16 March 2018
The 30 greatest Roosters moments at Allianz
2018 marks the Sydney Roosters 30th year playing at Allianz Stadium, so let's celebrate with thirty important Roosters moments.
Compiled by David Middleton and Geoff Armstrong
MARCH 4, 1988: The Eastern Suburbs Roosters feature in the first match at the $62-million Sydney Football Stadium in the 1988 premiership opener against St George but go down 24–14.
AUGUST 6, 1989: Easts’ star recruit from Wigan, Martin Offiah, scores a ‘mesmerising’ try in a 30–12 win over Cronulla, breaking a tackle, sprinting 35 metres, kicking ahead and winning the chase for the ball.
AUGUST 30, 1992: The Roosters score 50 points against Souths in a game for the first time, winning 56–16 in a final-round match, but miss the semi-finals by a point. Easts halfback Gary Freeman plays a leading role in six of his team’s ten tries, while fullback David Seidenkamp bags a hat-trick.
APRIL 9, 1993: Souths and Easts play the first premiership match on Good Friday despite opposition from Anglican and Catholic Churches. Roosters wingers Michael Appleby and Jeff Orford each score two tries in an 18–4 win achieved in front of a then Sydney Football Stadium record crowd (for a regular season match) of 26,433.
APRIL 25, 1996: Sydney City keep their tryline intact for the fourth time in six matches, Peter Jorgenson scores a hat-trick and South Sydney suffer a humiliating 62–0 defeat. It is the second biggest win in the Roosters’ club history and remains the record-winning margin in a premiership rugby league game at Sydney Football Stadium.
JULY 8, 1996: A crowd of 35,075 turn out for the return of Monday Night Football when Sydney City meet Brisbane. Roosters fullback Ivan Cleary lands a last-minute penalty goal to give Sydney City a 12–10 victory, after a tap restart gaffe by Broncos prop Andrew Gee.
SEPTEMBER 6, 1997: Club officials give great credit to coach Phil Gould after the Roosters’ first victory in a finals match in a decade. Down 13–0 to Norths after 40 minutes, Gould’s positive halftime words help inspire a stirring fightback that culminates in a 33–21 win after extra time in a minor qualifying semi-final.
JULY 19, 1998: Halfback Adrian Lam crosses for three tries as Sydney City score their biggest ever win over Wests: a 62–4 trouncing.
AUGUST 13, 2000: The Roosters 38–10 semi-final victory over Canberra is the club’s biggest win in a finals match since a 41–5 preliminary final defeat of Wests in 1980. Ryan Cross and Anthony Minichiello each score two tries for the victors, who form a guard of honour at full time for retiring Raiders legend Laurie Daley.
AUGUST 19, 2000: The Roosters come back from 16–2 down at halftime to beat Newcastle 26–20 and reach their first grand final since 1980. Three tries in five stunning minutes — to Luke Phillips, Brad Fittler and Ryan Cross — give the Tricolours a lead they won’t relinquish, despite the best efforts of the Knights’ Andrew Johns.
APRIL 13, 2001: Bryan Fletcher and Brad Fittler are the stars and second-rower Craig Fitzgibbon kicks a crucial late penalty goal as the Sydney Roosters edge out Brisbane 20–18 in a re-match of the 2000 grand final.
APRIL 25, 2002: St George Illawarra and the Sydney Roosters meet on Anzac Day for the first time, and fight out a controversial clash before 20,588 fans. The Dragons dispute two late calls by referee Tony Archer after they are beaten 24–20.
SEPTEMBER 22, 2002: With the score 6–all on the hour mark, Anthony Minichiello pulls off one of the great tackles in finals history to prevent a Newcastle try to Sean Rudder. Two plays later, Craig Fitzgibbon intercepts a Danny Buderus pass and runs 95 metres to score a try that changes the game. The Roosters win 38–12, and then defeat Brisbane six days later to reach the grand final.
APRIL 18, 2003: Sydney Roosters coach Ricky Stuart rates Brad Fittler the best captain he has been involved with after the 31-year-old inspires a 27–20 win over Brisbane in his 100th win as Roosters’ leader. ‘When the game’s there to be won he leads by example. At training he’s like another coach,’ Stuart said.
