NYC Roosters ease past Newcastle
The Roosters remain a mathematical chance of playing finals footy after the defending premiers claimed a crushing 44-22 win over the Knights in the Holden Cup on Friday afternoon.
It took just six minutes for the home side to open the scoring when classy five-eighth Lachlan Lam split the defence before finding Kiah Cooper to cross next to the posts.
Some desperate scramble defence from the Knights denied Zane Blake what looked to be a certain try but they wouldn't be so lucky when the rampaging Sitili Tupouniua crashed over in his first game back since Round 3 to make it 12-0.
It didn't take long for the visitors to strike back when centre Heath Gibbs strolled over courtesy of some trickery out of dummy-half by Tom Starling moments after the dynamic No.9 had been denied a try of his own.
Newcastle's fightback didn't last long as the Roosters pushed their lead back to 10 points when a deflected kick and some quick hands from Tupouniua allowed Adam Pompey to score 12 minutes out from half-time.
The second half finished just like the opening 40 minutes with the Tricolours adding to their lead when Joseph Ratuvakacereivalu popped a magical offload to Sean O'Sullivan who fought through the defence to make it 22-6.
The procession continued from the very next set when Pompey sliced through untouched on the right edge before O'Sullivan made it three tries in five minutes to give the hosts a commanding 32-6 lead.
Newcastle finally stemmed the bleeding when William Finau crashed over from a close-range barge play before back-rower Sam McIntyre scored a scintillating solo try to further eat into the lead.
Just when it looked like the Knights were about to launch a comeback for the ages, interchange player Josh Curran steadied the ship for the Roosters with a timely run to put the result beyond doubt.
Newcastle's fate was sealed 10 minutes from the end when Jesse Marschke burrowed over from dummy-half although the Knights had the final say when Matt Croker crossed at the death.
Roosters 44 (Adam Pompey 2, Sean O'Sullivan 2, Kiah Cooper, Sitili Tupouniua, Josh Curran, Jesse Marschke tries; Sean O'Sullivan 6 goals) def. Knights 22 (Heath Gibbs, William Finau, Sam McIntyre, Matt Croker tries; Kurtis Dark 3 goals) at Allianz Stadium. Half-time: 16-6