The Sydney Roosters have rallied to overcome injury and produce a 28-8 victory against the Newcastle Knights at Sunshine Coast Stadium.

Winger Matt Ikuvalu and Centre Billy Smith both succumbed to ankle injuries early in the first half, leaving Angus Crichton and Lachlan Lam to fill the void on the edge.

Newcastle got the scoring underway in the 14th minute as Kalyn Ponga drifted across field before passing to Jacob Saifiti, who broke through the defensive line with a bullocking run.

Connor Watson and Mitch Barnett then combined for the Knights’ second line-break of the evening, but a desperate diving effort from James Tedesco caused Kalyn Ponga to lose possession before Hymel Hunt grounded the ball.

A penalty goal in the 15th minute put the Knights ahead by eight, but that was where Newcastle’s scoring ended for the evening.

Sam Walker and James Tedesco combined to send Sitili Tupouniua over for the Roosters first, before a miracle over-the-shoulder pass from Victor Radley saw Joseph Manu secure the lead before halftime.

After the break, Daniel Tupou ended a four-game tryscoring drought in the 56th minute before makeshift centre Lachlan Lam scored his second try of the season off the back of the Roosters’ strong second-phase play.

When James Tedesco sent Sitili Tupouniua away for his second try of the night with a deft no-look pass, the result was all but confirmed.

Angus Crichton then put the cherry on top of a fine second-half performance with a try in the 76th minute.

The Knights will be left to rue the opportunity to draw level with the seventh-placed Dragons and eighth-placed Raiders on eighteen competition points.

Instead, they could sit as low as 12th by the conclusion of the weekend if the Tigers and Titans can secure victories against Manly and the Dragons respectively.

On the other hand, the Roosters have all but secured a top six finish, now moving eight points clear of the Dragons and Raiders.

Trent Robinson’s men will advance to face the fourth-placed Eels next Thursday in a critical clash, while the Knights will face the in-form Raiders on Saturday evening.

NRL News Player of the Match:

3 Points – James Tedecso – 3 try assists, 1 try contribution, 2 line breaks, 5 line break assists, 11 tackle busts.

2 Points – Sitili Tupouniua – 2 tries, 1 try contribution, 3 line breaks and 9 tackle busts.

1 Point – Joseph Manu – 1 try, 2 line breaks, 5 tackle busts.

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