The Storm beat Trent Robinson’s Roosters in a close encounter, winning 26-18 at SCG.
Sam Walker and Joey Manu combined for the first try of the night, finding young winger Joseph Suaalii in space.
“The kid is back, 18,” Andrew Voss said.
“Flick pass from Joey Manu to Joseph Suaalii,” said Greg Alexander.
Moments later, debutant Grant Anderson crossed after receiving an impressive pass from Storm rower Felise Kaufusi.
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“It was a pass and a half for Anderson on his first down,” Greg Alexander said.
“Felise Kaufusi picked this up off his shins.”
Roosters star Sam Walker then produced for the Habs again, looking to rally and score.
Robinson’s side were then dealt a brutal blow, with Luke Keary leaving the field after a bad blow to the head and was sent off the game.
Storm winger Marion Seve then netted a brace before Sitili Tupouniua scored from Joey Manu’s grubber to regain the lead.
But, Craig Bellamy’s side kept coming as Grant Anderson and Felise Kaufusi scored to defeat the Roosters on their home turf.
Here are the big takeaways from tonight’s game!!
Sam Walker showed why he is one of the most promising young talents in the competition with a solid performance against the Storm, despite leaving the pitch for an HIA.
Walker has already made more than 30 appearances aged just 19 and showed his attacking prowess against one of the competition’s best defenses, setting up the first try before scoring one of his own.
To kick the score, Walker took the ball down the line, tossing a large dummy to sell the Maroons weapon to Cameron Munster before finding Joey Manu in space.
“Sam Walker did a great job, showed the ball on the outside, took care of Munster and found Joey Manu on the outside,” said Greg Alexander.
At a crucial stage with scores sitting level 20 minutes into the first half, Walker looked up and spotted full-back Nick Meaney away from his post, dribbling the ball behind to pick it up and score.
“It’s great rugby league,” said Andrew Voss.
“Sam Walker, smart kick, too fast…a Roosters try out of nowhere, that’s a brilliant individual play from Sam Walker,” Greg Alexander said.
Seven minutes from time, Walker also chipped on a board for backrower Sitili Tupouniua who unfortunately dropped the ball over the line.
“Can’t he make something, wow,” said Alexander.
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SHOT OF COCK HALVES
Roosters half-bantamweight Luke Keary has suffered another blow to the head and could be set for a long spell on the sidelines.
The star playmaker left the pitch in the 29th minute after taking a blow to the head from Nick Meaney, clutching his head in pain.
Keary has had a long history of concussions and in 2019 spent four weeks on the sidelines after suffering his fourth serious blow in 18 months.
“He came back from the field after receiving a friendly shot, Joey Manu’s knee hit him in the back of the head and he looked very uncomfortable after the hit to the head. He came off the field rubbing the back of his head,” Fox League’s Lara Pitt said.
“This is of course a concern for the Roosters as Luke Keary suffered multiple blows to the head over an 18 month period in 2018 and 2019. Two serious concussions in 2019 which ruled him out for an extended period.”
“At the time, the club took a very cautious approach with him.”
The Roosters have historically taken a cautious approach to concussions and last year veterans Boyd Cordner and Jake Friend retired due to repeated blows to the head.
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ANDERSON’S FIRST DREAM
Grant Anderson was a surprise inclusion in Craig Bellamy’s backline.
The 22-year-old became the Storm’s 222nd player, making his debut in a tough encounter against the Roosters.
But, the young gun delivered, scoring two crucial tries in his side’s 26-18 victory.
Anderson was on the end of an impressive pass from backrower Felise Kaufusi, rolling back inside to beat the Roosters’ cover defense and score.
“What a moment, don’t you like to call stuff like that,” said Fox League’s Andrew Voss.
“He scores in his first game as a freshman, Grant Anderson.”
In the post-game vision, Anderson could be seen waving to family and friends who had come to witness his dazzling debut.
“In his first game in the NRL he scores a brace, what moment does that represent for him?” Cronk asked half-fictional Harry Grant.
“It’s a great moment for him mate, I’m glad we were able to get the win for him, it wasn’t pretty, he really really contributed to that win with his two tries and some of his effort in defense,” Grant said.
“He didn’t just get this shirt, he earned it through hard work.”