It was a narrow one, but a much needed one for the Roosters, highlighted by their tremendous effort in defence in the second-half, as they held out the New Zealand Warriors 13-6 at ANZ Stadium last night.
The game did not end as well as some would have liked however, with Warriors prop Sam Rapira, and Roosters winger Shaun-Kenny Dowall both suffering potentially serious injuries.
Kenny-Dowall suffered a suspected severe ankle strain, whilst Sam Rapira broke his wrist.
Although the Roosters only scored one point in the first-half, courtesy of a Todd Carney field goal, it was their defense that received all the plaudits in this game, as they dug deep, and held on to win.
There was a rather unorthodox moment in the game, when Simon Mannering crossed the line, and the Warriors found themselves back in the game.
With Roosters back BJ Leilua making an error, Mannering grounded the ball, or at least thought that he had, before Leilua picked it up, and ran 100 metres to score the try.
The decision went to the video ref, and Pat Reynolds deemed that Mannering had gotten the ball down, and he awarded the try to the Warriors, despite Roosters fans thinking that the try decision was for Leilua’s effort.
For Roosters coach Brian Smith, he sees it as a turnaround in their attitude that won them the game, a win that was led by their captain, Braith Anasta.
“The decision that guys made on Saturday night, and certainly on Monday, after a disappointment in North Queensland and the way they responded to that is why we’re sitting here with two competition points tonight, they were prepared to back that up,” Smith said.
“I’ll embarrass our skipper (Braith Anasta) by saying his leadership during the week in particular and at various stages tonight when we needed someone to do something extra special … I thought he dug deep for us.”
Whilst Warriors coach Ivan Cleary was disappointed at the no-try decision for Maloney’s effort, he could not take anything away from the Roosters determined defence.
“I just don’t see how you could say that was a knock-on in one look, that is my opinion,” he said.
“We’ve played worse than that and won (this year), you’ve got to give them some credit.
“I couldn’t ask for any more from the boys.”
3 Braith Anasta
2 Todd Carney
1 Simon Mannering