Anthony Minichiello finds the tryline during the Roosters' rout of Parramatta on Saturday night. Copyright: Grant Trouville/NRL Photos. Credit: Grant Trouville/NRL Photos Copyright: Grant Trouville/NRL Photos
A ruthless Roosters side have put their premiership defence back on track, embarrassing Parramatta 56-4 in front of 13,269 fans at Allianz Stadium.
After being shown up by the Rabbitohs 28-8 in the 2014 season opener, the home side used a three-try blitz in the first nine minutes of the second half to register their biggest ever win over the Eels.
Skipper Anthony Minichiello crossed for tries in the 7th, 21st, and 63rd minute, recording his first ever hat-trick on his way to 501 career points.
It was that kind of night for the defending premiers, who surpassed the 50-0 thrashing in the corresponding game between the two sides in Round 4 last season.
"It was a feature of the play tonight - the support play," Roosters coach Trent Robinson said. "Mini had a lot of supports that the guys went into contact and didn't give, and then he turned up on the wing and also in the middle of play and a few there where he actually got pulled down. It was a really classy performance on support play tonight."
The Roosters made their intentions clear early, racing to a 16-0 lead by the 21st minute courtesy of two tries to Minichiello – the first of which came thanks to a signature Mitchell Pearce short ball to Mitchell Aubusson – and one to Sam Moa.
Their perfect start didn't come without controversy however, with Eels firebrand Darcy Lussick lucky not to be sent off for a swinging arm on Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves in the 17th minute.
"That was a pretty clear send off," Robinson said. "I'm not sure what more you want to see. I expect that to be the response, but there was obviously a reason that they didn't want to send him off."
Leading 16-4 at the break, the Roosters poured on the points in the second half, posting six tries and keeping the Eels scoreless. Winger Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, who filled-in at fullback during various stages of the game, nabbed a pair – including a trademark individual try to open proceedings in the second stanza.
Aubusson also grabbed two tries, while winger Daniel Tupou and second-rower Boyd Cordner also got on the scoresheet. Centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall also had a notable performance, setting up three of his side's 10 tries.
The only bright spot for Parramatta came from a daring Corey Norman grubber to winger Semi Radradra in the 32nd minute, taking the flying Fijian's tally to three tries from the first two games of the season.
"The disappointing this is knowing that we stuck in there that first half," Eels co-captain Jarryd Hayne said.
"And then the start of that second half, they just got that roll on and they just blew us away.
"They definitely could've put more points on us that first half but we dug deep and turned them away and then could've had it up to 14-10 at halftime.
"But it wasn't to be and obviously they just come out the second half and just dominated and we couldn't go with them."
Roosters 56 (Minichiello 3, Tuivasa-Sheck 2, Aubusson 2, Moa, Tupou, Cordner tries; Maloney 8 goals) defeated Parramatta 4 (Radradra try). Crowd: 13,269.