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3 hours ago | Tim Costello
The Sydney Roosters have secured their place in the 2019 NRL grand final after defeating the Melbourne Storm 14-6 on Saturday evening.
Set to face the Canberra Raiders next Sunday for the right to be crowned premiers, the Roosters led from start to finish in an spirited encounter played before a crowd of 32,184 supporters at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
In a spiteful start to proceedings both Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Siosiua Taukeiaho were sent to the sin bin as a result of a fracas between the two representative enforcers in the opening tackle of the match.
Posting first points via a Latrell Mitchell penalty goal from the ensuring penalty, both teams created plenty of chances but struggled with execution during the opening half.
Scoring the first try of the evening following a determined offload from Daniel Tupou, Roosters captain Boyd Cordner (15th minute) put himself in the right spot to give the home side a 6-0 lead.
Making their first appearance at the SCG in 22 seasons, the Storm lost second rower Felise Kaufusi midway through the first half after being collected by Luke Keary in a high tackle that may come under scrutiny by the match review committee in the coming days.
Adding a further penalty goal after catching the Storm offside next to the posts, the Roosters took a deserved 8-0 lead into the change of ends.
Needing to be next to score to stay in touch with the reigning premiers, Asofa-Solomona (51st minute) powered his way to the line to narrow the margin to just two points.
Appearing to strike a decisive blow on the hour mark, Joseph Manu was denied by the bunker after James Tedesco was deemed to have knocked on in the lead up.
Not to be denied ten minutes later, Tedesco (68th minute) finished off a brilliant piece of play in partnership with Cooper Cronk and Angus Crichton to send the Roosters into back-to-back grand finals for the first time in 15 years,
Despite their best efforts over the closing stages the Storm were unable to conjure a miracle, leaving the Tricolours to run out 14-6 winners.
Next week, the Sydney Roosters will face the Canberra Raiders on Sunday evening at ANZ Stadium in the grand final.
Sydney Roosters 14 - Melbourne Storm 6
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground
Halftime Score: Sydney Roosters 8 Melbourne Storm 0
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Angus Crichton
2 points - Boyd Cordner
1 points - Cooper Cronk
SYDNEY ROOSTERS (14)
Tries: Boyd Cordner, James Tedesco
Conversions: Latrell Mitchell (1/2)
Penalty Goals: Latrell Mitchell (2/2)
MELBOURNE STORM (6)
Tries: Nelson Asofa-Solomona
Conversions: Cameron Smith (1/1)