ROOSTERS BEAT WESTS TIGERS 28-10 IN FOUNDATION CUP
By Wayne Cousins
Sunday, 21 February 2010
Sydney Roosters beat a disappointing Wests Tigers 28-10 to claim their fourth consecutive Foundation Cup trophy at the Sydney Football Stadium tonight.
Missing props Todd Payten (calf injury) and Bryce Gibbs (suspension), the Wests Tigers were their own worst enemies through poor handling, some ordinary defence and a bad kicking game against a Roosters outfit inspired by full-back Todd Carney in front of a crowd of 10,281.
It may have only been a trial and for most of the team their first hit out of the pre-season but Wests Tigers Coach Tim Sheens will be looking for a vast improvement in their final hit-out against Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford, next Saturday night.
The Roosters opened the scoring in the seventh minute when full-back Todd Carney converted a penalty goal from 22 metres out in front for a 2-0 lead.
A towering crossfield bomb on the last tackle by half-back Mitchell Pearce saw winger Sam Perrett outleap Wests Tigers winger Mitch Brown to knock the ball back into the arms of centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall to score. Carney converted the try from out wide for an 8-0 lead after 13 minutes.
Wests Tigers looked sharp with the ball early with five-eighth Benji Marshall making a strong break. Another raid saw the ball spread right through several sets of hands before centre Blake Ayshford lost the ball on the halfway line.
Wests Tigers opened their account in the 23rd minute when the ball was spread right through Marshall and centre Chris Lawrence who sent unmarked winger Mitch Brown over in the corner for his first try for his new club after joining from Cronulla.
Marshall converted the try from the sideline for an 8-6 scoreline.
The Roosters were awarded a penalty five metres out from the Wests Tigers tryline after the referee ruled Liam Fulton had taken out Pearce late in a clearing kick.
Fortunately for Wests Tigers, it led to nothing after Nate Myles was penalised for pushing and throwing a punch at Alan Schirnack 20 metres out.
Marshall and hooker Robbie Farah were given a break after 30 minutes. Fulton also left the field a minute later. They were replaced by Daniel Fitzhenry, Geoff Daniela and Mark Flanagan.
The Roosters were given a scrum feed 10 metres out in the 34th minute after a pass by winger Beau Ryan from a clearing kick to full-back Tim Moltzen saw the number one drop the ball.
The mistake was a costly one with Pearce offloading to second-rower Anthony Cherrington to push through Jason Cayless and Matt Hyland and Moltzen to score. Carney converted from next to the posts for a 14-6 lead after 37 minutes.
A grubber kick from half-back Robert Lui in the 38th minute went over the sideline in goal, narrowly beating Daniela who was in hot pursuit.
Lui then put through another grubber kick but it was defused five metres from the line. Wests Tigers received a penalty right on half-time with Lui putting through a grubber kick that saw Kenny-Dowall take the ball dead to give the Roosters a 14-6 lead at half-time.
The Roosters went to an 18-6 lead when Pearce put Carney through a small gap to score next to the posts. Carney converted the try for a 20-6 lead after 47 minutes.
Sydney Roosters extended their lead when Carney made a break before flicking the ball back to his team-mates. The ball seemed to sit their for an eternity before Pearce picked it up, ran 20 metres before offloading a pass out wide for winger Sam Perrett to score. Carney converted the try for a 26-6 lead.
Wests Tigers got back to 26-10 when a pass from Lui drew in two defenders for Lawrence to score in the corner. Marshall failed to convert the try from the sideline in the 56th minute.
Some poor handling and an ordinary kicking game has let Wests Tigers down throughout the match against a Roosters side growing in confidence.
A grubber kick by Marshall in the 61st minute saw the ball kicked dead just before Ryan could get his hands on the ball.
Wests Tigers prop Jason Cayless was placed on report by referee Gerard Sutton in the 63rd minute for a late hit on Carney after he kicked the ball. Carney converted the penalty attempt from 18 metres out to stretch the Roosters lead to 28-10.
Rising full-back Jake Mullaney was given a run late in the game.
Todd Carney stars as the Roosters beat Wests Tigers 28-10 in Foundation Cup
By Ben Horne
February 21, 2010
Sydney Roosters halves Mitchell Pearce and Todd Carney produced dominant performances in their side’s 28-10 NRL trial win over Wests Tigers at Sydney Football Stadium.
Roosters coach Brian Smith had already tipped the pair to play representative football this season, and they justified that confidence with starring roles in the Roosters’ fourth consecutive Foundation Cup victory.
