2022-04-08 12:37:00

The Sydney Roosters have stormed home to take a 24-20 win over the Brisbane Broncos in a Suncorp Stadium thriller.

Broncos winger Corey Oates scored three tries but it was not enough, with a rampaging Joey Manu sealing the win late while a few clutch plays from 19-year-old playmaker Sam Walker sealed the deal.

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Kevin Walters’ boys turned up to play early, with boom centre Kotoni Staggs answering calls to get more involved.

“Ominous stuff Kotoni,” Fox League commentator Dan Ginnane said after Staggs slipped through Paul Momirovski and Daniel Tupou.

The Broncos scored a well-deserved try to get on the board first through veteran winger Corey Oates who crossed of a Tesi Niu cutout pass.

They extended their lead right before half time after Staggs bumped over multiple Roosters to score.

“He is such an explosive athlete,” Greg Alexander said.

“When he gets the ball and he is in the mood like he is tonight… he wants to run the ball.

“The power of Kotoni Staggs, just shoves him [Momirovski] away, ran over the top of Sam [Sam] Walker.”

Staggs’ performance comes after Michael Ennis said the gun centre had been “basically non-existent.”

“I’m not sure if the Brisbane halves just aren’t getting him the ball or whether Kotoni’s disinterested. It’s one of the two, because he has been basically non-existent for them the last fortnight,” Ennis said after the Broncos’ Round 3 loss.

The momentum well and truly changed after the break with the Roosters scoring two tries in six minutes.

The first came through Walker who muscled his way over before Manu came up with a similar effort to also score.

However, it wasn’t enough to rattle the Broncos.

Oates outleapt Kevin Naiqama to catch an Adam Reynolds bomb to score his second — and snatch back the lead for the Broncos.

The blows kept coming for the Roosters with news coming out of the Roosters’ sheds that Nat Butcher failed his HIA, while star enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was put on report for dangerous contact on Ryan James.

Waerea-Hargreaves held onto the front of James’ ankle and pushed his shoulder into the back of his leg.

“I’ve never seen that. Someone penalised for grabbing someone’s leg,” Greg Alexander said.

James stayed down and the Roosters weren’t happy about it with Waerea-Hargreaves standing over the top of him with an icy cold look on his face.

Sideline commentator Corey Parker mentioned the fire between the middle men and said the final 15 minutes could “really heat up.”

The Roosters upped the intensity late, with Joey Manu burrowing over before Sam Walker slotted the goal from the sideline to make it 18-16.

Walker then put in a deft grubber for Sitili Tupouniua who sealed the win, capping off a “perfect” five minutes from the rookie playmaker according to Ginnane.

“Sam Walker is a superstar,” Benji Marshall added.

Some late Adam Reynolds magic and a horror bounce saw Oates score his third of the night but it was not enough.

A few late penalties set up a thrilling finish and a “bonkers” frantic final plays according to Ginnane but the Roosters would just hold on.

“One of the games of the season,” Marshall said.



There’s been a fair bit of heat on Kotoni Staggs in the opening month of the season. The Broncos gun has been so far below his best that Michael Ennis questioned whether he was “disinterested.”

“I’m not sure if the Brisbane halves just aren’t getting him the ball or whether Kotoni’s disinterested,” Ennis said after the Broncos’ Round 3 loss to the Cowboys.

“It’s one of the two, because he has been basically non-existent for them the last fortnight.”

But Ennis didn’t hesitate giving credit where it’s due after Staggs notched up 99 running metres, eight tackle busts, a linebreak and a linebreak assist to go with his try in the first half on Friday.

“Kotoni Staggs running absolutely riot… Momirovski just cannot physically handle Staggs — I don’t know where this has been but Staggs is delivering tonight,” he said.

Staggs looked dangerous every time he touched the ball and as Corey Parker said caused the Roosters’ left-edge defence “some real nightmares” — particularly Momirovski who was palmed off several times.

“He is such an explosive athlete,” Greg Alexander said.

“When he gets the ball and he is in the mood like he is tonight… he wants to run the ball.

“The power of Kotoni Staggs, just shoves [Momirovski] away. He’s a ball of muscle. This is the Kotoni Staggs that Kevvie wanted to see and the Broncos did – desperate to see it.”

It came after Parker revealed that coach Kevin Walters’ plan was simply to just get the ball to Staggs.

