Roosters snatch late win over Warriors

Returning centre Blake Ferguson has scored in the final minute to give the Sydney Roosters an unlikely 25-21 comeback win in Auckland.

The Roosters had trailed for most of the match on Saturday night before former Warrior James Maloney tied up the scores with eight minutes left.

Maloney jinked through some tired defence to score and landed the conversion.

He then kicked a field goal to edge his side ahead, before Shaun Johnson replied for the Warriors with three minutes to go.

Maloney shaped for another field goal before shifting the ball wide and Ferguson dived over in the corner to win the game, a result that had seemed unlikely at halftime when the Roosters had gotten hardly any of the ball.

Manu Vatuvei scored five minutes from halftime to notch up his 10th four-pointer of the year, making him the first ever player to score 10 or more tries in 10 successive seasons.

The Warriors dominated the early stages, getting regular repeat sets in the opening quarter.

But the Roosters lived up to their status of being one of the competition’s best defences.

The Warriors finally found a way through 12 minutes from halftime and the drought became a flood as they racked up three tries in seven minutes.

Centre Solomone Kata put them on the board by finishing off an expansive move.

From the kick-off, fullback Tuimoala Lolohea – in for Sam Tomkins, who was a late withdrawal for a second week with a knee injury – touched down after a sweeping 70m attack.

Then came the moment the home fans in the 14,167 crowd were waiting for.

The ball was worked along the line and Vatuvei forced his way over in the corner for his 145th career try.

Up 14-0, the home side then conceded a soft try after turning over the ball in their own half.

Roosters fullback and Warrior-in-waiting Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, whose error had given the Warriors field position for Vatuvei’s try, made amends.

Tuivasa-Sheck, who was his usual big threat running the ball, put a deft kick into the in-goal and winger Shaun Kenny-Dowall pounced on the loose ball to score.

The Warriors opened out the gap early in the second half, running on the the final tackle and Kata was on hand to grab his second try and his 11th of his debut season.

The Roosters struck back courtesy of big run from second-rower Sio Siua Taukeiaho before centre Brendan Elliot plucked in a bomb to score.

Maloney landed the conversion and a penalty, before his try pulled his side level.

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