Pearce set up all four of the Roosters tries in a mature and classy showing, while controversial signing Carney scored a try and kicked six goals for a 16-point game, where he split his time between fullback and five-eighth.
NSW selectors went with Brisbane No.7 Peter Wallace to begin last year’s State of Origin series, with Pearce not even getting a start for the City Origin side.
But the son of Blues legend Wayne Pearce looks a far superior footballer this year than the one who made his Origin debut in 2008, and played behind a beaten Roosters team last season.
Five minutes into the second half Pearce showed off his combination with Carney, holding up the ball perfectly before giving an inside pass to send the former Canberra five-eighth under the posts in front of 10,281 fans.
Carney played fullback in the first half, but had his better touches in the second 40 minutes playing five-eighth outside Pearce.
New Tigers signing and former New Zealand prop Jason Cayless was put on report in the 63rd minute for a late shot on Carney.
Pearce set up the Roosters two first-half tries as well - laying on the first with a perfectly executed cross-kick, that was batted back by Perrett for centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall to score.
Then with five minutes left in the first half Pearce sent a charging Anthony Cherrington over with a beautiful short pass 20 metres out from the line.
For the Wests Tigers, all eyes were on their halves combination to see how Toyota Cup gun Robert Lui would go inside Benji Marshall at halfback.
Lui struggled with his kicking game, although he did set up a consolation try for centre Chris Lawrence in the second half, before new signing Mitch Brown scored another four-pointer for Tim Sheens’s side.
With just two minutes left in the match, Wests Tigers go-to-man Benji Marshall twisted his ankle chasing through a kick and was immediately taken up the tunnel.
Tigers coach Tim Sheens said the injury was not serious, however club doctor Donald Kuah admitted there was the possibility that Marshall had damaged ligaments in his ankle and could miss a couple of weeks of football.
There was no swelling and the Kiwi skipper didn’t require crouches or assistance from the field, pointing to a quick recovery, but scans will reveal the full extent on Monday.
"He twisted his ankle, the next 24 hours will tell, I don’t think there was anything major,‘’ said Sheens.
The four-time Premiership winning coach was unimpressed with the Tigers effort.
"I don’t think there was any aspect of our game (that was positive) other than we can improve, because we dropped so much early ball and made so many errors,‘’ Sheens said.
"I did have Rob and Benji off for that critical 20 minute period just before and just after halftime so we lost our way a bit there.‘’
New Roosters coach Brian Smith was happy with his team’s comprehensive victory, and liked what he saw out of Pearce and Carney.
Smith doesn’t believe Carney will have a problem adjusting to fullback, despite the Goulburn product looking arguably more comfortable in the second half playing five eighth.
"I can’t actually see what it is that Toddy hasn’t got that would stop him from playing fullback,‘’ he said.
"Except for experience and there is only one way I can get that for him.
"We’re trying to give him some experience back again to knock the rust out of him and get him going. He showed glimpses of really high quality, a bit of rust at times too, so hopefully we can get him ready to go by the first round whatever position it is.‘’
Mitchell Pearce and Todd Carney star for Roosters in NRL trial match against Wests Tigers
- By Dean Ritchie at the SFS
- From: The Daily Telegraph
- February 22, 2010 12:00AM
SOME resented and lambasted his return to the NRL but Todd Carney showed yesterday why he could be rugby league’s buy of the year.
In his first NRL game in 18 months, Carney produced some patches of brilliance in the Sydney Roosters’ 28-10 win over Wests Tigers at the SFS to claim their fourth successive pre-season Foundation Cup.
The unwanted Raider played halfback, fullback, lock and five-eighth - but appeared to enjoy playing outside halfback Mitchell Pearce.
Carney scored a nice try, set up another and looked sharp when closer to the action. Five-eighth is his natural position.
Roosters fans gave Carney a standing ovation when rested seven minutes from fulltime.
“I’m just happy to be back,” Carney said after the match. "I have no preference (for a position). I will play where ‘Smithy’ (coach Brian Smith) wants to use me.
“I played all my career at halfback and five-eighth but I will do what’s best for the team. Hopefully things can keep getting better.”
Pearce was especially damaging yesterday, helping to create all four of his side’s tries. But Carney was the talking point, despite being heckled by some Wests Tigers fans.
“Todd did OK,” said Smith. "He will have another shot (at fullback).
“The reason he was out there for the full match is that we are trying to cram in the 15 months of football that he missed. We are trying to knock out the rust out. He showed glimpses of his quality today.”
