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Six things we learned from New Zealand vs Sydney Roosters

It was tight, epic affair, with the two sides separated by a solitary point, but what did we learn from the Warriors 14-13 win over the Roosters?

1. Shaun Johnson has ice in his veins
With less than a minute left on the clock, and his side trailing to an earlier Mitchell Pearce field goal, Shaun Johnson stepped up to the plate and made no mistake whatsoever with a beautiful penalty goal to hand the Warriors the points and a vital win, ending a run of losses and beating one of the competition’s better sides in the process.

2. Pearce nearly does it again
Last week it was an Anzac day treat when Pearce slotted a brilliant field goal to down a valiant Dragons outfit and, with fewer than five minutes left in this one, it looked like he had done the same and secured a big win for the Roosters on the road. While it wasn’t to be, with the Johnson penalty goal outdoing it, the second Pearce field goal at the death in as many weeks may be a sign that the half has matured and deals better with pressure situations than he did in the past.

3. Foran takes so much pressure away from Shaun Johnson
While Kieran Foran may be leaving the club at the end of the season, he still has a job to do this year and a big part of that role is the pressure he takes of Shaun Johnson’s shoulders with his control and direction around the park. Foran is a leader on the field and his troops respond. With Johnson freed up to return to his more dynamic, off-the-cuff style, the Warriors benefit greatly.

4. The Roosters pack makes metres
While they lost the game, a quick look at the stats show just how important the Rooster’s pack is to the way they approach the game. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves managed 122 run metres, Dylan Napa managed 72m, Sio Siua Taukeiaho 157m and Boyd Cordner led the way with 186m while even Kane Evans cracked the ton (102m) from the bench in just 21 minutes on the park. Only one Warrior (Simon Mannering, 129m) made it to triple figures. Now it didn’t do them enough to get the win, but you cannot deny the platform the Chook’s pack lays each week.

5. Officials struggle, again
I’m not going to sit here and go through each decision, or really even look at the controversial ones in depth. This week continued the trend and things need to improve, quickly.

6. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad is the best name in rugby league
There’s a few contenders sure, and we’re not really learning that right now, or at least I’m not but this may be the last chance I get to mention it. What a name! I love it. It rolls off the tongue, though it does make you work for it linguistically just a little bit. This one is an all-time top 10 contender.

Player of the match voting
1 – Boyd Cordner

2 – Shaun Kenny-Dowall

3 – Chanze Nicoll-Klokstad


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