Roosters trounce Tigers in style
A three-try burst in six minutes late in the first half has helped a dominant Roosters outfit snap a four-game losing streak in fine style with a 36-4 win in front of 14,366 fans at Allianz Stadium.
WATCH: Pearce seals the win
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Match stats, scores, highlights
The Roosters' left edge ran rampant as Test winger Daniel Tupou showed brilliant finishing skills in earning a hat-trick.
Tupou cashed in on the fine work of his fellow NSW representatives on that edge of Boyd Cordner – who earned a try of his own – as well as James Maloney and Michael Jennings, giving Blues coach Laurie Daley some more food for thought.
Another Origin hopeful in Mitch Pearce also had a fine game, setting up two tries from a pinpoint kick and a short pass, capped by a runaway try late in the second half. Bench forward Siua Taukeiaho also had immediate impact on his entrance to the game, scoring the second try of the night and troubling the Tigers with some powerful charges.
The home side got off to a near-perfect start, playing the field position game well and turning it into points as Tupou tiptoed down the touch-in-goal line to open the scoring inside five minutes.
Despite a series of goal-line dropouts and being pinned in their own end for most of the first half, the Tigers defended well to still be only four behind 20 minutes later with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck having been denied by the video ref when Pearce was found to be offside from Maloney's bomb.
But Taukeiaho's 25th-minute four-pointer – from a Cordner bat-back off a Pearce bomb – opened the floodgates. Cordner scored shortly after, barrelling onto a flat ball at the line after earlier being held up from a similar play, then Tupou got his second when he marked a deft Pearce cross-field kick out wide.
The Tigers, desperately needing to be first to score after half-time as they looked to track down a 22-0 deficit and with just 40 per cent of possession to that point, were controversially denied when the video referee upheld the on-field decision that Mitch Aubusson had marked a Mitch Moses bomb in-goal before being dispossessed by Chris Lawrence, who claimed the try.
It was as close as the Tigers got; a Maloney penalty goal made it 24-0 before a stunning long-range run from winger Shaun Kenny-Dowall from his own in-goal scattered the Tigers defence and put his side in range from which Tupou earned his hat-trick and Pearce's long-range try after toeing ahead a loose Luke Brooks pass made it 36-0.
A late try to Dene Halatau provided little consolation for Jason Taylor's men, who see the boys from Bondi leapfrog them on the ladder and will finish the round outside the top eight.
The win was the Tricolours' sixth-straight victory over the Tigers, and they've racked up at least 30 points in each of those, with the differential boost pushing them temporarily up to fifth on the live ladder while the Tigers have slipped to ninth.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson praised his side's execution, particularly in a dominant opening 40 minutes.
"It was a good first half that set it up, then a bit of an arm-wrestle at the start of the second half which could have gone either way... It's been a while but much needed," he said.
He also praised man of the match and club captain Pearce.
"I think the way that he played there, he was pretty instrumental in support play and in delivering some passes and obviously the kick to [Tupou] as well."
Tigers coach Jason Taylor drew positives from the fact the side maintained focus in the second half and welcomed the lesson in semi-final intensity football from the premiership heavyweights.
"I was really pleased with our effort in the second half, it could have been a really long second half but it wasn't... we fought hard and never gave up," he said.
"This was our biggest test this year... we're playing against a team that are genuine premiership contenders.
"That was going to be a semi final type game and it was. And for us, to get that game, to get a chance to play in a game like that in May was great. We're disappointed that the scoreline ended up what it did but it's great for us – we know where we're at, we know what we've got to do, there's plenty of this season left."
Sydney Roosters 36 (Tupou 3, Taukeiaho, Cordner, Pearce tries; Maloney 6 goals) defeated Wests Tigers 4 (Halatau try) at Allianz Stadium. Crowd: 14,366. Half-time: Roosters 22-0.