Posted: 2 October, 2016
Roosters Monumental Comeback Snares 20s Title
A late breakaway try to Johnny Tuivasa-Sheck has completed an extraordinary 30-28 comeback by the Sydney Roosters to claim the club's first under-20s title.
Down 28-6 at the break against Penrith and with key man Grant Garvey nursing a shoulder injury, the Roosters got the crucial first try of the second half through captain Nat Butcher.
And it was all the Tricolours from there, Thomson Tuigamala and Joseph Manu crossing before Tuivasa-Sheck raced 50 metres to give his team a two-points lead.
Penrith star Dylan Edwards had an opportunity to send the game to extra time but didn't have the legs to nail a 25-metre penalty shot.
The Roosters, who finished seventh at the end of the regular season, then closed out a second half they dominated from start to finish.
They literally got the early jump on the heavily favoured rivals, pulling off a short kickoff and then scoring first through Manu.
But the minor premiers claimed the ascendancy with the next five tries of the half.
Second-rower Corey Waddell set up his team's first with a 15th-minute offload, and then raced away himself after forcing a turnover.
Two turning points in the first half came when Penrith successfully used a captain's challenge to deny Roosters' centre Jarren Anderson a crucial try in the 28th minute.
Leading by 10 points, Penrith winger Daniel Brown was ruled to have been taken out illegally when contesting a towering Paul Momirovski bomb.
Then when key player Garvey hurt his shoulder, the Panthers kicked out to a 22-point halftime lead through tries to Kaide Ellis and Wayde Egan.