Is this it for Warriors 2014 season?
Sam Tomkins of the Warriors is tackled by Sonny Bill Williams and Shaun Kenny-Dowall of the Roosters.
The Warriors completely unravelled in an energy-less display losing to the Roosters 46-12 at Mt Smart Stadium, in Auckland today. The side will now have to win their final two games of the season, and have other results go their way, to make the top eight.
It was the biggest crowd of the season (19,676) and probably the best conditions at Mt Smart but one of the Warriors' worst performances with the Roosters running in eight tries to the Warriors two.
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The Auckland-based side had more than 60 per cent of the possession early on and scored a try after 11 minutes but it was all downhill from there.
The Warriors were a depleted outfit, losing winger David Fusitu'a with a dislocated shoulder within five minutes, and then Sebastine Ikahihfo for 10 minutes to the sin bin just after the half after a cynical play which stopped an almost certain Roosters try.
Roosters players James Maloney, Boyd Cordner, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Daniel Tupou and captain Anthony Minichiello ran rings around the Warriors running off the back of a massive, and explosive forward pack and with a trough full of ideas. The Roosters goal line defence was also outstanding.
Warriors coach Andrew McFadden looked shell shocked after the game and said the performance was probably the most disappointing of the season.
"We had everything to play for but we certainly didn't come up with much today, it was well below our best. We are a much better football team than that.
"I'll admit, I didn't see it coming. I thought our preparation was really good. We will look at our programme to see if we over cooked things or anything like that. There's no excuses for that lacklustre performance."
McFadden said his side would have to quickly re-find form in order to have any chance of making it past the regular season.
"We are going to have to win both games and maybe even require some other results to go our way. Certainly we have still got an opportunity . . . we are going to have to find it this week."
On the other hand it was the performance Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson had been wanting all season. His best 17 players on the park and a clinical display sets the Sydney side up well for finals footy.
"I have had a question every week for 23 weeks about why aren't we playing good footy," Robinson said in reaction to questions about his sides overwhelming display.
"We need to play these games and we need to prove ourselves both away from home on tough road trips like this and at home against teams like Melbourne and Souths."
The Roosters have won four games on the trot now and go into the final two games, against the Storm and Rabbitohs, sitting pretty.
Robinson said his side was boosted by the return of Sonny Bill Williams and Jake Friend. Williams had, perhaps poignantly, chosen to return to the side from injury while at home in New Zealand.
"Sonny was pushing hard for last week but when he went to the specialist it was a no go.It was up to him whether he played, he could have even had the next two weeks off but he made a call that he wanted to come back this week, for him it's pretty important."
The Warriors started with Thomas Leuluai and Shaun Johnson in the halves - Chad Townsend having been left out of the team altogether.
Johnson pulled off a spectacular try saving tackle chasing down Roosters winger Daniel Tupou in the early minutes of the game. It was to be ruined just moments later though when a penalty try was awarded after Leuluai went to kick the ball away in the tackle.
The Warriors had the majority of the possession in the first 10 minutes but could not convert until a master stoke from Ngani Laumape in the 11th minute when he batted back a kick from Johnson straight into the hands of Tomkins who jinked and dived over. It tied the scores up at 6-6.
The penalty count was heavily in the Warriors favour in the first quarter but despite spending long periods of time in the Roosters half they didn't look like threatening, the Roosters on the other hand scored immediately they were in the Warriors half. The nimble feet of Roosters centre Michael Jennings after a very quick play of the ball saw him dive over for his 10th try of the season.
After that the pendulum swung and it was all the Roosters way with the penalties going against the Warriors, it didn't help that the Warriors were missing tackles left, right and centre. They had missed 16 by the half time break. They also appeared to be struggling with the pace of the game.
That showed with six minutes to go until the half with Kiwi Shaun Kenny-Dowall beating Leuluai to score in the right corner. By that stage, the bumper crowd had gone very quiet and the Roosters were leading by 10.
The half time oranges can't have helped the Warriors - inside 60 seconds of the second half Roosters captain Minichiello had bolted away after a brilliant set and dotted down under the posts for his 14th try of the season. It was the nail in the Warriors' coffin and then it started raining tries, Ikahihifo was sin binned and the Warriors fans started leaving.
Sam Moa scored after seven minutes of the second half , and when just minutes later, Isaac Liu scored a sensational solo try the Warriors were behind by 28 points. The Roosters were making metres so easily they looked like scoring every time they had a ball.
Jake Friend set up a very easy try for Boyd Cordner with 16 minutes to go and by that stage the stands were starting to look half empty.
Laumape scored a consolation try for the Warriors with four minutes to go but the side then let in another Roosters try, Jennings grabbing his second, just to let the Sydney side finish their party in style.
The Warriors play the Titans at Mt Smart Stadium next weekend.
Roosters 46 (A. Guerra (penalty try), M.Jennings 2, S. Kenny-Dowall, A.Minichello, S. Moa, I.Liu, B. Cordner tries J.Maloney 7 conversions) Warriors 12 (S.Tomkins, N. Laumape tries S.Johnson 1 conversion)HT: Roosters 16-6