303 games, a Sydney Roosters club record. Mitch Aubusson ran out and performed well to guide the Roosters to a win over the Cronulla Sharks.
The celebration was great for Aubusson but the Sharks will head into the finals with their talisman in Shaun Johnson.
Taking the line on, Johnson fell and injured his Achilles, an injury that rules him out for 4-6 months.
Johnson would not be the only Sharks injury, unfortunately.
Prop Royce Hunt dislocated his kneecap and Josh Dugan also had knee injuries of his own.
Before the game began, the Roosters players made a guard of honour celebrating Aubusson’s club milestone.
The first try of the game went to the milestone man, as he raced over off a Joey Manu short ball.
Cronulla came ready to play, though, and scored a near carbon copy try of their own.
Johnson the provider and Siosifa Talakai the scorer, to make it 6-apiece.
Kyle Flanagan continued his solid night with the boot when he slotted a penalty goal to give the Roosters the lead.
That lead was extended when Daniel Tupou wrestled his way over the line to avoid Sione Katoa.
Although their attack was not as fluid as last week, the fancy footwork was on show and that came via Isaac Liu.
He danced his way past the Sharks defence and found Keary on the inside to extend the Roosters lead even further.
Angus Crichton showed off his grubbering skills to find Aubusson for his second, beating Ronaldo Mulitalo to the punch.
Mulitalo would nab a try of his own, though, when he returned serve.
With all the focus on Johnson’s injury, the Sharks spirits were near broken and the Roosters capitalised.
A short side raid saw Keary grab his second as he coasted over untouched.
The spirit was not too broken to score points through prop Braden Hamlin-Uele, though.
He powered over from close range off a Blayke Brailey pass to give a slight sniff for the Sharks.
When Joey Manu crossed late on, however, the icing was on the cake.
Manu’s night ended sourly when he was sent to the sin-bin.
Trent Robinson was critical of some of his side’s effort, citing the lack of playing for each other as a key issue to focus on.
“We just didn’t have enough people doing those effort areas that the player next to you loves and loves you for,” said Robinson.
“There just wasn’t enough of that.”
NRL News Player of the Game
3. Isaac Liu (SYD)
2. Braden Hamlin-Uele (CRO)
- Joey Manu (SYD)