Lost opportunity as Roosters blow it

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NRL: Controversial penalty try denied for the Roosters with a sin bin instead given to the Warriors winger.

David Fusitu’a, Solomone Kata and Ken Maumalo of the Warriors go after the high ball against Shaun Kenny-Dowall of the Roosters.

AGAIN, the Chookies blew it.

Yes, they were brave. At times brilliant, too.

Could even argue robbery after young No.6 Ryan Matterson, with under two minutes to play, was controversially pinged for a knock on that, well, wasn’t.

Shaun Kenny-Dowall runs the ball against the Warriors.

Shaun Kenny-Dowall runs the ball against the Warriors.Source:Getty Images

But still, rather than the Warriors winning this one 12-10, it was the Roosters who, realistically, lost it.

Gone on moments like when, with four minutes to play, halfback Jackson Hastings dumped the ball inside for Isaac Liu.

A wonderful set up for another attacking tilt … except for the small matter of it being last tackle.

Or maybe we go back to that moment with eight minutes to play when Roosters centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall, from the kick off, broke away upfield.

Weaving in and out of traffic, coming to the last defenders and then — in an all or nothing play — trying to flick the ball out to Connor Watson in support.

A pass which went over the sideline. Opportunity dead.

Joseph Manu of the Roosters was impressive on debut.

Joseph Manu of the Roosters was impressive on debut.Source:AAP

Yet in defence of SKD, it was this same approach which, only minutes earlier, had seen him put the Roosters within two of victory thanks to a sensational play where Watson did score after he touched twice and flicked once.

And just for a minute, it looked to be the play on which they rolled home on.

The boys from Bondi Junction upsetting the Warriors — and at Mt Smart Stadium, no less — despite missing Mitchell Pearce, Boyd Cordner, Aidan Guerra and Blake Ferguson.

Despite being friendless with the bookies.

And despite Warriors megastar Shaun Johnson having already produced a solo piece of brilliance which, in the 65th minute, saw him step between Dylan Napa and Jared Waerea-Hagreaves to score.

Solomone Kata of the Warriors is pushed to touch by the Roosters as he goes for a try.

Solomone Kata of the Warriors is pushed to touch by the Roosters as he goes for a try.Source:Getty Images

And maybe they would have — even should have — had Matterson not been stopped for a controversial knock on.

One where replays showed the fumble hitting his boot and going forward. The young No.6 then regathering with nothing but free air in front of him … just as the referee was blowing his whistle.

But still, it was the Warriors win.

“I don’t think we’ve won too many games like that,” Warriors coach Andrew McFadden conceded afterwards.

“They (Roosters) came out aggressive and although it wasn’t pretty we stayed composed and got them where it counts.

“We know that when things go well for us we can do that but it’s when we get challenged we haven’t been good in the past but today we were.”

And still, the Roosters had so many high points, too.

David Fusitu'a, Solomone Kata and Ken Maumalo of the Warriors go after the high ball against Shaun Kenny-Dowall of the Roosters.

David Fusitu’a, Solomone Kata and Ken Maumalo of the Warriors go after the high ball against Shaun Kenny-Dowall of the Roosters.Source:Getty Images

Like Dale Copley’s try-saver – all effort. Or Hastings very nearly putting winger Joseph Manu over after a beautiful play which not only saw him pick up a loose ball, but then change direction, reposition his feet and provide a pinpoint grubber.

Indeed, Manu probably would have scored too had Warriors opposite Ken Maumalo not appeared and pushed him off the ball — a play that saw him sin-binned for 10 minutes, but no penalty try.

Certainly there were other moments of brilliance too.

Like when Roosters prop Waerea-Hargeaves, with three tacklers on him, still produced a stunning offload that eventually led to a try for back-rower Mitch Aubusson.

But still, the Roosters will look at this as one that got away.

And not for the first time this season.

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