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Walker steals the show to get the better of Moses as Roosters give Eels a hard time in thriller




Sam Walker prevailed in the battle for halfbacks, scoring a spectacular individual try and delivering superb kicks to lead the Roosters to a 31-24 win over Parramatta in Sunday afternoon’s showpiece Magic Round clash. .

Walker was matched every step of the way by Mitchell Moses, who also scored an excellent solo effort and created several more for his team.

In the end, Parramatta was unable to make the most of his position on the pitch and his possession advantages, the Roosters’ goal-line defense, which has been called into question at times this season. , returning to his former glories to secure victory.

Walker will grab headlines with his stunning performance from half-back, but Joseph Suaalii enjoyed partying on the wing, having perhaps his best high-profile game to score twice and run nearly 150m.

The old guard was there too: in particular Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Siosiua Taukeiaho in the middle, set the tone with a dominant in the middle.

Parramatta might be disappointed that he didn’t get the result in the end. They did all the things that usually result in a win – finishing high, kicking long and winning the possession battle – but perhaps failed to find the incisiveness they had to other occasions this year.

Brad Arthur could also be itching to score 24 points against the Roosters and not winning will tell his own story of where their weakness lay.

The roosters started off promising. They could have gone through Paul Momirovski, but for a superb tackle from Clint Gutherson. It wouldn’t matter: Wearea-Hargreaves managed to step, dummy and overcome a tackle attempt from Reed Mahoney to open the scoring.

The men’s big tries kept coming, Moses split the line straight down the middle and sent Isiah Papali’I under the posts to hit back straight.

However, any claims of grind were quickly dropped. Gutherson made an unusual error from a kick to prove James Tedesco with a try, before Tom Opacic held off the Roosters full-back to earn himself ten minutes in the bin.

Walker did not lose the advantage. He took the penalty before producing a classic chip and driving on to extend the lead to 20-6.

Parra was not beside himself. They put the pressure on, finishing the half with 58% of the territory and 28 tackles in the Roosters’ 20m zone, but couldn’t get past the boards. Bailey Simonssen came closest, but his attempt was pulled out for a double move.

The half ended with two downs: Moses, on the right ball on the last tackle, puffed his lines and at the other end, Walker underlined his own personal performance with a basket to bring the score to 21- 6.

Everything was going so well for the Chooks. Even when they missed, as did a pass from Joey Manu to Sitili Tupouniua, the ball dribbled past intact for Joseph Suaalii to score.

The response came, and everything was inspired by Moses. First, the halfback put Papali’i through a gap to fight back, then he put in a key individual effort to get even closer.

The halfback kicked the ground for himself, hacked around James Tedesco and hit the ground for one of the best individual tries of the year.

Moses also threw his hot hand in a captain’s challenge, nullifying a shot on call and giving his team a field position from which Ryan Matterson could score under the posts.

The roosters needed a boost, and again it was Suaalii. Luke Keary’s kick was exactly where it needed to be, but the way the winger dominated Hayze Perham through the air was spectacular.

The Chooks kept the pressure on and went past a converted try with a penalty goal from Walker.




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