In what was a shortened round due to eight teams having byes, the Origin depleted Roosters have emerged victorious over the Tigers 16-14 in a thrilling end to round 13. In doing so, the Chooks were able to exact revenge on the team who surprised them in the opening round. Here are five things we learned from this match:
1 Tupou returns with a bang
Roosters winger Daniel Tupou had returned from a lengthy injury spell from round 2 and was involved in more ways than he could have ever envisioned. In his return match from a pectoral injury, Tupou had scored both tries for the tricolours, which came in the 38th and 56th minutes.
However, the most crucial contribution from Toops came in the 78th minute, in the form of a try-saving tackle. Tigers winger Corey Thompson appeared a certainty to score in the corner. Enter one D. Tupou, as he made a solid tackle on Thompson, thereby preventing him from grounding the ball on the try line by a matter of inches, bundling him into touch instead.
All of these plays proved crucial, as the Chooks were able to hold on for victory. Moreover, the try-saving tackle capped a memorable comeback game for Tupou, who showed he can not only score tries, but also save some crucial tries.
2 Lightning failed to strike twice for Tigers
Having upstaged the highly fancied Roosters in the opening round of the season, the Tigers would have felt rather confident of doing the double over the tricolours in this match. There would have been even greater reason for them to feel bullish, given their opponents were depleted by absentees, due to State of Origin duty.
Unfortunately, the joint venture club were unable to make lightning strike twice, as the Roosters were able to atone for their opening round loss. Although the Tigers would open the scoring with a penalty goal, they would concede 14 unanswered points to the Roosters, before they would reduce the deficit by scoring a converted try. They would concede another penalty goal, before setting up a grandstand finish, with a converted try, to reduce the deficit to a penalty goal.
Try as they might, the Tigers were denied by some desperate Roosters defence, meaning the Tigers would get no closer, to eventually lose 16-14. Whilst the comeback may have been impressive, the truth is the Tigers gave their opponents a greater head start than they would have liked.
3 Frenetic finale
As alluded to earlier, the Roosters would concede an early penalty goal, before scoring 14 unanswered points. However, the Tigers would score a couple of converted tries to set up a grandstand finish to the match. Fortunately for the tricolours, they would score a penalty goal after the Tigers’ first try. This penalty goal would prove decisive.
Furthermore, there numerous match-saving plays by the Chooks which proved vital in delivering a crucial victory. Firstly, with the score at 16-8, back-rower Victor Radley produced a try-saving ball-and-all tackle on Tigers prop, Ben Matulino. Secondly, as stated earlier, winger Daniel Tupou stopped his opposing winger, Corey Thompson, in his tracks to not only prevent him scoring a potentially match-winning try, but also forcing him into touch.
The final match-saving play came in the dying seconds. After the Roosters knocked the ball on with a minute remaining, the Tigers received the ball from the scrum and continued to spread the ball wide. Whilst the Tigers kept finding holes in the tricolours’ defence, the Chooks were able to scramble in defence. This culminated in winger Blake Ferguson producing the final match-saving tackle on Tigers’ centre Mahe Fonua on the wing. Thus the Tigers’ attacking threats were defused, and the Chooks were eventually able to come away with the competition points.
4 Roosters surge into top 4, Tigers hang on in 8th position
With this victory, the Roosters had improved their position on the ladder. This means the tricolours would find themselves in the top 4 after this round, as well as being on 16 competition points. However, this was undoubtedly aided by their direct rivals, the Broncos and Storm, having the week off due to a bye and not receiving any competition points for their byes (unlike in previous seasons).
Conversely, whilst the Tigers retain their place in the top 8, they find themselves right on the edge, as they are in 8th place. Moreover, this loss sees them remain on 14 competition points, which is equal to the amount of points for the Storm and Broncos. With this being the case, the Storm find themselves above the Tigers due to superior points differential, while the Broncos are below the Tigers due to inferior points differential.
Irrespective of the Tigers being in the top 8, the aforementioned shows that any victory or loss by either of these teams will prove vital at the end of the regular season. The gained or dropped points could prove vital in deciding who will participate at the business end of the season.
5 Roosters continue dominance over the Tigers
With this victory over the Tigers, the Roosters continued their overall dominance over the joint venture club. This brings the tricolours record to 23 victories, out of 32 matches. Moreover, they have not tasted defeat at home against the Tigers since 2009. However, this streak had quite a likelihood of ending, given the number of players from the Roosters on representative duty, whereas the Tigers had no such problem regarding missing personnel.
Fortunately for the Roosters, their scrambling defence was key to ensuring another home victory over the Tigers. Unless these teams meet in a home fixture for the Roosters in the finals, this streak will have to wait another year until the Tigers can attempt to end it again.
What big takeaways did you have from the Roosters win? Let us know in the comments below.
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