The Sydney Roosters’ NSW State of Origin connection quickly made amends for their loss in the series decider a few nights earlier as they produced a stunning display to thrash a weakened Cronulla outfit 40-0 at Allianz Stadium in Round 19.
With Mitchell Pearce leading the way, it took just two minutes for the home side to draw first blood as Pearce threw a perfectly timed short ball for Boyd Cordner to stroll in alongside the posts. Five minutes later Jake Friend dummied and scored from dummy-half with surprising ease and by the time Daniel Tupou made it 18-0 after 15 minutes following some razzle dazzle by Cordner and Michael Jennings, the signs were ominous for the Sharks.
Shaun Kenny-Dowall was next to cross as he pushed his way through and Cordner was in again following another brilliant Pearce pass on the stroke of half-time to make it 28-0 at the break.
It didn’t take long for the Roosters to hit their straps again after oranges with Sam Moa reaching out to score and Mitch Aubusson scored his side’s seventh of the night when he picked up a loose ball and raced 30 metres to make it 40-0 with 20 minutes to go.
To their credit, the Sharks stopped the bleeding right then and there but the 40-0 loss was a painful way to be sent back to the Shire.
The Roosters enjoyed 58 per cent of possession and dominated all facets of the game, making 202 hit-ups to 130, 1879 metres to 1087 and 11 line-breaks to nil.
They also had a number of star performers with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck running for 249 metres and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 214, while Pearce contributed three try assists.
Andrew Fifita was Cronulla’s best with 123 metres and 47 tackles.