Roosters shut out Bulldogs in NRL slugfest

27/04/2020 Posted by admin

Latrell Mitchell (R) has scored the only try in the Sydney Roosters’ 6-0 NRL win over Canterbury.The Sydney Roosters have produced their best defensive effort in two years with a 6-0 shut-out of Canterbury in their round-seven NRL clash.
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Less than a week after a disappointing loss to arch rivals South Sydney, the pre-season favourites responded by turning away a Bulldogs side 52 times inside their opposition 20-metre zone.

While the Roosters’ attack remains a work in progress – Latrell Mitchell’s fifth-minute try was the only difference – coach Trent Robinson will be buoyed by his team’s renewed commitment in defence.

The Roosters’ line not been breached since a 38-0 clean sheet in April, 2016 against Newcastle.

In front of an 11,309 crowd on Thursday night at ANZ Stadium, the Bulldogs’ lack of execution was exposed when they had seven of nine sets on the Roosters’ line in a 10-minute second-half period.

The play-the-ball count inside the opposition red zone ended 52-14 in the Bulldogs’ favour.

But, led by Ryan Matterson’s game-high 52 tackles, the Roosters held firm to stay within touch of the top four, whereas the Bulldogs remain rooted in third-last spot a quarter of the way through the season.

The only sour note for the Roosters was a concussion to captain Jake Friend, who failed to return after his head was collected by a runaway Moses Mbye in an attempted tackle in the 43rd minute.

The only points of the night came from Mitchell, who cleanly ghosted an arm-grabbing Will Hopoate early in the contest and nailed the ensuing conversion from the sideline.

His six-point haul lifts him to 58 points for the season, four shy of competition leader, St George Illawarra pivot Gareth Widdop.

Bulldogs coach Dean Pay said his team lacked polish but insisted his team remains on the right path.

“From where we were last week, I thought we improved again tonight. I really did. I can never question their effort. There was three-four times there we were one pass away from scoring,” he said.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson was upset with his team’s attack but was delighted with their defence.

“Purists will love that game. I loved it. See a team work as hard as that in defence, that’s a footy game. That’s a part of footy that you should really enjoy,” he said.

Australian Associated Press

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