Roosters too good for the Warriors

SYDNEY – The Sydney Roosters have overcome their off-field dramas to confirm their status as NRL premiership favourites with an emphatic 24-0 win over the Warriors.

The Roosters were forced to deal with a distraction in the lead up when winger Shaun Kenny-Dowall was stood down, but they showed enough resolve to overcome a fellow top four contender in front of 16,301 at Allianz Stadium.

Kenny-Dowall was arrested on Saturday and charged with a string of offences including the common assault and stalking of his former partner Jessica Peris.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson said he did not know how long Kenny-Dowall would be stood down for and the club would support him through the courts process.

“He’s doing it tough at the moment and not playing him today was a welfare decision from the club and the NRL,” Robinson said.

“It’s a difficult time and he’s just coming to terms with it and getting support through family and the club.”

The Roosters blew the Warriors off the park early, jumping to an 18-0 lead at halftime before holding out the Warriors in the second 40 minutes.

Blake Ferguson continued his devastating form, shaking off a knee cap injury in the first half to score a try and make three line breaks while man of the match James Maloney was instrumental in many of the side’s big plays.

The Roosters left several tries out on the field and should have won by more after blowing a couple of golden chances in the second half.

Importantly, they maintained third spot, extended their winning streak to five as they scored a confidence-boosting win over the Warriors, who dropped out of the top four.

Robinson said it put his team in good stead with seven weeks to go.

“We’ve been in a really good space all year but probably a little bit tight at the start of the year, around rounds five to eight,” Robinson said.

“We came out of it, we played some good footy going into the bye, clawed our way back into the competition and we’ve played two good games out of the bye.”

Brendan Elliot, who replaced Kenny-Dowall on the right wing, had a few nervous moments under the high ball early but otherwise looked assured in his fourth top grade game.

Aidan Guerra dived on a deft kick by hooker Jake Friend to score first and four minutes later Ferguson steamrolled over Solomone Kata and Chad Townsend close to the line.

The Roosters went into the break up 18-0 after Roger Tuivasa-Sheck outleapt Sam Tomkins, the man he will replace in the Warriors No.1 jersey next year.

Boyd Cordner was a late withdrawal from the Roosters side, but officials said he was simply being rested and would be available to play in their next game against Wests Tigers on Friday night.

Warriors coach Andrew McFadden described the loss as “not a complete disaster” and took heart from his team not letting the game get away from them in the second half.

“It’s great to be up there (in the top four) but at the end of the day it doesn’t mean anything until we get to the end of the season,” McFadden said.

“It was always going to be a difficult task, they’ve chocful of talent and a battle-hardened team. “It was a good opportunity for us and we didn’t play well enough, we didn’t give ourselves an opportunity against them.”

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