Hastings guides NYC Roosters to victory
The Roosters have temporarily moved into second place on the Holden Cup ladder following a 38-24 win over a spirited Brisbane Broncos side on Thursday night.
Jackson Hastings once again played a starring role for the Tricolours, helping set up three tries and slotting five goals with the boot to make it four straight wins for the home side.
Brisbane looked to be in control of the contest, but a try just before half-time swung momentum the Roosters' way to put a huge dent in the Broncos' finals hopes.
An incredible late offload from Roosters fullback Kiah Cooper looked to have sent Ben Thomas over after eight minutes, only for the referee to pull the play back for obstruction.
They wouldn't be stopped five minutes later as winger Sitili Tupouniua raced through to ground a perfectly-weighted grubber from Grant Garvey to give the Tricolours a well-deserved lead.
It didn't take long for the Broncos to hit back with a slick backline movement ending up with Corey Allan falling on a cheeky side kick from David Fauid.
All the momentum was suddenly with the visitors, and after a huge break by Jamayne Isaako, the Broncos extended their lead when Allan turned provider to send Gehamat Shibasaki over untouched.
With barely a minute left in the first half - and somewhat against the run of play - Jarrett Boland crashed onto a short ball from Jackson Hastings to make it 12-10 at the break to give the Roosters a much-needed lift heading into sheds.
It was the confidence boost they needed with the Tricolours reclaiming the lead two minutes into the second stanza with Hastings setting up another try, this time for backrower Ryan King.
The procession continued shortly after as Grant Garvey spun his way over from close range before the Roosters No.9 set up Poasa Faamausili with a crash-ball from a metre out to make it 26-12.
Another touch of class from Hastings helped push his side further in front with the five-eighth chipping ahead for Cooper to regather, before some quick hands sent Jarred Anderson over next to the posts.
The Broncos pegged one back when in-form hooker Kalolo Saitaua barged over, and the No.9 should have had a double minutes later but couldn't handle a tough pass close to the line.
A fightback looked on the cards when Sam Smith crashed over in the right corner to cut the gap to 8 points, but a late try to Ben Thomas ensured there would be no miracle at Allianz Stadium, with the Roosters hanging on to move up to second.
Roosters 38 (Sitili Tupouniua, Jarrett Boland, Ryan King, Grant Garvey, Poasa Faamausili, Jarred Anderson, Ben Thomas tries; Jackson Hastings 5 goals) defeated Broncos 24 (Corey Allan, Gehamat Shibasaki, Kalolo Saitaua, Sam Smith tries; Jamayne Isaako 4 goals) at Allianz Stadium. Half-time: 12-10 Broncos.