NRL Premiership
Rampant Roosters ease past sorry Saints

Rampant Roosters ease past sorry Saints

Sydney Roosters continued preparations for the new NRL season with a 38-12 battering of St Helens in the World Club Series.

Sydney Roosters exploited St Helens' defensive weakness as the NRL side ran in seven tries during a 38-12 rout in the opening match of the World Club Series at Langtree Park.

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Australian teams secured a clean sweep against Super League's best in the inaugural staging of this three-match series 12 months ago and there was an evident gulf in class on Friday as Saints - battered 39-0 by South Sydney Rabbitohs in the World Club Challenge last year – had no answer to the Roosters' attacking prowess.

Kane Evans, Aidan Guerra, Blake Ferguson and Dale Copley all crossed in the first half, with teenage debutant Jayden Nikorima enjoying a brilliant bow.

Saints, who were heavily beaten 44-10 by Salford Red Devils last Thursday, made a better fist of it after the interval with Dominique Peyroux touching down twice, but the Roosters added further scores from Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Guerra and Daniel Tupou.

The hosts made an encouraging start, but fell behind after 12 minutes.

Saints believed they had a free play in Roosters territory - seemingly not realising that international rules were in force - and, after a powerful drive from Latrell Mitchell, the ball was worked to Evans who powered his way over the line.

Things got worse for Saints when Jake Friend's kick deflected kindly for Guerra to touch down, and it was soon 16-0 when Ferguson went over amid suspicions of a forward pass from Jackson Hastings.

There was no respite for Saints and a dropped high ball from Jack Owens led to a swift Roosters break that culminated in the influential Nikorima passing inside for Copley to score.

Saints had a rare moment of cheer when Ferguson dropped a high ball under the posts early in the second half, allowing Peyroux the simplest of scores.

Yet the Roosters soon reasserted their control, half back Nikorima making a delightful break to send Kenny-Dowall over on the right, before more slick attacking led to Guerra riding a couple of tackles for his second try.

Dylan Napa was sent to the sin bin for a high challenge on Adam Swift and, with the extra numbers, Peyroux crossed again, but Tupou ran in a 90-metre interception with 12 minutes remaining to quell any hopes of a late revival.

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