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Roosters clinch 1st place in National Rugby League

September 6, 2013

SYDNEY (AP) — The Sydney Roosters clinched first place in the National Rugby League with a 24-12 win over their closest pursuers for the title, South Sydney Rabbitohs.

The win, led by James Maloney’s two tries and 16 points overall, ended a two-match losing streak and gave the Roosters some confidence heading into the NRL playoffs which begin next weekend.

The Roosters and Rabbitohs finished with 40 points each after 24 matches, but the Roosters took first place with a much superior for-and-against points differential.

“We’re going to have to be bigger and better next week, so we’ve got to forget about this one now and move on to that,” Maloney said.

Manly and defending champions Melbourne, level on 35 points each, will decide third and fourth places when they play Penrith and Gold Coast, respectively, later in the weekend to conclude the regular season.

On Thursday, the Brisbane Broncos finished their worst season — losing 13 of 24 matches and failing to make the playoffs — by beating the fifth-place Canterbury Bulldogs 16-11. The Broncos have won the NRL title six times, their last premiership coming in 2006.

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