It was a player by the name of Ronald Volkman that stole the show at Kirkham Oval as the Sydney Roosters defeated the Wests Tigers 28-22.
Volkman, a talented junior at the Roosters and regarded as a player of the future, scored two tries to guide the Roosters to victory.
With a mostly youthful side picked by both sides due to certain restrictions, the game gave Tigers coach Michael Maguire a chance to see his new players.
Daine Laurie and Stefano Utoikamanu both featured and played lengthy minutes.
Perhaps the biggest question for the Tigers heading into the season is the hooker battle; Jake Simpkin v Jacob Liddle.
Both did their chances no harm and neither did Utoikamanu, as the Tigers brace themselves for a final trial v the Manly Sea Eagles.
Both sides were undoubtedly rusty but it was the Roosters who struck first through Sione Hopoate.
Tukimihia Simpkins made the most of a good situation when he was on the receiving end of a good scramble from Simpkin to score.
Volkman was prised to step up and he did just that, with a chip-and-chase effort gifting him a try under the posts to put the Roosters up 12-6.
The Tigers would hit back to have the scores level at the break, as a deft Jock Madden kick saw Alex Seyfarth take the spoils to score.
Ben Thomas who shone off the bench for the Roosters would then give the Tricolours the lead back, as he barged over.
The back-and-forth contest veered in the Tigers direction again, this time Allan Fitzgibbon scoring in the corner to make it 18-all.
Volkman’s inspired play and awareness saw the Roosters again hit the lead, as he took an intercept and ran 90 metres to score.
The luck of the draw then swung back to the Tigers as a lucky bounce saw the ball pop up for Zac Cini to capitalise.
At 22-all, the game was crying out for a bit of magic to seal a win and it was some slick hands down the Roosters right side that provided it.
Naufahu Whyte finished the play off and with the conversion good and some steely defence, the Roosters held on.
With several new players in the squad, Tigers coach Michael Maguire knows that cohesion will be crucial.
“You can probably work out who is pushing for spots but it’s an open team for me at the moment,” Maguire said.
“We have had a number of changes with personnel coming to the club and finding the cohesion in teams is something we’re going to be working for.
Maguire was pleased with Laurie’s performance and looks forward to seeing him grow as a player.
“He’s exactly what I expected,” Maguire continued.
“He came out with the ball. He’s got good composure and he’s quick. I’m looking forward to seeing him grow.”
NRL News Player of the Game
3. Charlie Volkman
2. Jock Madden
1. Ben Thomas