Roosters hold off fast-finishing Knights

Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson says while his NRL team have momentum, they don’t exactly have form.


The competition heavyweights were the only top four team to walk away with the two points this weekend after holding off a fast-finishing Newcastle 38-22 at Hunter Stadium on Sunday evening.

But while the win extended their unbeaten run to eight, for the second week in a row the Tricolours shot out to a 20-plus point lead before falling into a slumber.

Robinson’s men looked headed for a straight-forward victory when star fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck completed his hat trick 40 seconds after halftime, giving his team a commanding 32-0 lead.

However the Knights roared back into the contest with four straight tries, two of them coming as a direct result of Tuivasa-Sheck errors.

By the time Newcastle skipper Kurt Gidley reached over in the 70th minute, the deficit had been reduced to ten and the match looked headed for a grandstand finish.

But Roosters five-eighth James Maloney, who took man-of-the-match honours, stemmed the flow when he sliced through in the 76th minute.

Robinson refused to blame Tuivasa-Sheck for the shift in momentum.

“We’re going to forgive Rog for those two (errors). He’s been outstanding for us all year. That’s frustrating, but acceptable,” he said.

“But some of the other stuff that wasn’t, cost us a really good 80-minute performance.”

Despite not losing a game in two months, Robinson admitted he was concerned about a lack of concentration over the past fortnight – particularly in defence.

Last week the Roosters led Canterbury 22-0 before letting them back into the match.

“You want momentum and you want form. I think we’ve got some momentum, and we did have form,” Robinson said.

“Eight straight’s really nice, but if you can learn lessons after a win, that’s what we need to do.

“So our form has improved on one side of the ball, but we better get back to our `d’ on the other side. We need to improve our form.”

Knights interim coach Danny Buderus said he was frustrated by his side’s start but pleased with their attempted comeback – particularly after losing Tyler Randell (scratched eyeball) and Beau Scott (foot) at halftime.

“The fighting qualities in the second half I couldn’t be more proud of, that’s for sure,” he said.

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