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Keary magic ends Roosters' two-game slide

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/04/2017 Matt Encarnacion

Sydney Roosters five-eighth Luke Keary has continued his NRL resurrection with the game-breaking try in his team's 24-6 Good Friday win over Newcastle.

The Roosters were holding onto a slender 12-6 lead midway through the second half at McDonald Jones Stadium when Keary seized the initiative with an individual try.

After a stampeding run from Boyd Cordner, the South Sydney reject darted blindside and made Mitchell Barnett grab air to silence the crowd of 24,412 - the Knights' biggest in a year.

The win means the Tricolours avoid a three-game losing streak to sit temporarily alongside ladder leaders Melbourne and St George Illawarra on five wins for the season.

But for the bottom-placed Knights, the brave defeat extends their losing streak to five games.

It was yet another courageous performance from the perennial battlers, who had a handful of chances to level the scores early in the second half.

However Keary, with three tries in the opening seven games of the season, broke the game open with his decisive 63rd-minute effort.

Halves partner Mitchell Pearce sealed the win with a four-pointer of his own 10 minutes later.

The Knights also had opportunities to exert early scoreboard pressure when Barnett found himself over the line in the ninth minute, but he was judged to have knocked on in the lead-up.

The home side enjoyed two more plays inside the opposition 20-metre zone in the first half but didn't have the attacking polish of their opponents.

The Roosters had no such difficulties, striking first through Joseph Manu's wicked right-foot step that sent three defenders the wrong direction in the 18th minute.

They completed a near-flawless first half, completing 18 of 19 sets, on Pearce's cutout for Michael Gordon to take a 12-0 lead into the break.

Newcastle brought the crowd into the contest when Dane Gagai produced a flick pass for Ken Sio soon after the restart, but couldn't find the breakthrough.

In a sour note for the Roosters, back-rower Ryan Matterson failed to finish the match after coming off with a leg injury in the second half.

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