‘The kid is a freak’: Joseph Suaalii steals the show with double in Roosters’ thrashing of Knights

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Joseph Suaalii stole the show as the Sydney Roosters thrashed the Knights 42-12 in Newcastle to keep their finals hopes alive.

The teenage star showed off his incredible skillset and was at the centre everything the Tricolours did in the first half. 

Six minutes into the game, Suallii tore down the field at speed after pouncing on a loose ball, before linking up with James Tedesco on the halfway mark. His pass freed Tedesco in space and only a last-ditch tackle from Tyson Frizell denied what looked to be a certain try for the Roosters captain.

Joseph Suaalii (right) leapt over Knights winger Edrick Lee to collect a Sam Walker bomb 

The Roosters winger landed with the ball, before offloading to James Tedesco (out of shot)

The Roosters winger landed with the ball, before offloading to James Tedesco (out of shot)

Tedesco and Sualii combined again for the Chooks’ second try halfway through the first half, with the former spreading the ball from left to right to set up the young gun to score.

The best, however, was yet to come as Sualii returned the favour five minutes later, leaping over Edrick Lee to collect a Sam Walker bomb, before offloading to Tedesco as the Roosters skipper crashed over.  

‘The kid is a freak,’ Fox League analyst Michael Ennis said.

‘He is an absolute superstar.’

The Roosters skipper then dived over to score the Chooks' third try of the night in Newcastle

The Roosters skipper then dived over to score the Chooks’ third try of the night in Newcastle

Suaalii grabbed a double as the Tricolours thrashed the Knights 42-12 on Friday night

Suaalii grabbed a double as the Tricolours thrashed the Knights 42-12 on Friday night

The Roosters young gun was absolutely unplayable in the first half on Friday night

The Roosters young gun was absolutely unplayable in the first half on Friday night 

The Roosters didn’t let up in the second half. It was only seven minutes old when a Keary corner kick found Daniel Tupou to score. Then Suaalii scored his second off quick hands from Tedesco and Paul Momirovski on his inside.

Not to be outdone, Tupou scored his second from a sublime around-the-corner Tedesco.

Angus Crichton and Egan Butcher added to the rout, maintaining a winning Roosters streak over the Knights that now stretches back to 2012.

The win lifted the Roosters back into the top eight one place ahead of Manly, who lost 20-6 to St George earlier on Friday.

Tedesco was superb for the Roosters, running for 304 metres off 21 runs with two try assists

Tedesco was superb for the Roosters, running for 304 metres off 21 runs with two try assists 

While his counterpart Kalyn Ponga was withdrawn in the first half after failing an HIA

While his counterpart Kalyn Ponga was withdrawn in the first half after failing an HIA

After suffering four straight losses, the Roosters have now piled on 96 points in two games after their 54-26 humiliation of St George Illawarra a week ago.

And Trent Robinson’s men did it against the Knights down three key players in Joey Manu and forwards Sio Taukeiaho and Sitili Tupouniua, who were all injured in the last round.

For Adam O’Brien’s men it wasn’t a happy night on any front.

It was Newcastle’s third loss in a row, conceding 40 points or more each time. They also took 73 minutes to cross the Roosters line.

The Roosters have piled on 96 points in their last two games against St George and Newcastle

The Roosters have piled on 96 points in their last two games against St George and Newcastle

While the Knights have lost the last three games in a row, conceding at least 40 points in each of those occasion and sliding down to 13th on the NRL ladder

While the Knights have lost the last three games in a row, conceding at least 40 points in each of those occasion and sliding down to 13th on the NRL ladder 

Like Suaalii, Tedesco shone for the Tricolours. The New South Wales State of Origin captain ran for 304 metres off 21 runs, had three line-breaks, two try assists, 10 tackle-busts and scored himself as the Roosters slipped back into the top eight.

The battle between Tedesco and his opposing Origin fullback Kalyn Ponga was supposed to be one of the highlights of the game – but it lasted just seven minutes. An outstretched left arm by Matt Lodge sent the Newcastle No.1 to the turf and then off for a head assessment.

It was Ponga’s second game back for his club after missing two weeks with concussion. Anthony Milford moved from five-eighth to fullback and Crossland came off the bench into the halves.

In the second half Knights centre Dane Gagai was marched for back-chatting referee Peter Gough with the Roosters scoring three tries to snuff out any chance of a Knights comeback.

Blues Origin star Daniel Tupou grabbed a second half with two well taken tries

Blues Origin star Daniel Tupou grabbed a second half with two well taken tries 

Angus Crichton also got on the scoresheet, scoring the Roosters' seventh try of the game

Angus Crichton also got on the scoresheet, scoring the Roosters’ seventh try of the game 

A Ponga penalty gave the Knights the first points of the game, but then a try-scoring spree by the Roosters spearheaded by Joseph Suaalii and Tedesco swung the game firmly in the visitors’ favour.

They led 16-2 at halftime after scoring three tries within 15 minutes.

First-up Luke Keary, returning after a month out with concussion, finished off a 60-metre move started by former Knight Connor Watson in the 16th minute.

Nine minutes later Tedesco put Suaalii away for his 11th try in 13 games, before the 18-year-old returned the favour.

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