Roosters crush South Queensland in style
From TONY ADAMS in Sydney
THE Sydney City Roosters continued their remarkable run at the top of the Australian Rugby League ladder with an emphatic 38-12 defeat of South Queensland yesterday. In winning their ninth straight match, the Roosters equalled their best start to a season since way back in 1931. And the Roosters did it in convincing style, scoring several length-of-the-field tries against a disappointing Crushers side. With no less than seven former Roosters in their 17-man squad, the Crushers were expected to provide stiff opposition on their home track in Brisbane. But the Roosters were in command from the second minute, when burly Crushers winger Graham Mackay was sin-binned for a professional foul. Sydney City ran in two tries in Mackay's absence to take a commanding 10-2 lead after just 12 minutes. Centre Matt Sing, one of many Roosters to impress on the day, grabbed the first try after jumping high over the defence to claim a superb crossfield kick from lock Brad Fittler.
Fittler and Sing then combined to send winger Darren Junee over for the second try of what was to prove an easy afternoon for the Roosters. By half-time, the Roosters had it all wrapped up at 22-2, with Sing posting his second try and replacement half-back John Simon also scoring. Only some stout resistance from lock Nigel Gaffey, one of the ex-Roosters on display, prevented the second half from becoming a rout.
Gaffey scored the first and last tries of the half, showing great determination to get to the line on each occasion. But in between, it was all the Roosters as they ran in three further tries to complete a fine afternoon's work. Roosters coach Phil Gould had every right to be pleased with his team's performance. 'We knew that if we gave them a sniff of it early, we would be in for a hard game in front of their home crowd,' Gould said. 'The plan was to get early points on the board to dull their resistance and that was how things turned out. 'We played some top football throughout the game and the boys are showing a lot of confidence in attack.' In contrast, Crushers coach Bob Lindner knew he faced a frustrating week back in front of the drawing board. The Crushers showed little respect for possession, fell off tackles all game and had a dreadful kicking game. 'It was a very, very disappointing effort,' Lindner lamented. 'The effort just wasn't there and we clearly need a lot of work before our next game. 'The players appeared to lack enthusiasm and that was one of the most worrying aspects of the game.' Sing, Fittler and skipper Sean Garlick were the standout performers of another outstanding team effort by the Roosters. But the Roosters' big test begins in a fortnight when they meet Brisbane, Canberra, Norths and Canterbury in consecutive weeks.