Star man: Roosters fullback Blake Ferguson scored a double in his side’s 42-6 hammering of the Dragons on Sunday. Picture: Getty Images
THE Roostersextinguished whatever faint finals hopes St George Illawarra had with an emphatic 42-6win at Allianz Stadium on Sunday, reducing the Dragons’ big win over Cronulla last week to a mere blip on the radar.
Coming off their best performance of the season, the Dragons looked sluggish from the get-go to trail 14-6 at the break before being blown off the paddock in the second stanza.
Daniel Tupou had a double either side of a Blake Ferguson four-pointer as the Roosters scored three tries in three consecutive sets midway through the second half to put the match to bed with 25 minutes to play.
In a clash between 11thand 15ththe Roosters looked every bit the side that claimed three straight minor premierships before hitting the wobbles this season while the Dragons’ much maligned attack looked pedestrian and un-threatening for most of the clash.
The Titans’ victory over Newcastle on Saturday leaves the Dragons five points out of the eight with two games to play and resigned to missing the finals for the fourth time in fiveseasons.
The Roosters built a mountain of pressure early on largely off the boot of Mitchell Pearce who forced a line drop-out and laid on Mitch Aubusson’s 13thminute four-pointer with deft grubbers. Sio Siua Taukeiaho converted from close to the sidelinefor a 6-0 lead and did the same whenRyan Matterson 13minutes before the break.
Taukeiahoadded the extras and penalty goal fromthe next set to give his side a handy 14-0 buffer beforeWiddop got his side back in the match four minutes before the break,out-leapeingBlake Ferguson to pull down a Marshall high ball toand cut the margin to eight at halftime.
Tupou crossed 10 minutes after the resumption with before Ferguson scoringfromthe very next set.Ferguson broke the Dragons open again from the ensuing set with Pearce toeing a kick through for Tupou’s second and a 30-6 lead.
Aiden Guerra won the race to a Jake Friend grubber to extend the margin to 30 before Ferguson’s second try five minutes from time rounded out the scoring.
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