Roosters tear Warriors apart
THE attacking shackles have finally been set free at the Roosters.
A classy Cooper Cronk and a barnstorming Jared Waerea-Hargreaves helped the Sydney side Roosters rediscover their mojo in attack with a comprehensive 32-0 victory over the New Zealand Warriors at Auckland's Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday.
Cronk was outstanding, playing a role in three tries to steer the Tricolours to their first win over the Warriors since 2015.
Importantly, the impressive triumph came only five weeks after the Warriors smashed Trent Robinson's men 30-6 at Allianz Stadium.
Thankfully for the Roosters, they put that woeful round four performance aside to ruthlessly dispose of the Warriors on their home turf.
Cronk and halves partner Luke Keary provided the direction and polish, but it was the Tricolours' big men who laid the platform to victory.
NZ-born bookend Waerea-Hargreaves led the way with a mammoth 160 running metres from 16 runs off the bench.
A rampaging JWH was sent to the sin bin in the closing minutes, but his hot form opened the door for the Roosters' backs to run riot.
Star recruit James Tedesco delivered one of his better games for the Tricolours with a try and 197 running metres.
Blake Ferguson continued his solid form with a try and 177 running metres, and centre Latrell Mitchell did his NSW Origin chances no harm with a strong effort.
Mitchell kicked six goals and ran for 96m, but it's his raw strength and speed that will have Blues coach Brad Fittler salivating heading into Origin I in Melbourne in three weeks.
The Roosters fired in attack and defence, but the Warriors were forgettable.
Stephen Kearney's men lead the competition in completions, but their safe hands deserted them on a disappointing afternoon in Auckland.
The Warriors severely missed the spark of halfback Shaun Johnson (ankle) and hooker Issac Luke, who withdrew on Friday with a shoulder injury.
The New Zealanders will look to seek redemption when they take on Parramatta at ANZ Stadium on Friday night.
The Roosters play Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium on Friday.
The Warriors had the worst possible start when prop Bunty Afoa dropped an easy pass after two minutes.
Luckily for the New Zealanders it didn't cost them on the scoreboard initially.
Both sides traded blows in the opening 19 minutes, before the Roosters finally opened the scoring through a Latrell Mitchell penalty goal.
The Tricolours had two chances to extend their lead, but desperate tackles from Fusitu'a and Green denied the boys from Bondi.
Trent Robinson's men couldn't be stopped in the 30th minute when Cronk delivered a perfect pass for Ryan Matterson to stroll over untouched.
Mitchell added the extras to give the Roosters a handy 8-0 buffer.
A Joseph Manu try in the shadows of halftime helped the Roosters go to the sheds with a commanding 14-0 lead.
The Chooks needed only four minutes in the second half to push further ahead following a Ferguson try.
Mitchell missed the kick, but the Roosters looked comfortable leading 18-0.
The New Zealander's poor ball control opened the door the Roosters to run in their fourth try via a runaway James Tedesco.
The ex-Tigers fullback finished off a special team try set up by a crafty Keary, who offloaded after beating two Warriors defenders.
A Mitchell penalty goal followed by a Isaac Liu try put the icing on a clinical attacking performance from the previously clunky Roosters.
SYDNEY ROOSTERS 32 (B Ferguson I Liu J Manu R Matterson J Tedesco tries L Mitchell 6 goals) bt NZ WARRIORS 0 at Mt Smart Stadium. Referee: Matt Cecchin, Jon Stone. Crowd: 14,095