Roosters given scare by wounded Rabbits
THE Sydney Roosters survived the mother of all comebacks to down local rivals South Sydney 40-29 in an enthralling opening to the NRL season last night.
Seemingly home and hosed af t er r unning up a 2 8 - 6 s e c o n d - h a l f l e a d o v e r a Rabbitohs side down to just one fit interchange player on the bench, the Roosters were forced to come from behind to snatch a dramatic win at the death.
Four tries in 19 minutes brought the Rabbitohs level at 28-all and when Chris Sandow capped a brilliant night with a 73rd-minute field goal, the red and green f a i t h f u l w e r e a l r e a d y c e l e b r a t i n g t h e mi r a c l e comeback.
It wasn’t to be, however, unlikely hero Tom Symonds barrelling over after the Roosters benefited from a short kick-off to put the home side back in front before doubling the dose on the stroke of fulltime to complete a heartstopping first night.
‘‘ We discussed at halftime that the only way we’d let them in was our discipline and that was probably spot on,’’ said Roosters captain Braith Anasta, the Roosters h a v i n g g i v e n a w a y s i x straight penalties during the Rabbitohs’ comeback.
‘‘ The character we showed . . . it showed where we’re at as a team and we’ve come a long way.’’
Souths coach John Lang was left lamenting the lack of urgency from his side over the back end of the opening half, with the Roosters crossi ng t hree t i mes i n t hat period.
‘‘ The comeback was great but there was a lot of bad stuff amongst it as well,’’ Lang said.
‘‘ I thought we played well for 20 minutes then we went right off the boil, we came back in and then I thought we went soft at the end when they got that ball back, we just didn’t drive it home, we