Jared Waerea-Hargreaves has dragged Sydney Roosters to their ninth successive NRL win as they survived a first half scare to prevail 28-18 over Parramatta at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.
Waerea-Hargreaves’ bullocking 72nd minute try, in which he shrugged off four Parramatta defenders in a 25m run, put the home side 22-18 ahead; their first lead of the game. A late Jake Friend effort sealed the Tricolours’ victory in front of a crowd of 11,255 and created their longest winning streak in 13 years.
The win moves the Roosters into the top two on the NRL ladder for the first time since round one.
But it did not come easily, after Parramatta dominated the first half to lead 18-4 at the break and threaten one of the upsets of the season. The Roosters though found form in the second half scoring four-tries-to-none.
Tim Mannah crashed over through some soft defence in the 11th minute to open the scoring for the visitors.
The Roosters struck back four minutes later through James Maloney.
On the back of 58 per cent of possession Parramatta had the better of the rest of the half against a below-par Tricolours outfit.
The NRL’s leading tryscorer Semi Radradra scored the Eels’ second, and his 19th try in 15 games this year, in the 16th minute as they jumped out to an unexpected 12-4 lead.
A strong defensive effort from the Eels repelled a number of attacking raids from the Roosters, before the visitors went further ahead when Corey Norman streeted away.
Parramatta enjoyed a 14 point buffer at the break before the Roosters finally found gear to score two tries in five minutes after halftime.
Mitch Aubusson scored out wide from a Jared Waerea-Hargreaves long ball in the 50th minute and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck skipped over shortly after for a scoreline of 18-16 to the Eels.
Waerea-Hargreaves’ barnstorming effort put the Roosters ahead with little time left.
Roosters skipper Friend scored late to set up a minor premiership showdown with Brisbane next week.