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Roosters Tigers to meet in Andrew Johns Cup final

Roosters and Tigers to meet in Andrew Johns Cup final (Photo : NSWRL)
Roosters and Tigers to meet in Andrew Johns Cup final (Photo : NSWRL)

Roosters Tigers to meet in Andrew Johns Cup final

Author : Tayla Micallef

Roosters Tigers to meet in Andrew Johns Cup final

The Central Coast Roosters are one step closer to winning back-to-back SLE Andrew Johns Cup titles after securing their spot in next Sunday’s (24 March) Grand Final.

The Roosters will face the Macarthur Wests Tigers at Cessnock Sporting Complex next week as they look to secure their second trophy in two years.

Central Coast Roosters 18 def Western Rams 10

In the first semi-final of the weekend pkayed at Woy Woy Oval, both teams came out of the gates strongly testing each other with and without the ball in the hand.

The Western Rams gained momentum through the opening 15 minutes but errors started to trickle through proving costly close to the line.

The Central Coast Roosters were also finding their feet and showing potential in attack with centre Chase Kapua pushing past several defenders to race down the left edge before being brought down short of the line.

It took 23 minutes before any points were posted. That finally came through lock Alexander Stephenson, who caught a late offload to score next to the posts – halfback Owen Knowles converting (6-0).

The Tricolours went back-to-back with second rower Tulsyn McCulloch finding space in the defensive line to score (12-0).

The Rams came out the blocks firing in the second half with fullback Taj Jordan scoring a double in the first six minutes bringing his team to within two points with 24 minutes remaining (12-10).

Roosters fullback Zaylen Ekepati was sent to the bin for 10 minutes in the 36thminute for a professional foul.

But Central Coast extended their lead in the 47th minute when winger Semi Leweniqila scored in the corner after regathering the ball of a fifth-play kick – his ninth try of the season.

Knowles remained perfect off the tee successfully converting his third of the day (18-10).

While the Rams fought hard in the last 10 minutes of the game, the Roosters defence proved to be too good – one of the foundations of the win.

Macarthur Wests Tigers 14 def Newcastle Maitland Region Knights 6

The second semi-final played out in a similar fashion to the first with both teams trying wrestle the momentum from each other.

A handful of errors by the Knights, handed that step-up for Macarthur resulting in the Tigers parking themselves in Knights territory.

Macarthur were the first to open the scoring in the 18th minute through centre Elijah Sefo who stepped past defenders to find the line (4-0).

The Tigers extended their lead right on half time through back rower Andrew Sio who found space in the defensive line to add another four points (8-0).

The second half started with both teams making a handful of errors, or giving away penalties.

Finding themselves in Knights territory, Tigers back rower Andrew Sio made a linebreak to get his team within centimetres of the line.

Macarthur’s third try came on the next play when Sio’s second row partner Jermayne Faafiu broke through (14-0).

The Knights didn’t score their first try of the game until the 57th minute, with back rower Lewis Jones finding an overlap out on the left edge to score (14-6).

Despite the Knights best efforts to close the gap in the scoreboard, the Tigers held onto their lead to progress to the 2024 Grand Final.

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