Roosters topple Bulldogs in NRL
SYDNEY (AP) — Code-hopping star Sonny Bill Williams scored two tries against his former teammates as the Sydney Roosters beat the first-placed Bulldogs 32-12 in the 11th round of Australia’s National Rugby League.
Williams, who quit the Bulldogs in 2008 to play rugby union, won a World Cup title with the All Blacks, then returned to the NRL last season, scored in 22nd and 67th minutes for the Roosters to end the Bulldogs’ winning streak at seven games.
The Roosters took a 10-6 lead to halftime after defending their line against a series of Bulldogs’ attacks through the last 10 minutes of a heated first half.
Anthony Minichello scored two second-half tries to give the Roosters and Williams made a try for Shaun Kenny-Dowall and scored himself to put the match beyond doubt.
Tensions built throughout the first half and the match erupted into an all-in brawl in the 38th minute amid claims from Roosters players that Bulldogs were feigning injury to attract penalties.
Bulldogs veterans Michael Ennis and Sam Perrett both stayed down after high tackles by Roosters James Maloney and Sam Moa, leading to the eruption close to halftime.
“It was heated,” Roosters captain Minichello said. “Obviously Mick Ennis showed a bit of gamesmanship there, playing for penalties.
“We were just trying to stick to our game. It boiled over a few times.”
Bulldogs coach Des Hasler defended his players against diving claims.
“Those sorts of players don’t take dives,” he said. “It’s not in their makeup. It’s not their game.”
Ben Hunt kicked four goals including a contentious match-winner in the 76th minute as Brisbane edged Wests 16-14.
The match was locked at 14-14 when Wests winger Pat Richards was penalized for tackling his opposite, Lachlan Maranta, without the ball. The offense seemed to occur after a forward pass by the Broncos but still resulted the penalty that allowed Hunt to clinch the match.
“We were poor in some areas and unfortunately they got a penalty where I am struggling to see how there was a penalty there,” Wests coach Mick Potter said. “It was disappointing for us.”
The New Zealand Warriors rallied from 16-14 down at halftime, holding Gold Coast scoreless in the second half to win a tight match 24-16.
Captain Simon Mannering scored in the 46th minute to reclaim the lead for the Warriors and David Fusitua added his second try to clinch the match with 12 minutes remaining.