SEPTEMBER 27, 2003: In front of a crowd of 41,123, the Roosters beat the Bulldogs 28–18 in a preliminary final to reach their third grand final in four years. The mood is set from the opening tackle, when the Roosters forwards, led by prized English import Adrian Morley, crash into the Bulldogs’ Mark O’Meley.
MARCH 26, 2004: The Roosters produce one of their finest efforts to crush the Bulldogs 35–0, but the performance is overshadowed by a series of crowd disturbances during and after the game. Referee Tim Mander is forced to call a halt to play during the second half after spectators hurls plastic bottles onto the field.
SEPTEMBER 5, 2004: The Roosters claim their first minor premiership title since 1981 after thumping Parramatta 48–10. Thousands of fans brave a hailstorm to celebrate the win and acclaim captain Brad Fittler in his final regular season game on home soil.
SEPTEMBER 4, 2005: A week after he became the first man to play 300 first-grade games for the Roosters, Luke Ricketson plays his 301st and final game for the club: a 32–12 victory over the Bulldogs.
APRIL 25, 2007: Five-eighth Braith Anasta is named man of the match as the Sydney Roosters record their 1000th premiership victory: a comprehensive 18–4 defeat of St George Illawarra in the annual Anzac Day clash.
AUGUST 5, 2007: The Sydney Roosters and the Warriors battle out a 31–all draw in a match described by Immortal Bob Fulton and Roosters boss Nick Politis as one of the greatest games of the modern era.
MAY 10, 2008: Twenty-four hours after the death of Jack Gibson, the Roosters respond to a passionate pre-game address by chairman Nick Politis to thrash Canberra 30–4. Before the game, the team’s dressing-room walls were plastered with eulogies for the coach of the century. ‘He [Politis] just asked if there was something the boys could give today, it would be an appropriate time to do it,’ coach Brad Fittler explains.
SEPTEMBER 11, 2010: The Roosters come from 15–2 down to level the qualifying final against Wests Tigers through a last-second field goal by captain Braith Anasta and then win the match with try to centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall in the last minute of extra time.
SEPTEMBER 18, 2010: The combination between five-eighth Todd Carney and halfback Mitchell Pearce is a key factor in an emphatic 34–12 semi-final win over Penrith that moves the Roosters within one game of the grand final. Pearce is named man of the match after scoring the game’s first try and playing a leading role in three others.
APRIL 12, 2013: In his first encounter with Canterbury since he walked out on the club in 2008, Sonny Bill Williams helps guide the Sydney Roosters to a commanding 38–0 victory. Williams throws a sublime pass for the first try and scores two himself as the Roosters consign the 2012 grand finalists to a 1-5 start to the season.
APRIL 25, 2013: An Anzac Day crowd of 40,752 sees the Sydney Roosters surge to a 34–10 win over St George Illawarra. Roosters lock Boyd Cordner is awarded the Ashton Collier Spirit of Anzac Medal as man of the match.
AUGUST 19, 2013: James Maloney kicks 10 goals from 10 attempts in a 56–14 defeat of Wests Tigers, the first time a Roosters player has kicked 10 or more goals in a premiership match since 1983.
FEBRUARY 22, 2014: The Sydney Roosters add the World Club Challenge trophy to an impressive 2013–14 bounty, following a 36–14 defeat of Wigan. The Roosters already hold the JJ Giltinan Shield as 2013 minor premiers and the Provan-Summons Trophy after taking out the NRL grand final. Roosters hooker Jake Friend is awarded man-of-the-match honours.
SEPTEMBER 11, 2015: Roosters’ winger Shaun Kenny-Dowall scores a try that ranks among the great four-pointers of finals football, but Melbourne bring the Sydney Roosters’ 12-game winning streak to an end with a gritty 20–18 victory in the opening match of the finals series.
APRIL 25, 2017: Halfback Mitchell Pearce ends a horror run of 18 successive missed field goal attempts to sink St George Illawarra in a golden point Anzac Day thriller. The Roosters’ win 13–12 in front of 40,864 spectators.
SEPTEMBER 8, 2017: A match-winning try to rising star Latrell Mitchell hands the Sydney Roosters a 24–22 victory over the Broncos in the opening match of the finals series.