The Sydney Roosters wiped out a 14 point deficit in the second half to overcome the Parramatta Eels 28-18 at Allianz Stadium last night.
The Parramatta Eels piled on three tries in the first half making the premiership favourites look like schoolboys. The visitors opened the scoring in the 11th minute with Eels prop, Tim Mannah crashing over the line right beside the posts. The home team hit back immediately with Michael Jennings putting his winger, Daniel Tupou, into space down the sideline. Tupou then drifted the ball infield to James Maloney who scored. The Roosters weren't as clinical in the opening stages as in previous games and the Eels showed some spark and made them pay. The Eels scored two tries in six minutes and were up 18-4 at the half.
The second half was a different story. The Roosters came out firing and put the Eels on the back foot with quick play-the-balls and crunching defence. Roosters makeshift winger Mitchell Aubusson scored in the corner after Roger Tuivasa-Sheck knocked the ball back to prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, who then floated the ball out to the unmarked winger. The visitors had no answers and four minutes later, Tuivasa-Sheck split the defensive line with his to take the home side within two points.
The Roosters kept grinding away and in the 71st minute hard hitting enforcer Waerea-Hargreaves crashed and smashed his way through several tired defenders to score and put his team in front. A late try by Roosters hooker, Jake Friend sealed the victory for the tri-colours.
The second half scoreline was 24-0.
The Roosters showed a lack of shape and fumbled the ball in critical stages which cost them points in the first half. If they present the same standard of play in the coming weeks, they will be punished. The standout player was interchange prop Kane Evans, who rattled the Parramatta defense and ran 12 times for 164 metres.
The Roosters will now push for the minor premiership as they square off against competition front-runners, the Brisbane Broncos, at Allianz Stadium next Saturday night.