Both sides were missing key players. The Roosters were without Braith Anasta and Jason Ryles, with Taniela Tuiaki, Todd Payten and Bryce Gibbs out for the Wests Tigers.
The standard of the match was sub-standard overall and the Wests Tigers were a team that looked flat across the park.
But trial form has never really been a true indicator.
“We were pretty flat and dropped a lot of ball,” said Wests Tigers skipper Robbie Farah.
Wests Tigers forward Jason Cayless was placed on report for hitting Carney late after kicking the ball and the incident will be reviewed today.
Carney’s flashes of skill livened up what was generally a dull afternoon at the SFS.
The Roosters led 14-6 at halftime and sealed victory five minutes into the second half when Carney sliced through to score.
Pearce ran to the line and held up a pass to send Carney over. Carney converted to give his side a 20-6 lead.
Just five minutes later, Carney cut through the Tigers defence before winger Sam Perrett scored the Roosters’ fourth try after fine lead-up work again from Pearce.
“It was an encouraging start,” Smith said. “Across the board, we had blokes out there today being competitive.”
A sweltering day ensured drinks breaks midway through both halves, but none of the players complained of the heat.
Based on yesterday’s performance, the Roosters will be highly competitive this season, after finishing last in 2009 - a result which brought shame to the proud foundation club.
But the Roosters have big forwards, slick halves and some speed out wide.
Wests Tigers will also be strong this year although Sheens would no doubt be concerned at the alarming error rate from yesterday.
Sydney Roosters 28 (T Carney, A Cherrington, S Kenny-Dowall, M Pearce tries; Carney 6 goals) Wests Tigers 10 (M Brown, C Lawrence tries; B Marshall goal)
Reformed Carney has lost none of his old spark
February 22, 2010
Roosters 28 Tigers 10
TODD CARNEY answered many questions but in the process raised many more. The reformed bad boy scored a try in a 16-point haul for the Roosters yet did most of his damage from a position his coach doesn’t yet want him to play in.
Carney, playing his first match for the Roosters in front of a home crowd of 10,281 at the SFS yesterday, was trialled at fullback in the first half, and five-eighth in the second. He did nothing wrong at the back but did a lot right in the halves in a comfortable victory over an undermanned Tigers outfit.
With two minutes left, Wests Tigers five-eighth Benji Marshall limped off and straight up the tunnel, apparently with a leg injury.
Mitchell Pearce and the injured Braith Anasta (ankle) are the first-choice halves pairing of Roosters coach Brian Smith, also in his first home outing for the club. But if Anasta struggles to recover, Carney has proved he has not lost a lot despite being out of the NRL since 2008.
Sacked by Canberra after repeated misdemeanours, Carney played his football last year with the Roosters of the Atherton variety.
He showed a few signs of things to come yesterday but so did the crowd. Carney will have to handle sledging this season, judging by the ‘‘Like a firecracker’’ taunt yelled several times by one wag as Carney attempted a sixth-minute penalty.
But the player who has made a habit of attracting trouble - setting a mate’s pants on fire with said firecrackers over summer - did play well, acclimatising himself as a fullback with more aplomb than Anasta did last year.
Carney still did much of the kicking yesterday while at fullback, and floated into first and second receiver, showing that his won’t be an authentic fullback’s role.
Pearce was able to remain heavily involved and still came up with some strong kicks of his own, not least the crossfield bomb that Sam Perrett was able to bat down for his centre, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, for the side’s first try of the evening.
Pearce was also involved in their next, sending Anthony Cherrington an inside ball off his hip.
In the second half, with Carney in five-eighth, captain Anthony Minichiello took over at fullback. After just five minutes, Carney combined with Pearce for a try, and in another five minutes his strong surge allowed Pearce to send Perrett over.
At times, Carney had a target on his back. Tigers prop Jason Cayless, playing against his old club, dropped him late following a kick - and Carney kicked his final points from the penalty. Cayless was placed on report.
Carney was taken off after 73 minutes to a standing ovation from the Roosters faithful.
The Tigers, already without Todd Payten, Bryce Gibbs and Taniela Tuiaki, looked rusty. They played their best with five-eighth Marshall and hooker Robbie Farah on the field, but coach Tim Sheens chose to rest both for long periods.
Halfback Robert Lui and Tim Moltzen were hot and cold.
With Steve Folkes taking charge of their conditioning, it has clearly been a long, hot summer for the Tigers, but we will have to wait to see whether they have another cold winter.