Butcher cut down as Roosters carve up Dragons with late flurry

An injury-ravaged Roosters side survived an almighty scare from the Dragons to score a 40-22 win on Sunday.

After three tries within 15 minutes, either side of half-time, gave the Dragons the ascendancy as they turned a 14-0 deficit into a 16-14 lead, the Roosters responded strongly to remain in fourth spot on the ladder. 

The win was soured by the loss of Adam Keighran (failed HIA) and Nat Butcher to a suspected serious knee injury. Dale Copley, Sam Verills, Siosiua Taukeiaho and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves were also struggling at different stages of the match.  

Another starring display from James Tedesco got the Roosters rolling in the first half.

The NSW and Test fullback supplied the final pass in first-half tries scored by Egan Butcher, Sitili Tupouniua and Copley. 

The Dragons got themselves back into the match in the final minute of the opening term when Josh McGuire scooped up a loose ball to reduce the margin to eight points. 

The gap was back to four points with 32 minutes remaining when Mikaele Ravalawa scored on the right wing before Mathew Feagai’s 51st-minute try gave St George Illawarra the lead.

The Roosters responded to going behind spectacularly. Daniel Tupou scored twice and Sam Walker and Drew Hutchison also crossed as a two-point deficit became a 20-point lead with the space of 15 minutes. 

Jayden Sullivan notched a consolation try in the closing stages as the Dragons left Clive Berghofer Stadium at Toowoomba still sitting two points outside the top eight heading into the final two rounds.

Tupou completed his hat-trick just before the final siren sounded as the Roosters kept their beaks in front of the Sea Eagles and the Eels in the race for fourth spot.


Story first published on NRL.com

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Chris Kennedy, NRL.com Reporter