Sam Walker seals Sydney Roosters win over Brisbane Broncos


The Roosters have tried to play down the hype surrounding young superstar Sam Walker as much as possible, and with good reason – but it will be hard to keep tabs on things after his sensational late heroism to beat the Broncos on Friday night.

We often fall into a trap with young players in that they are always the next Johnathan Thurston, or Darren Lockyer, or Andrew Johns, or Shane Webcke – and then inevitably, when those impossible heights are not reached, the player in issue is labeled a “fraud” and quickly brushed aside for the next big deal.

Inexplicably, some people have already suggested that Sam Walker may not be up to it. Yes, the 19-year-old who captained an injury-ravaged cock and never looked out of depth in 2021 was something of a question mark.

It wasn’t a common view and, thankfully, Friday night’s performance can turn that narrative around, no matter how stupid it was that it existed in the first place.

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Walker walked into as hostile an environment as possible and calmly pulled off a sideline conversion to win the match, before providing a deft grubber to Sitili Tupouniua a minute later to extend the lead to two scores with 90 seconds remaining.

No one could have foreseen the chaos that followed, where Brisbane scored a try from a scrum near halfway and then had a play to win the game or force the golden point, but that doesn’t take away certainly nothing to Walker’s performance in the second half.

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“I thought we were home with about two minutes to go,” Walker said on Nine.

“I just don’t know what happened in the end. It was so crazy.”

Manu evens the scores with a strong solo effort

It’s now back-to-back wins for the Roosters for the first time this year as they remain a fragmented team at times, despite talent across the park.

Joseph Manu’s solo efforts won’t win you games at the end of the season, but they have plenty of weeks to get there.

But what do you think of this Broncos season? This sometimes defies logic. A gutsy, gutsy win over the heavyweights of the competition at the Rabbitohs and nearly a second over the Roosters, but embarrassing capitulations to the sides who finished 12th and 15th a year ago.

Adam Reynolds tried hard and hit hard, Corey Oates rolled back the years and Kotoni Staggs had his best game of the year.

They’ll feel like he’s the one that got away, especially after taking a 10-0 lead at the break.

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