It’s been a long time between drinks for these two clubs, with the last match-up coming in Round 9 last year at Allianz Stadium.
The Roosters finished comfortable 24-6 winners on that Sunday afternoon but had to come from behind with Jarrod Mullen crossing for the first of the game on the half-hour mark. That was somewhat against the run of play as the Roosters made all the early running and were repeatedly denied more through their own errors than through amazing defence.
They hit back shortly after though as a Pearce grubber allowed Tinirau Arona to score, with Braith Anasta adding the extras then a penalty goal on the stroke of halftime as the Roosters took a two-point lead to the break.
The Knights had limited opportunities in the second half as the Roosters eventually began to cash in on some of theirs. Pearce was again involved on the 60-minute mark, throwing a pass for Aubusson to run through a gap and score following an earlier Peni Tagive break.
Winger Sam Perrett scored shortly afterwards to make it 18-6 before Pearce scored himself following some good work out of dummy-half by Jake Friend. Despite a free-flowing final 10 neither side was able to add to the 24-6 scoreline.
The Roosters finished dominant in terms of possession (56 per cent) line-breaks (7-1) and offloads (18-5) and made vastly more ground than Newcastle, dominating the running metres 1,540m to 989m.
For the Knights, Chris Houston tackled himself to a standstill (51) as they were forced to make 330 tackles to the Roosters’ 275, missing 38 tackles to the Roosters’ 12.