“Terrific start from Kotoni Staggs… Speaking to Kevin Walters before the game he mentioned that he wants to get Staggs more ball — stating the obvious there,” he said.

The 23-year-old finished with one try, 182 running metres, 13 tackle busts, two linebreaks and one linebreak assist.

Commentator Dan Ginnane summed the performance up best by saying Staggs was “answering his critics,” while Ennis said the game could be a “light bulb” moment for the under pressure centre.


You wouldn’t be alone if you tipped a cricket score in this clash. The Roosters were simply sublime last week, while the Broncos were pretty poor against the Warriors — not to mention the week of off-field controversy surrounding the club.

But Kevin Walters’ men turned up to play and went into the half-time break with a 10-nil lead thanks to the Brilliance of Kotoni Staggs.

It’s never wise to write the Roosters off… but it’s impossible to ignore that they were completely outclassed in the first half.

“The Broncos have out-enthused and outmuscled this Roosters side on both sides of the field,” Michael Ennis said at half time.

“They remain inconsistent in this competition. They’re having weeks on where they’re terrific and then the next week they turn up poor and it’s happened again in this first half.”

But coach Trent Robinson must have shot a rocket up the behinds of his players because they came out firing with Sam Walker and Joey Manu leading the way.

The pint-sized halfback burrowed over for the Roosters’ first try before Manu followed suit six minutes later.

Brisbane snatched back the lead, but who was there to steer the Roosters back? Walker and Manu.

The star centre scored his second try to level scores 16-all with seven minutes to go.

The pressure was then on Walker to nail the sideline conversion to take the lead and the teenage halfback – who has had issues with goalkicking in the past — didn’t break a sweat.

He celebrated with a fist pump… but his work wasn’t done yet.

Three minutes later he put the grubber in for Sitili Tupouniua to score what ended up being the match-winner.

“Joey Manu put the Roosters on his back and came up with some enormous plays in the second half as well as the young kid, Sam Walker. He slipped through the Broncos’ net – they didn’t want him — and he kicked a goal from the sideline at Suncorp Stadium… moments he would have dreamt of as a kid,” Ennis said.

“They were brilliant tonight. They took the game away from the Broncos.

“The form that Joey Manu is in, he saved the Roosters tonight single-handedly.”


While Kevin Walters didn’t get the two points, he did at least walk away with a settled halves pairing.

Walters was forced to make the big call on who would wear the No.6 jersey earlier this season. The options were Albert Kelly, Tyson Gamble, Ezra Mam and his son, Billy.

Walters copped accusations of nepotism when he played Billy alongside Kelly in Round 1 while Adam Reynolds was injured. When the star No.7 returned it was Kelly that retained his spot and Billy was demoted to the bench.

But with Kelly out injured Walters’ halves headache was back once again. Walters went with Billy, with Gamble named as the Broncos’ replacement player, and it looked like it was the right call.

“The left foot (of Billy Walters) was lethal against the Bunnies in Round 1 and it’s been causing the Roosters problems tonight,” Alexander said.

“Tonight (the Broncos) have been a different outfit completely and I like Billy Walters in the No.6. I like him on the other side of the ruck to Adam Reynolds.

“He’s been terrific in the No.6, he certainly hangs onto that spot.”

Benji Marshall and Michael Ennis agreed.

“To be fair out of all the halves partners Adam Reynolds has had this season I think Billy’s looked the best and most dangerous… for the future I think he’s the guy to go too,” Marshall said.

Ennis added: “I think he’s done enough now (to keep his starting spot), I really do.”


Broncos: 1. Tesi Niu 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Selwyn Cobbo 6. Billy Walters 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Keenan Palasia 9. Jake Turpin 10. Payne Haas 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Jordan Riki 13. Kobe Hetherington 14. Ryan James 15. Corey Jensen 16. TC Robati 17. Cory Paix. Replacement player: 18. Tyson Gamble

Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Paul Momirovski 4. Joseph Manu 5. Kevin Naiqama 6. Sam Walker 7. Luke Keary 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 14. Drew Hutchison 17. Lindsay Collins 11. Nat Butcher 12. Sitili Tupouniua 13. Victor Radley 9. Connor Watson 15. Daniel Suluka-Fifita 16. Angus Crichton 24. Fletcher Baker. Replacement player: 20. Lachlan Lam

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Source by [graycupnews.com]


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