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The Sydney Roosters have registered their first win of 2020, as they look to be the first side since Parramatta in the early eighties to complete a hat-trick of premierships. The win couldn't have been sweeter, defeating their bitter rivals South Sydney 28-12 at Bankwest Stadium.
Reigning Dally M Medallist James Tedesco was superb, running for over 200m and scoring a crucial try just after halftime to give his side the edge in another entertaining contest to compliment some of the open football we have seen so far in Round 3.
Both the Roosters and Bunnies share one of the fiercest rivalries in the game and it was a given that they met to re-open the NRL season. The headline act being Latrell Mitchell in his new controversial colours, against his old side that he has won back to back premierships with. As always even without reading a chapter from South Sydney's owner Russell Crowe's famous ‘Book of Feuds', this clash at any time of the season means everything for both sides of inner Sydney.
The defending premiers got off to a perfect start when in the opening minutes Souths forward Liam Knight gave away a cheap penalty, inviting the Roosters into perfect attacking territory. Luke Keary then delivered when he kicked across field to find a leaping Daniel Tupou who opened the scoring for the Roosters. Kyle Flanagan then converted from out wide and the Tri-colours led 6-0 early.
The Roosters then skipped ahead again, when new signing Josh Morris put his lanky winger Tupou away down the left-hand side. Tupou then found Morris back in support, who then spotted his halfback Flanagan unmarked on the inside. Morris then kicked for the rookie number 7 who collected the ball on the bounce to score under the posts for a superb try. Flanagan converted his own try to give the Tri-Colours a 12-0 lead.
South Sydney needed to get on the scoreboard, and it was their big money signing who delivered with Latrell Mitchell attracting several defenders close to the line, before hitting his edge backrower Cameron Murray with a superb short ball to allow the NSW backrower to narrow the score to 12-6 just before halftime.
After the break, the Roosters when up a notch with a one, two punch. First through fullback James Tedesco, who brushed past both Cameron Murray and Troy Dargan to find open space. He then got to the outside of Latrell Mitchell and managed to muscle his way over to score. Minutes later, the Roosters again marched upfield and Luke Keary then held up the ball close to the line and found Boyd Cordner running a tight line at speed to score and the Roosters jumped out to a commanding 22-6 lead within just seven minutes of the second half commencing.
As expected Souths dug their way back into the contest, when Cameron Murray found himself back in the middle of the field and hit giant prop Tom Burgess with a short ball close to the line. The British front rower didn't let him down, crashing over and narrowing the score 22-12 following the Adam Reynolds conversion.
While the Rabbitohs desperately tried to stay in the fight, the Roosters managed to ice the game late, when off the back of another strong run from Tedesco skipper Jake Friend picked up the ball from dummy half and kicked ahead for himself to seal at 28-12 victory for his troops.
The defending premiers now head to Suncorp Stadium next week, where they face a wounded Brisbane Broncos to open Round 4 on Thursday night. South Sydney head south of the border to Melbourne where they face the Storm at AAMI Park next Friday night.
Sydney Roosters 28 - South Sydney Rabbitohs 12
Venue: Bankwest Stadium
Halftime Score: Sydney Roosters 12 South Sydney Rabbitohs 6
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - James Tedesco
2 points - Luke Keary
1 points - Brett Morris
SYDNEY ROOSTERS (28)
Tries: Daniel Tupou, Kyle Flanagan, James Tedesco, Boyd Cordner, Jake Friend
Conversions: Kyle Flanagan (4/5)
SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS (12)
Tries: Cameron Murray, Thomas Burgess
Conversions: Adam Reynolds (2/2)