There could be only one winner as the high-flying Sydney Roosters took on the crisis club Brisbane Broncos who acrimoniously sacked their coach Anthony Siebold during the week after a devastatingly poor season.
Former Hull FC coach Peter Gentle was at the helm for the strugglers and named Brodie Croft and Sean O’Sullivan in his side in place of Anthony Milford and Isaac Luke. The home side had Boyd Cordner and Daniel Tupou back to strengthen an already strong side and they replaced David Fifita and Matt Ikuvalu. The Broncos have won just once in their last thirteen outings, a win against the Canterbury Bulldogs while Trent Robinson’s Roosters were looking to build on last weeks win over the Titans.
The bookies gave the Broncos no chance as they battle to avoid taking the 2020 wooden spoon.
Momentum played a part in the opening try when Sitili Tupouniua carried the ball through the line and bounced over the line with a tackler around his ankles. Kyle Flanagan added the extras, the Roosters 6-0 up after just five minutes.
Indiscipline and poor defence from the Roosters cost them the second Rooster try on sixteen when Isaac Liu made a show and go, stepping through the defence to score from ten metres out. Flanagan added the goal to double the lead. The Roosters weren’t on top of their game but were finding the Broncos far too easy.
A team try, culminating in a thirty-metre run from James Tedesco, brought up the third Roosters try as the full back scored his first try for over two months as he went over under the sticks. Flanagan added the conversion for 18-0 after twenty minutes.
On twenty-six the fourth try was thanks to a beautiful outside ball from Flanagan to Tupouniua for the big second rower to get his second of the night. Flanagan added the extras, the Roosters 24-0 ahead and the Broncos looking a long way second best.
Seven minutes before the interval the Broncos avoided the nilling when Kotoni Staggs picked up a wayward pass on his own thirty metre line and broke the line before going seventy metres to score under the sticks. Staggs converted his own goal.
Flanagan attempted a field goal in the final second of the half, but it sailed wide of the far upright, the Roosters 24-6 ahead at the break.
It took five second half minutes before Josh Morris leapt over in the left corner as the cover tackler, Staggs, tried to knock him into touch. Flanagan missed his first kick of the night, pushing it wide of the far upright.
A minute later and the Rooster were in again, once again down the left. A sixty-metre passing and rolling move ended with the ball in the hands of Daniel Tupou to slide in from ten metres. Flanagan drilled his kick through the sticks for 34-6 after just forty-seven minutes.
David Fifita evaded the attempted tackles of five Roosters defenders as he jinked his way to the line for the second Broncos score to get them into double figures. Staggs added the extras for 34-12.
It was brief respite as just after the hour mark Nat Butcher picked up a poor pass ff his boot laces to run forty-five metres through a broken Broncos defence and score under the sticks. Flanagan added the conversion to bring up the forty points for the Roosters.
A tap pass from Tedesco found Josh Morris fifteen from the line and the centre carved his way through an exhausted Roosters defence to score his second of the night. Flanagan added the conversion for 46-12, a comprehensive victory for the Roosters.
Tupou’s brace brought up the fifty as he managed to remain in the field of play and got the ball down in the left corner off a Tedesco miss-out pass. Flanagan converted from the touchline for his eighth goal of the night for 52-12.
Ninety seconds from time Brett Morris joined his twin on the scoreboard as he took a long Tedesco pass for a walk-in on the overlap right. Flanagan kicked his ninth goal as the final hooter sounded, for a 58-12 final score.
The Roosters pulled two points clear of arch-rivals, the South Sydney Rabbitohs, as the two sides look to grab themselves the all-important fourth spot on the ladder. Brisbane’s issues deepened, if that was possible, and if the Bulldogs can beat the Raiders on Sunday then the Broncos will find themselves in bottom spot.
Sydney Roosters: Tedesco (T), Tupou (2T), Morris J (2T), Manu, Morris B (T), Hutchinson, Flanagan (9G), Waerea-Hargreaves, Friend, Taukeiaho, Tupouniua (2T), Butcher (T), Liu (T). Subs: Lussick, Faamausili, Cordner, Collins.
Brisbane Broncos: Boyd, Kennar, Staggs (T, 2G), Kahu, Farnworth, O’Sullivan, Dearden, Ofahengaue, Paix, Kennedy, Fifita (T), Te’o, Carrigan. Subs: Croft, Riki, Bullemor, Hopoate.
Referee: Adam Gee.
Ground: Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney.