Roosters show their hand in big win against Warriors
A RUTHLESS Roosters outfit has flexed its considerable premiership muscle and pushed the Warriors into the playoff lottery with a 46-12 win built on power and intimidation in Auckland.
With the big two, Manly and South Sydney both slumping to unexpected losses, the pumped-up Roosters moved into third place on 32 points, the same as Souths and Penrith, although Penrith can join Manly on top of the ladder if it beats Melbourne tonight.
Amazingly with just two rounds to play, any one of four teams - Manly, Souths, Penrith and the Roosters - could take out the minor premiership.
Manly plays Penrith and the Cowboys in their last two games, Souths take on the Bulldogs and the Roosters in a massive final round clash, while the Roosters face a showdown with Melbourne next week.
On the form the Roosters displayed in running in eight tries at Mt Smart Stadium yesterday, with a double to centre Michael Jennings and some eye-catching form from Sonny Bill Williams, the premiers are ready to throw the finals switch.
The Warriors, on the other hand, suddenly find themselves caught up in the battle for eighth spot, dropping back to the same points as Brisbane (26), which kept its slim finals hopes alive with a 48-6 thumping of Newcastle.
Warriors captain Simon Mannering said his team's physicality went missing against the Roosters, but a spot in the top eight was still the goal.
"We've still got a lot to play for in our next two games (Gold Coast and Penrith), and it has to be all or nothing for us," he said.