Roosters fight back to win NRL title

ESPN staff
October 6, 2013
Sydney Roosters celebrate with the NRL trophy © Getty Images

Sydney Roosters scored three tries in the final 25 minutes to beat Manly 26-18 and claim their first premiership title in a controversial NRL Grand Final in Sydney.

The Roosters looked well against it 10 minutes into the second half when two quick four-pointers saw Manly stretch into an 18-8 lead.

But two tries in five minutes from Aidan Guerra and Shaun Kenny-Dowall turned the game in the Roosters favour, before James Maloney made no mistake from with his sideline conversion to put them ahead.

Victory was secured when Michael Jennings broke through to ground Maloney's grubber with eight minutes to go, making Roosters coach Trent Robinson the fifth coach in history to win a premiership title in his maiden season in charge.

Manly's Dale Cherry-Evans picked up the Clive Churchill medal for being named man of the match, despite being on the losing side.

Manly enjoyed the stronger start in front of 81,491 fans at ANZ Stadium and gained the early momentum when Jorge Taufua crossed the line inside nine minutes for his 20th try of the season, but Jamie Lyon could not convert to extend the lead.

However, Lyon increased the lead on the fifteen minute mark when converting a penalty given after Jake Friend was deemed to have held on too long in a tackle.

The Roosters weathered the storm before their fortunes changed with a remarkable try from Daniel Tupou. Maloney received the ball from Kenny-Dowall before kicking across the field, where Tupou rose highest to take a catch above his head and plant it down. Maloney converted as the Roosters grew in confidence.

Maloney sent his side into the break with an 8-6 lead after converting a penalty given when Justin Horo was caught holding for too long. However, Manly were back in front early in the second half after they were awarded a controversial penalty try.

Cherry-Evans made ground on the right before kicking the ball forward, where Lyon was taken out by Mitchell Aubusson. The decision was sent upstairs by referee Shayne Hayne, where video referee Ashley Klein ruled that Lyon would have scored.

Steve Matai crossed the line to make it 18-6 in Manly's favour, but Kenny-Dowall, Maloney and Jennings all responded for the Roosters to clinch victory and the title.

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