The Sydney Roosters have claimed the 13th ANZAC Cup with a 34-14 defeat of the St. George Illawarra Dragons in front of a most respectful crowd of 38,784 at Allianz Stadium.
The ANZAC Day clash between these two clubs has become a true highlight on the Rugby league calendar as the Game pays tribute to all those who have gone before us.
Aidan Guerra started the Roosters attack as his footwork saw him charge through the Dragons defence to post first points. Inside the first 10 minutes, Roosters led 6-0.
Daniel Tupou followed up Guerra's strong running minutes later as he was awarded the Roosters second four-pointer as he finished off a long range try featuring Mitchell Pearce, Sonny Bill Williams and Michael Jennings. Midway through the first half, the Roosters led 12-0.
The Dragons didn't bring their best game and their delayed start saw them take 26 minutes to claim their first try. Red V Captain, Ben Creagh stole the points as he snuck over from acting half following a charge from Gerard Beale. The Dragons closed the gap to 8 points, Roosters 12-4.
Anthony Minichiello looked to close out the first half with his try as he took a long pass from Man of the Match, Mitchell Pearce, however, the Dragons through Nathan Green made it a 10 point game after 40 minutes, Roosters 18-8.
The Roosters fired quickly in the second half as Jake Friend, Ashton/Collier Spirit of ANZAC Medal winner, posted the tricolours fourth try. Roosters, 24-8 after 42 minutes.
Gerard Beale managed to cross the try line for the Dragons second four-pointer at the three-quarter mark as he sailed into a yawning gap via a bullet pass from Gareth Widdop. Roosters 24-12.
The Roosters secured victory in the final 10 minutes with tries to Boyd Cordner (70th minute) and Shaun Kenny-Dowall (76th minute).
There is concern out of this game for the NSW Blues as both Michael Jennings (ankle) and James Maloney (shoulder) left the field through injury late in the contest. The club will monitor the situation and it's hoped damage won't see them miss Origin 1 on May 28th.
Next week the Roosters host the surprise packet of 2014, Wests Tigers on Friday night at Allianz Stadium. Meanwhile the Dragons head to ANZ Stadium as they prepare to face the Bulldogs on Sunday afternoon.