Tupou-led Roosters hold off Bulldogs
DANIEL Tupou has played a starring role in the Sydney Roosters' 24-18 win over Canterbury at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.
The Tricolours led 20-6 at the break courtesy of some outstanding play from Tupou and left edge partner Latrell Mitchell, but the Bulldogs mounted a second-half comeback to set up a thriller.
It was the Tupou and Mitchell Show early on as they carved up the Bulldogs' right edge with both bagging a try and two linebreaks each.
With the NSW Origin side named on Monday, Tupou's performance couldn't have come at a better time - especially against Bulldogs opponent Brett Morris who has been tipped to earn representative recall.
Tupou hasn't played for the Blues since 2015 after a poor season last year, but his current form is sure to make Laurie Daley and his selectors take notice.
Morris had a relatively quiet game making 88 metres, compared to Tupou's 164.
The Roosters flyer also racked up five tackle busts compared to Morris' two.
The blue and whites were the ones who started with the most energy and they bagged the first four-pointer of the day after Josh Morris sliced through the defence.
But for the remainder of the half, it was all the Roosters.
In the 13th minute, a lovely wrapround play saw Michael Gordon set up Tupou in the corner.
Moments later, Mitchell cut open the defence which resulted in a Jake Friend try.
The left edge wasn't done yet, however.
The Roosters were celebrating a try just two minutes later when Luke Keary pounced on a Tupou grubber but the winger was ruled to have stepped on the sideline in the lead-up.
The lanky flyer was in the action again when he put Mitchell in space with a cheeky offload, but they couldn't turn the break into points. Gordon did slot a penalty goal while they were up that end of the field.
In the 30th minute Mitchell had his own try after Mitchell Pearce put in a deft grubber.
The Bulldogs started the second half much like the first, and they went on to score two tries in six minutes through Holland and Matt Frawley to suddenly make it a two-point ball game with 20 minutes remaining.
Unfortunately for Mitchell and the Tricolours, the young centre was forced from the field midway through the second half with a sternum injury.
It was a frantic final 10 minutes, and Bulldogs fans were left steaming after Brett Morris put in a grubber with referee Alan Shortall calling six again, but was instead overruled by Gerard Sutton who believed the Roosters hadn't played at the ball.
A couple of sets later, Pearce was able to crash through the blue and white defence in the 76th minute for the matchwinner.