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Pearce stars as Roosters flog Tigers

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/06/2017 Scott Bailey

Mitchell Pearce set up a try and scored a double of his own in the Sydney Roosters' 40-18 flogging of the Wests Tigers on Sunday.

Pearce was one of three players to bag a double in the win, as the Roosters provisionally bumped themselves up to second on the NRL ladder, above Cronulla on for-and-against.

A day after chief Queensland playmaker Johnathan Thurston starred in his return from a shoulder injury for the Cowboys, NSW halfback Pearce responded in kind at Campbelltown.

Criticised for his short kicking game in the Blues' 28-4 Origin I win over Queensland, Pearce forced two line dropouts in the first 20 minutes and set up the Roosters' opening try for Blake Ferguson when he booted across field in his first game back from concussion.

The Roosters rested NSW skipper Boyd Corner and lost Jake Friend to a concussion early, but still put on a late show after a sluggish first half.

After they went to the break up just 16-12, Pearce showed up in support twice to extend their lead in the second half.

He completed a Luke Keary break just five minutes after halftime and then had his second 12 minutes later when he chased down a Latrell Mitchell kick within inches of the dead-ball line.

It was Mitchell's second try assist of the match to go with his 162 metres and seven tackle busts, while Aidan Guerra and Connor Watson each scored twice.

Meanwhile the Tigers showed signs of improvement in the first half before falling to their fifth straight loss.

Mid-season recruit Tuimoala Lolohea looked dangerous at times, and crossed for his first try in Tigers' colours with the game's opening points.

James Tedesco also scored once against his future club, but it mattered little as an 87 per cent completion rate in the first half fell away drastically in the second.

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