Smith gamble a dud
Roosters left a player short due to interchange bungle
SYDNEY Roosters coach Brian Smith admit she gambled and lost in a game of interchange roulette that left his side with 12 men for the crucial final minutes of yesterday’s 24-20 NRL loss to Canterbury.
The Roosters played out the final 10 minutes of the seesawing match a man down after winger Sam Perrett continued a horror weekend of injuries by suffering a suspected broken ankle in the 70th minute at ANZ Stadium.
With forward Mose Masoe having run on for Jason Ryles seconds earlier, it meant the Roosters could make no more replacements as they feverishly chased down the four-point deficit.
‘‘ You run the roulette with interchange every week but today I think the ball jumped off the table,’’ Smith said.
‘‘ I’ve got to take responsibility for that.
‘ ‘ That’s s omewhere between unforgivable and very dumb. And a bit unlucky.’’
Smith s ai d he ‘ ‘ al most always’’ saved his final interchange until the final five minutes, but had a hunch Masoe would help his side come from behind.
‘‘ We were chasing points and Mose had been very good for us in the first couple of stints he’d done before and after halftime so I felt the urge to make the significant change that it was and you hope that no one gets injured. I’m not happy with myself but them’s the breaks.
‘‘ I’m taking responsibility for not having 13 players on the field in the last 10 minutes and it could well have caused us to win if we’d had him there.’’
Bulldogs coach Kevin Moore said the Roosters’ predicament had surprised him.
‘‘ It’s easy to be critical postgame but you obviously have a plan and things go to plan probably eight times out of 10,’’ Moore said.
The Roosters certainly didn’t look like they were undermanned as they threw everything at the Dogs in the final minutes.
In a physical encounter played in front of 23,723 fans, Bulldogs fullback Ben Barba and Roosters centre Shaun Kenny - Dowall bagged doubles in a four-tries apiece affair that was ultimately decided by goalkicking.
Canterbury’s Bryson Goodwin booted four from five, while Roosters skipper Braith Anasta could only manage two from four.
The Bulldogs led 18-14 after a seesawing first half in which they had led 12-0 after 13 minutes, with Michael Ennis and Jamal Idris scoring their first two tries. The Roosters hit back through Todd Carney and KennyDowall but allowed Barba to grab his first before the break when he latched on to a brilliant Corey Payne offload.
They extended their lead by two with a Goodwin penalty goal and clung to their lead when Trent Hodkin sonama zingly prevented Roosters winger BJ Leilua grounding the scraps of a Carney kick.
Barba got his second try in the 51st minute after Trent Hodkinson had made the bust and it was 24-14. But it was game on when KennyDowall got his second in the 63rd minute for 24-20.
‘‘ I wouldn’t say we more than matched them but probably matched them is a fair s u mmar y , ’ ’ Smith said . ‘‘ Looking at the stats, we beat them everywhere but on the scoreboard today.’’
COP THAT: Rooster Jake Friend fights it out with Jamal Idris yesterday
Roosters 20 Bulldogs 24