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WATCH: Roosters grind out ugly win over Rabbitohs

Aidan Guerra of the Roosters scores a try during the round 18 NRL match against the Rabbitohs at Allianz Stadium in Sydney.
Aidan Guerra of the Roosters scores a try during the round 18 NRL match against the Rabbitohs at Allianz Stadium in Sydney. DAN HIMBRECHTS

IT was by no means a pretty performance, but the Sydney Roosters made it three straight wins over South Sydney with a scrappy 14-12 victory on Friday night.

Despite the Roosters missing State of Origin stars Mitchell Pearce, Boyd Cordner, Dylan Napa and Blake Ferguson, the likes of Jake Friend, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Mitchell Cornish stood up to guide the side home at Allianz Stadium in front of 16,245 fans.

Friend was instrumental setting up both the home side's tries, while halfback Cornish was lauded for his performance given coach Trent Robinson elevated him to the starting side in the lead-up to the game.

"Cornish, he's been fantastic," Fox Sports commentator Greg Alexander told Friday Night Footy on Fox League.

"His kicking game has been outstanding he's found the ground on plenty of occasions.

"He's delivered some terrific balls to his support players and put his forwards in some space.

"A good decision from Trent Robinson to start him at half and keep Luke Keary at five-eighth to allow him to play his natural game."

Off the back of poor discipline and errors from the Rabbitohs, the Roosters gained some valuable field position early on and had two great chance to post first points but Souths' left edge of Bryson Goodwin and Alex Johnston held them out.

It was third time lucky for the Tricolours and they grabbed their first meat pie of the match in the 18th minute when Friend grubbered for young centre Joseph Manu.

Michael Gordon further kicked the home side ahead in the 24th minute with a penalty goal.

In the 36th minute, a Keary pass was intercepted by Adam Reynolds who raced downfield but was stopped by Cornish who was extremely lucky not to be sin binned.

 

George Burgess of the Rabbitohs is tackled by Luke Keary (left) and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves of the Roosters.
George Burgess of the Rabbitohs is tackled by Luke Keary (left) and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves of the Roosters. DAN HIMBRECHTS

Repeated penalties cost the Roosters after the break and the Rabbitohs were able to take advantage in the 50th minute when Robbie Farah barged over next to the sticks and make it a two-point ball game.

Michael Maguire's men continued on with their momentum and had another golden chance to strike five minutes later after an Adam Reynolds 40/20 kick, but Sam Burgess knocked on in the following set to let the Tricolours off the hook.

The Roosters hit back in the 61st minute when quick hands from Friend set up another try, that time for Aidan Guerra.

But the Rabbitohs weren't finished and when Angus Crichton ran across field and put Bryson Goodwin through a small hole, the centre was able to produce a stunning run and reduce the margin to two points once again.

It was a frantic final few minutes, but more errors and penalties from Souths meant the Roosters were able to hold on for the narrow win.

Topics:  south sydney rabbitohs sydney roosters

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