Cooper Cronk scored his first try in Sydney Roosters colours as the Bondi Boys marched past Canterbury Bulldogs 30-12.
Sydney almost had the perfect start when Latrell Mitchell streaked away after a Kieran Foran pass went to ground. The big centre linked up with Daniel Tupou but Tupou’s return pass to Mitchell was forward.
Instead it was Luke Keary, on his return from a broken jaw, that ran the length after a Bulldogs kick was cleaned up by James Tedesco.
The Roosters extended their lead out to ten when Joseph Manu offloaded to Jake Friend who stepped to the short side and found Blake Ferguson
With Isaac Liu in the bin for a professional foul, Canterbury finally broke through when Will Hopoate’s flick pass found Marcelo Montoya but the play was brought back for an obstruction call.
After Sydney took two points through Mitchell’s boot, Dylan Napa steamed up field and off the next play, Keary found Tedesco on his inside and the Bulldogs couldn’t stop the former Tiger giving the Roosters an 18-point lead at the break.
Canterbury started the second half well when Matt Frawley broke through the middle and found Josh Morris on his outside but then Tedesco broke through the forwards to find Cronk for a try that all Roosters fans will have been looking forward to.
Josh Jackson slid over to give the Bulldogs renewed hope but Mitchell’s penalty with seven minutes to go, to give Sydney a 14-point lead, ended their comeback.
Keary then found Ryan Matterson to seal the Roosters’ victory
Roosters: Tedesco, Tupou, Mitchell, Manu, Ferguson, Keary, Cronk, Waerea-Hargreaves, Friend, Taukeiaho, Cordner, Matterson, Liu; Interchanges: Napa, Tetevano, Radley, Aubusson
Tries: Keary, Ferguson, Tedesco, Cronk, Matterson; Goals: Mitchell 5
Sin-bin: Liu – professional foul
Bulldogs: Mbye, Brett Morris, Josh Morris, Hopoate, Montoya, Frawley, Foran, Woods, Lichaa, Klemmer, Jackson, Faitala-Mariner, Elliott; Interchanges: Fualalo, Tolman, Marshall-King, Fine
Tries: Josh Morris, Jackson; Goals: Mbye 2