance, getting 2 quality tries for the Roosters and custodian Sam Perrett doing his bit as the home side got early tries to really get their confidence going.
Kenny-Dowall nabbing a try right on half time to mentally hammer the Eels, his effort a full-stretch dive to snatch a Braith Anasta kick. Taking the Roosters to 16 blot at the break, the Eels having no answers.
Kenny-Dowell getting his second near the hour mark with Anasta and centre Mitchell Aubusson using quick hands to put the winger into the corner.
Veteran Craig Fitzgibbon booted the sideline conversion to take his tally to 12 points, including three penalty goals, and along with Frank-Paul Nuuausala and Mark O’Meley was magnificent up front.
The only worry the Roosters was a suspected broken eye socket to Sia Soliola.