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globalrugbyleague - Sat, 11 Aug 2007 11:16:00 GMT
A MOMENT of Braith Anasta magic guided the roosters to a thrilling 26-22 golden-point extra time win over a courageous Wests Tigers outfit at Telstra Stadium on Friday night.

Shaping up to kick a field goal, Anasta faked, dummied and ran through the challenges of two desperate defenders, before offloading a scintillating flick pass to Amos Roberts who found a flying Joel Monaghan to break the hearts of all Tigers supporters.

Anasta’s inspiration not only keeps new coach Brad Fittler’s undefeated streak running, currently at five games, but also gives the Bondi based club a realistic chance of sneaking into the top eight.

With the roosters mathematically required to win at least two more games to make the semi-finals, centre Joel Monaghan said his team mates were focused on making that dream become reality.

“We aim to win all three (remaining NRL games), we’re on a bit of a roll and we want to keep that going.”

Coach Brad Fittler, whose side is not only able to win but do it in breathtaking style, says his men now have that winning mentality.

“It just feels like you're not going to lose - that's how it feels," he said on nrl.com.

“Most stages there's been games where it feels like we're going to lose ... (but) at no stage are they dead.”

The Wests Tigers, they themselves also fighting for their semi-finals football lives as they tinker dangerously close to being outside the top eight, hit the floor running looking to undermine Fittler’s undefeated streak.

And the script was going according to plan early on, with the Tigers pinning the Roosters in their own half, controlling the ball and posting points.

Five-Eighth Benji Marshall’s lovely weighted grubber kick caught the Roosters defence napping, with hooker Robbie Farah picking up the pieces and putting his side 6–0 up early on.

However, the Roosters quickly acclimatised to the intensity shown by their opponents and grabbed some points of their own shortly after.

Attacking close to the Tigers line, imposing centre Iosio Soliola palmed off two defenders before offloading the ball to Amos Roberts to level the scores.

Hitting their stride, the Roosters started to turn the Tigers defence into sixes and sevens and went ahead half way through the first stanza.

A wonderful pass out of dummy half to fullback Sam Perrett created an overlap on the Tigers left hand side, with Roberts free at the end of a chain of passes to score.

And so the Roosters kept adding points.

A wonderfully weighted cross field bomb, a ploy which obviously was to target a Benji Marshall weakness, finally worked when Joel Monaghan rose above the five-eighth and evaded the challenge of three defenders to put the tri-colours ahead at 16-6.

But when the Roosters bombed a try, the Tigers were somehow able to put a smile on Tim Sheen’s face moments before the half time buzzer.

Attacking metres from the try line, interchange forward Ben Te’o hit the line hard from Robbie Farah’s inside pass to keep his side in the hunt, 16-12 down at the buzzer.

In the second half, both sides found it difficult to get a breakthrough. The game turned into a war of attrition, with players on both teams probing the opposition defence, looking for a chink in the armour.

And that breakthrough came 13 minutes from time.

Close to the Roosters line, fullback Brett Hodgson stuck his head through the line and popped a ball around the corner for John Morris, who attracted the last defender and passed to Liam Fulton to score under the posts and put the Tigers ahead.

The game immediately opened up, and true to form, it didn’t take long for the Roosters to hit back.

With seven minutes remaining, the tri-colours found some space on their left hand side, creating an overlap for Mitchell Aubusson to muscle his way past two defenders and put the Roosters ahead 22-20.

An infringement moments from full time allowed Benji Marshall to level the scores with a penalty goal.

And after a series of exciting exchanges seconds from full-time, including a long-range Braith Anasta field goal that agonisingly hit the cross bar and felll in the field of play, the game went into over time.

From there, the Roosters took charge before Anasta put the final nail in the coffin.

In other NRL action, Manly-Warringah slayed the knights 50-16 in an easy demolition derby at BlueTongue Stadium in Gosford.

roosters 26 (A Roberts 2, J Monaghan 2, M Aubusson tries; A Roberts 3 goals) Wests Tigers 22 (R Farah, B Te’o, L Fulton tries; B Marshall 5 goals) in golden-point extra time at Telstra Stadium. Referee: Tony Archer Crowd: 25,166 Penalties: 7-all Line Breaks: Roosters 6-5. - Read More, Here