Wests Tigers have battled on gamely but gone down in the end 33-8 to a strong Sydney Roosters outfit in their Round 20 clash on Friday night at ANZ Stadium.
Despite a tight first half that saw the visitors hold a slender 8-4 advantage heading into the break, Jason Taylor’s side were unable to match it with Trent Robinson-coached outfit in the second half as the Roosters pulled away to record an 25-point victory.
After both teams squandered chances to score in the opening 10 minutes of the match, the Roosters finally left their mark on the scoreboard in the 13th minute with a surprising penalty goal to James Maloney following a penalty from Aaron Woods.
As word came through that Chris Lawrence would not return for the remainder of the match due to an ankle injury, Wests Tigers did their best to hold out a wave of Roosters attacks, with a strong shot from Luke Brooks and Martin Taupau in the 16th minute.
The visitors would eventually turn their dominance into points, with Daniel Tupou touching down acrobatically in the corner for a 6-0 lead after 20 minutes of play.
James Maloney’s sideline conversion then pushed the Roosters’ lead out to 8-0.
Wests Tigers would quickly hit back, however, with a sweeping back-line move finished off by James Tedesco for his 12th try of the season after 26 minutes of play.
Pat Richards was unable to add the extras, though, leaving the scoreline at 8-4.
Despite finishing the half with all the running — and a contentious call as Manaia Cherrington appeared to be pulled back from a Luke Brooks grubber — Wests Tigers would be unable to trouble the scorers again before the half-time break, trailing the competition favourites 8-4 as the teams went to the sheds at ANZ Stadium.
The Roosters would extend their lead after the break in the 47th minute through Brendan Elliot, despite Blake Ferguson appearing to knock the ball on in the process.
The decision was given the green lights by the video referee, however, and Maloney’s conversion gave the Sydney Roosters a 14-4 lead of 47 minutes of play.
After a devastating break from Tuivasa-Sheck opened up the home side, the Roosters turned their advantage into more points when Sam Moa crashed over after 55 minutes.
Maloney had no problems adding the two points to give his side a 20-4 advantage.
Richards pegged one back for the home side in the 59th minute when he capped off a sweeping back-line move to spin his way over out wide, but the Roosters quickly hit back through James Maloney in the 63rd minute despite the best efforts from Brooks.
That gave the Roosters a commanding 26-8 lead after 64 minutes of play.
After Tim Simona’s kick back on the inside just missed finding Tedesco, the Roosters worked the ball down field and put the result beyond doubt with a field goal to Maloney in the 71st minute — taking their lead beyond three converted tries late in the match.
With Martin Taupau sent to the sin-bin for a striking call on Maloney, the visitors then ran in one final try in the final minute of the match through Elliot — which Maloney converted — to emerge with a 25-point win from their Round 20 clash at ANZ Stadium.
Wests Tigers will look to end their run of five straight defeats when they take on the Melbourne Storm in their Marvel jerseys next Friday night at Leichhardt Oval.
Sydney Roosters 33 (Elliot 2, Tupou, Moa, Maloney tries; Maloney 6/6 goals; Maloney field goal) def. Wests Tigers 8 (Tedesco, Richards tries; Richards 0/2 goals).