Sharks beat plucky Roosters
The Sharks have survived an inspired performance from the Roosters to extend their remarkable winning streak to 14 games with a 32-20 win at Allianz Stadium.
The Roosters had their chance at the death to force the game into golden point but had their hearts broken as Sosaia Feki produced an 80th-minute length-of-the-field runaway try to ice the game.
Both teams gave it their all in a frenetic first half that featured five tries, desperate defence and a stint in the sin bin for Roosters winger Blake Ferguson.
It was a coming of age for Roosters five-eighth Connor Watson who had his best game in the NRL, but it wasn't enough as the Sharks reclaimed the outright lead atop the Telstra Premiership ladder.
The Roosters couldn't have asked for a better start with Mitchell Pearce earning a penalty from the opening set of the game before setting up the first try of the night five tackles later.
Instead of going to the obvious target of Daniel Tupou, Pearce sent his kick to the other side of the field. Sharks centre Gerard Beale should have had it covered, but instead dropped it for Mitchell Aubusson to go over after three minutes.
That's where the early joy ended for the Roosters as a Dylan Napa error from the kick off put the Sharks on the attack, allowing try-scoring machine Valentine Holmes to dive over in the corner for his 13th of the season.
It could have been a horror five minutes for the Tricolours when Latrell Mitchell sent his kick-off out on the full, but they got out of jail with Holmes losing the ball as he looked to slide into the in goal.
Pearce then sent his next kick out on the full, and it went from bad to worse shortly after when Blake Ferguson was sent to the sin bin for dragging back Beale as he chased through a Wade Graham grubber in the 12th minute.
The Sharks were always going to be hard to handle even without a numerical advantage, and with an extra man on the field, hit the lead for the first time with Ben Barba setting up Jack Bird for their second try in the right corner.
It could have gotten ugly for the three-time defending minor premiers, but to their credit, they absorbed everything that was thrown at them for a frenetic five-minute period.
After standing firm in defence, and then earning a penalty, the Tricolours struck back at the other end through Watson and his lightning-fast feet to somehow draw level after 27 minutes.
Suddenly it was the Sharks on the back foot, forced to repel wave after wave of attacking raids until Beale plucked an intercept, only for Ferguson to redeem himself for the earlier indiscretion with a terrific chase.
It counted for little though as the Sharks went back to their faithful right edge, this time hitting the lead runner to send Luke Lewis over under the posts to give them a 16-10 lead at the break.
It took a touch of class from Barba to end what had been a sedate start to the second half as the Sharks fullback danced across field to set up Sosaia Feki for his third try assist of the evening.
The Sharks extended their advantage five minutes later through Chad Townsend with the No.7 finishing off some enterprising footy on the last tackle to ground the ball after receiving the perfect bounce from Beale's speculative kick.
No one could question the Roosters' spirit, who fittingly pegged one back after Watson's classy ball skills put Dale Copley into a yawning hole close to the line and almost had another only for Latrell Mitchell's effort to be called back for obstruction.
The hearty crowd at Allianz Stadium were left fuming when another Roosters try - this time to Daniel Tupou – was overturned by the Bunker after it was deemed the winger had lost the ball in his spectacular attempt to ground the Steeden.
It was third time lucky for the Roosters as the previously denied duo of Mitchell and Tupou combined with the latter getting it down after a quick review by the Bunker.
The Roosters almost snatched a late leveller but were instead forced to watch on as Feki streaked away to seal the 12-point victory.
Sharks 32 (Sosaia Feki 2, Valentine Holmes, Jack Bird, Luke Lewis, Chad Townsend tries; James Maloney 3, Chad Townsend goals) defeated Roosters 20 (Mitchell Aubusson, Connor Watson, Dale Copley, Daniel Tupou tries; Sio Siua Taukeiaho 2 goals) at Allianz Stadium. Half-time: 16-10 Sharks. Sin bin: Blake Ferguson.