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Cordner bags two in Roosters' NRL thriller

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/06/2017 Matt Encarnacion

Two tries from Boyd Cordner have inspired the Sydney Roosters to a thrilling 18-16 win over Brisbane which moves them into the NRL top four.

Broncos goalkicker Jordan Kahu had a chance to send the game into golden point on Saturday night when Tautau Moga crossed with three minutes remaining.

But his sideline conversion hooked wide, and the Roosters survived a last-ditch scare to leapfrog the Broncos into equal-second spot with St George Illawarra and Cronulla.

Cordner, one of nine players backing up from Wednesday's State of Origin opener, broke a 6-6 deadlock minutes before halftime with a trademark try on the edge of the ruck.

And that appeared to be the final try of the match before the game ignited with three late tries in the last 10 minutes to set up a thrilling finish for the hearty crowd of 12,232.

NSW captain Cordner looked to have sealed the win at Allianz Stadium when he latched onto a Kahu fumble with 10 minutes left to give his team a two-try lead.

But Corey Oates, who also played in Queensland's defeat to the Blues, scored soon after and then Moga reduced the deficit to two, before the Roosters held on to claim a decisive win.

In an evenly contested first half, the Roosters struck first courtesy of a piece of individual brilliance by centre Joseph Manu in the 11th minute.

Collecting the ball on the halfway line, Manu beat three defenders with a combination of fast feet and strength to break into the backfield before finding a supporting Michael Gordon.

The Broncos levelled the scores on a left-side shift for Benji Marshall, although Roosters winger Daniel Tupou should've regained the lead only to fumble a routine long ball with an open tryline.

The contest was destined to enter the halftime break on level pegging, however Jake Friend hit a hard-running Cordner to take a 12-6 lead into the sheds.

Tupou failed to finish the game after picking up a second-half groin injury.

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