The Sharks gave the Roosters a late scare at Pointsbet Stadium, mounting a huge comeback after the Tricolors held a 20-0 halftime lead.
But Trent Robinson’s side came away with a dominant 36-16 win, putting Craig Fitzgibbon’s side to the sword in the first half.
With Origin nearing, James Tedesco put together one of the most complete first half performance of the year, recording a try and two try assists.
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“Origin must be around the corner, Superman in that first half guy the guy was on fire,” Fox League’s Cooper Cronk said.
Winger Daniel Tupou crossed for an early double, before Nat Butcher and Tedesco scored four-pointers in the first 40-minute period.
Prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves scored the first of the second half before the Sharks put together 20 minutes of quality football.
Swinging momentum back their way, Ronaldo Mulitalo, Sione Katoa and Cameron McInnes all crossed with 15 minutes.
But the comeback comes to nothing, as Roosters utility Connor Watson and star center Joey Many put the icing on the cake with late tries.
Here are the big takeaways from tonight’s game!
MASTERS BESTS THE APPRENTICE
Roosters coach Trent Robinson has well and truly bested his former assistants Craig Fitzgibbon.
The current Sharks coach was a member of the Tricolors during an incredibly successful period, spending 10 years at the Sydney club after a glittering playing career.
“It is a battle of the master vs apprentice… Craig Fitzgibbon going up against his mentor Trent Robinson,” Fox League’s Jake Duke said.
“Together they won three premierships, four minor premierships and three world club challenges.”
Fitzgibbon’s Sharks have emerged as one of the premiership contenders, with Nicho Hynes leading his troops to seven wins from 12 games.
Now, Robinson has handed the Cronulla side a reality check in the form of a 36-16 win, despite the Sharks mounting a late comeback.
The Sharks handed the Tricolors the win in the first half, as the Roosters comfortably found space on the edges while also slicing through the middle.
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ROOSTERS ANSWER CRITICS
The Roosters early 2022 form left fans and pundits scratching their heads.
The pairing of Luke Keary and Sam Walker, which was tipped to be one of the competition’s best, was not working, and the Tricolors’ season was almost being written off.
But now, after besting the Sharks at their home ground, the Roosters have answered the critics, sending a statement of intent to the ladder leaders.
“Maybe they’re a bit closer to the mark then we’re giving them credit for,” Dan Ginnane said.
“There was a plenty of questions asked about the Roosters, are they the real deal, can they win the premiership, can they even make the top four?” Alexander asked.
“Their middles have been questioned, their halves have been questioned, the rhythm of their attack, I have heard plenty about the Roosters being clunky, that is not tonight, tonight the rhythm is there.
“It’s all working tonight, from the fullback to the front rowers.”
But Trent Robinson won’t be fully satisfied with his team’s performance for a full 80 minutes, allowing the Sharks back into the game during a 20-minute second half stretch.
After the big win, the Roosters have leapfrogged the Sharks on the competition ladder, climbing to fifth place.
TEDDY DINES OUT
NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler would hardly have been able to contain his excitement after James Tedesco returned to his brilliant best against premiership contenders the Sharks.
In the first half alone the Blues skipper recorded ridiculous statistics, as well as notching up a try in his last five games coming into the Origin period.
“Devastating the first half from James Tedesco; a try, a linebreak, two try assists and has already run for 99 meters and he has been in red-hot form, ”Jake Duke said.
“He has now scored a try in five straight games, seven tries in his past five games.”
As always, Tedesco stands tall for the Blues and Fox League’s Cooper Cronk pointed out the Roosters fullback will have one eye on the opener series.
“Origin must be around the corner, Superman in that first half guy the guy was on fire,” Cooper Cronk said.
“He has been in and amongst everything, hard work and finesse, he has been great.”
Tedesco finished with 205 running meters, seven tackle breaks, one try, two try assists and three offloads in a complete display against the Sharks.
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