Roosters trump Warriors with late try
A final-minute Blake Ferguson try has secured a valuable away win for the Roosters on Saturday night, beating the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium 25-21.
After scores were locked at 20-all heading into the final five minutes, field goals from James Maloney and Shaun Johnson ensured the game remained tied.
When Roosters star Roger Tuivasa-Sheck pushed his 78th-minute attempt at a one-pointer wide, most of the 14,167 fans at Mt Smart Stadium breathed a sigh of relief.
But half a second later Warriors winger Jonathan Wright, who had shifted to fullback after Nathan Friend left the field with a concussion, dropped the ball cold and gifted the Roosters a dropout and one final set.
They took full advantage, shifting wide to the right where Blake Ferguson tiptoed down the line and flew over for the game-winning try.
The victory came despite the Roosters enjoying fewer attacking opportunities throughout the match, and having to come back from a 14-0 deficit after 39 minutes.
Earlier in the match the hosts had managed to force numerous back-to-back sets inside the opening quarter, only to be repelled by a frugal Roosters defence which heading into the game was ranked as the NRL's best.
The Warriors then went on a scoring bonanza between the 28th and 36th minutes, scoring on three occasions to establish a 14-0 lead.
Tries to Solomone Kata and Tuimoala Lolohea were capped off by a Manu Vatuvei classic three minutes from oranges.
In the process of crossing Vatuvei became the first player in history to score 10 tries in 10 consecutive seasons.
Considering his side had been forced to make 62 more tackles than their opponents, and were battling on with just 40 percent possession, Roosters coach Trent Robinson wouldn't have been too upset at only trailing by 14 points heading into the break.
He must have been delighted then when a Kata error gave the Roosters last use of the ball, which Shaun Kenny-Dowall used to score off a Roger Tuivasa-Sheck grubber.
Former Warrior Maloney added the extras to make it 14-6 at the half.
Four minutes into the second period Johnson elected to run the ball on the last, darting through before the ball changed hands six times as the Warriors progressed down field.
In the end Konrad Hurrell got an offload free off the ground, straight into the arms of Kata for his double. It was checked numerous times upstairs before the effort was confirmed.
The Roosters were quick to bring the deficit back to eight however, with rookie centre Brendan Elliot jumping over Hurrell to collect a high ball.
With 25 minutes remaining possession was starting to even up, and after getting piggybacked down field by back-to-back penalties the Roosters took a gift two points from in front of the posts.
The visitors looked to have tied scores after Jake Friend made the most of a slow-reacting Warriors line, but the captain dropped it in mid-air over the tryline.
There wouldn't have been a more relieved man at Mt Smart Stadium then when Maloney strolled through a tiring Warriors line and converted his own effort with eight minutes to go.
The Maloney field goal and Ferguson try in the final five securing a valuable away win for the Roosters, who had four key players out on State of Origin duty.
While for the Warriors loss marked their fourth defeat in six home games this season.
Roosters 25 (Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Elliot, Maloney, Ferguson tries; Maloney 3 goals; Maloney 1 field goal) def. Warriors 20 (Kata 2, Lolohea, Vatuvei tries; Johnson 2 goals) at Mt Smart Stadium. Crowd: 14,167. Half-time: 14-6.