Captain Jake Friend has led Sydney Roosters to just their third NRL win of the season, a 32-18 victory over Wests Tigers in atrocious conditions at Allianz Stadium on Sunday.
Before the lowest ever NRL-era crowd of 3,622, hooker Friend put in a consummate wet weather performance to claim man-of-the-match honours.
Friend was in everything in defence and attack for the Roosters, who were without stars Mitchell Pearce and Boyd Cordner due to injury.
The Tricolours captain was ably supported by rookie halves Jackson Hastings and Ryan Matterson and prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.
Tigers captain Aaron Woods and fill-in hooker Elijah Taylor tried hard to spark the visitors, but the Roosters were deserved winners as they leapt above the Tigers to 14th spot on the NRL ladder.
Roosters fullback Latrell Mitchell opened the scoring in torrential rain via a clever Jackson Hastings pass in the seventh minute.
Daniel Tupou extended the home side’s lead to 12-0 five minutes later when his centre Dale Copley put him over.
The Tigers hit back in the 17th minute when Tim Simona finished off a sensational 80m effort that belied the conditions.
The Roosters regained their 12-point lead in the 31st minute as Blake Ferguson charged onto a Ryan Matterson pass close to the Tigers’ line.
But it was a Ferguson error than gave the Tigers a chance for points just before the break and David Nofoaluma took full advantage for a halftime score of 18-12.
After the break the sides swapped tries through Roosters backrower Aidan Guerra, in the 53rd minute and Tigers fullback James Tedesco, who returned from a shoulder injury, in the 63rd minute.
That was before Roosters utility Connor Watson’s first NRL try in the 69th minute sealed the win.
Roosters duo Mitchell and Isaac Liu could be set for extended stints on the sideline after suffering suspected syndesmosis in the first half. Neither returned to the game.
Waerea-Hargreaves was put on report for a second half high shot on JJ Felise.
Taylor was a late inclusion at No.9 for the injured Matt Ballin for the Tigers, who rested Origin rake Robbie Farah.
The win was the Roosters’ eighth straight over the Tigers.