Roger Tuivasa-Sheck sent his former side Sydney Roosters tumbling to their fifth successive loss to start the NRL season in a sensational 32-28 golden-point Warriors win. The star fullback finished off a 70-metre movement to race away for the match-winning try in extra-time at Central Coast Stadium on Sunday in front of 10,113 fans.
After Tuimoala Lolohea fielded a lacklustre Jackson Hastings kick and found some space, he dished off to Tuivasa-Sheck who charged to the try line and produced a powerful fend on Shaun Kenny-Dowall to cross. The scores were locked at 28-all after 80 minutes.
Tuivasa-Sheck’s try was his first for the Warriors since leaving the Roosters at the end of last season in his first match against his old side.
Kenny-Dowall scored the first of his two tries in the fourth minute chasing down a Blake Ferguson kick, and a Hastings conversion and a penalty goal minutes later took the home side out to 8-0.
The Warriors then struck back in fine style, scoring four tries in 20 minutes. Manu Vatuvei crashed over to open the visitors’ account in the 15th minute before Solomone Kata scored his first try 13 minutes later.
Shaun Johnson then crossed for two tries, the second a scintillating 55m effort in which Lolohea broke the line and kicked inside for a flying Johnson to touch down under the posts. Johnson’s conversion put the Warriors out to 20-8.
Kenny-Dowall grabbed his second, from a Jake Friend kick, just before half-time for a scoreline of 20-14 at the break. Sio Siua Taukeiaho forced his way over for the Roosters to bring the score to 20-all in the 52nd minute.
Mitchell Aubusson then broke the Warriors’ line and raced 50m to put the home side ahead 26-20 three minutes later before Kata crossed out wide soon after on the back of a Roosters dropped ball from the re-start.
A Hastings penalty goal inched the Roosters ahead in the 64th minute before Johnson replied with another penalty with six minutes remaining. Both sides missed shots at field goal in the final five minutes before the game moved into extra-time.
Bryce Cartwright scored a late, winning try to give the Panthers victory over the Eels at Pirtek Stadium.
In the later kick-off, a Bryce Cartwright try after the siren gave Penrith a dramatic 20-18 win over neighbouring rivals Parramatta. Cartwright dummied his way over for his second try after receiving a ball from Waqa Blake, who soared to take a wobbly crossfield kick from Jamie Soward in the 80th minute.
Aided by a crucial bunker overturn at a scrum late in the game, Josh Mansour had crossed to score a try in the 76th minute, bringing the Panthers within two points, however Soward’s conversion sailed wide.
At that point the Panthers appeared headed for their fourth defeat by eight points or less. However the visitors surged upfield at Pirtek Stadium, Cartwright finishing off Soward’ hail Mary kick at the death to stun the 15,600 crowd and celebrate captain Matt Moylan’s return after a year out with injury.
Earlier, both sides were denied tries in a close first half. It was Eels prop Junior Paulo who was the unlikely source of first points, crashing over from close range in the 23rd minute.
The Eels then appeared headed for another first half shutout of their opposition until Cartwright wrestled his way over to level the scores at six-all at the break. His try ended a 197-minute defensive stand where the Eels conceded just one try.
Penrith hooker Peter Wallace gave his team the lead with a sneaky try from close range in the 43rd minute, only for former Panther Michael Gordon to level the scores in the 64th.
Hosts Parramatta then surged to the lead in the next set when Isaac De Gois finished off a 50-metre movement that included a chip from Clinton Gutherson.