Roosters edge Broncos in Nines grind

An outstanding defensive display wasn't quite enough for the Broncos as the Roosters snatched a 6-4 win in the last minute of their encounter in the Auckland Nines on Saturday.

Brisbane defended stoutly throughout and were unlucky to lose to a scrappy Roosters outfit, who themselves defended well enough to hold their opponents to a single try.

Strong defence and a handful of errors from each side prevented any score until two minutes before half-time after a steady opening to the match.

The Broncos had looked the better of the two teams to that point and they were first to score when halfback Darren Nicholls scythed through two defenders near the posts.

The Roosters continued to be their own worst enemy, turning over the ball as they looked to work it out of their own end, a habit which continued into the second half. Strong goal-line defence from both teams shut down several more attacking chances, with the Broncos managing to hold out repeat sets at their line.

But after defending so impressively for 17 minutes another repeat set finally told when Roosters fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and his dazzling feet danced across the line and slotted the conversion himself to give his side a 6-4 lead.

There was more excitement to come when, in the dying seconds, Anthony Milford set up what looked like a length-of-the-field try finished off by Matt Parcell, but the Broncos were devastated to have the play called back for an error in the lead-up, allowing the Roosters to cling to their 6-4 win.

Tuivasa-Sheck admitted he wasn't confident the Roosters would finish on top of a tough Broncos outfit, but was glad to take on the kicking duties for the match-winning goal.

"I'm pretty surprised that we got away with the win, Brisbane were strong," he said.

"I saw young Jackson Hastings looking to kick [the goal], but I said I'd do it. And I'm glad it went through."

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