The Roosters have tonight held on for a 20-18 victory over the Bulldogs in front of 20,275 fans at ANZ Stadium.


With the Origin players unavailable the Roosters ran in four tries to the Bulldogs three.


Coach Des Hasler was disappointed with the result.


Its a disappointing result, Hasler said. The boys know where is went wrong, well work on it before the next match.


We had a lot to play for tonight after a good period and leading into a bye but we just werent on tonight.


Captain Michael Ennis was also critical after the loss.


We know the Roosters are a good defensive side and they are also hard to

chase down when they open up a lead, he said. They were better in the key areas and thats what wins you games.


The Bulldogs were 1-17 with Des Hasler choosing to start James Graham and

move Sam Kasiano back to the interchange bench as he did last week.


The opening of the game saw the Roosters totally dominate possession with the opening four sets in their hands. Captain Michael Ennis was penalised for a late shot on Daniel Mortimer after a kick then Mitch Brown knocked on in-goal forcing a drop-out. From that next set it was Roosters Captain Anthony Minichiello who broke the initial tackle and then got the ball off to Shaun Kenny-Dowall who then had too much strength for Ben Barba to score.

Mortimer had the kicking duties but couldnt convert with the Roosters leading 4-nil after six minutes.


It was the Bulldogs who then finally had some possession and in the 20th minute they registered their first points of the match. Off the back of a penalty in their own half, the Bulldogs halfback Trent Hodkinson took the kick for touch and made 45m allowing the home side to start their attacking set from 10m out from the Roosters line. On just the third tackle the Bulldogs worked the ball to the left and Trent Hodkinson shifted it out to Barba and the fullback had simply too much pace and got on the outside of Mortimer running over to score in the north-eastern corner. Hodkinson continued his great kicking record, slotting it over take the lead 6-4.


Just six minutes later it was the Roosters who answered back through back rower Boyd Cordner. The Roosters received a repeat set after an error by Mitch Brown. It was a slick ball from Nathan Friend at dummy-half to Mortimer who took the ball to the line and had Cordner just off his left hip and he popped the ball to him and he went over to score. Mortimer converted to put the tri-colours in front 10-6.


Thats how the score remained when the half-time siren sounded.


The Roosters came out the better in the second half and scored the first points in the 49th minute. It was an error from kiwi international Krisnan Inu that gifted the visitors possession and a ball from Sonny-Bill Williams out to Roger Tuivasa-Sheck who broke into open space and as he met the final line of defence he managed to get a smart flick pass away to Kenny-Dowall who crossed for his second try of the night. Mortimer converted to extend the lead out to 16-6.


12 minutes later the Roosters extended their lead with Cordner also bagging his second try of the night. It was again an error from Brown off a Mortimer kick that gifted the Roosters a repeat set. Then the Roosters again shifted the ball out and the up and in defence just didnt work on this occasion with Cordner streaking through a yawning gap. Mortimer shanked the conversion attempt to leave the score at 20-6.


The final 15 minutes saw the Bulldogs fight hard with two tries in the final 10 minutes closing the gap to two points. It was Dene Halatau who crossed in the 71st after receiving a smart ball from Kasiano whilst the second was after three repeat sets with Inu burrowing over. Both were converted with the score left at 20-18.


The match had 30 seconds remaining but the home side werent able to crack the Roosters line to record a 20-18 victory.


ROOSTERS 20 (Kenny-Dowall 2, Cordner 2 Tries; Mortimer 2 Goals)


Def.


BULLDOGS 18 (Barba, Halatau, Inu Tries; Hodkinson 3 Goals)


Crowd: 20,275

At: ANZ Stadium