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Hero to zero for Pearce as Roosters sunk

NZN 30/04/2017 Angelo Risso

Mitchell Pearce went from hero to villain as the Sydney Roosters succumbed to a last minute penalty goal in a 14-13 NRL loss to the Warriors in Auckland.

Having gone six seasons and 18 misses without landing a field goal, Pearce seemed set to secure a second victory by field goal in the space of five days when he put the Roosters ahead 13-12 with five minutes remaining.

But he was then caught offside, handing his rival halfback Shaun Johnson the chance to notch the match-winning penalty goal from 20 metres in the dying seconds.

It was a tough break for Pearce - the field goal hero of the Anzac Day win over St George Illawarra - who had again played strongly and must be a good chance to secure a NSW State of Origin recall.

Warriors coach Steve Kearney welcomed his team's grit in digging out the win after two straight losses as they climbed to 11th on the ladder with a 4-5 record, thanks to some scrambling defence.

"They certainly turned the screws and put some real pressure on us, and we just found a way to stay in there," Kearney said.

"I was really pleased with our effort and resilience. It was a gutsy effort."

In a sometimes plodding match, neither side really impressed, barring patches of Roosters' territorial dominance in the second half.

Roosters boss Trent Robinson had no complaints after his fifth-placed side failed to turn that territory advantage into points, thwarted on several occasions by Warriors captain and ex-Roosters fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.

"It's definitely tough to take when you get in front, you want to finish off those five minutes and hold the lead, but we couldn't do that," Robinson said.

"Not good enough in the end."

They then took full advantage of their lucky break at the death.

The Warriors hit the ground running on home turf and took the lead within six minutes.

Capitalising on an earlier Roosters knock-on, Issac Luke laid on a quick play-the-ball for prop James Gavet, who muscled his way over from close range.

The Warriors shot themselves in the foot 20 minutes later, gifting a try to Joseph Manu after a wayward pass, before a wily Johnson one-on-one strip before half-time helped his side score their second try through David Fusitu'a on the right edge.

Down 12-4 at the break, a clever piece of Shaun Kenny-Dowall anticipation nabbed the Roosters an intercept try in the 48th minute.

A penalty goal then tied the scores at 12-12 with 25 minutes remaining, setting the stage for Pearce's two late crucial moments.

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