Controversial try mars Roosters barnstorming win
THE Sydney Roosters have advanced to face the Broncos in a dream interstate preliminary final after accounting for the Bulldogs 38-12 at Allianz Stadium.
But the match was not short of controversy.
The Bondi club shot out to a crucial 14-4 lead courtesy of a Kane Evans try in the 51st minute.
The prop forward looked to be all of three things - held, short of the line and guilty of a double movement.
But referee Matt Ceccin was right on the spot and ruled it a try, with the video officials somehow not finding sufficient evidence to overturn the call.
Roosters fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck then scored an electric try off a beautiful late Evans offload, before leaving Bulldogs fullback Josh Morris behind with his blinding pace.
That gave the tricolours a 20-4 lead, but the Bulldogs were not done with yet.
Hooker Damien Cook scored after some slick hands from second-rower Frank Pritchard, before his clever offload to Morris, with Morris finding Cook for the try.
The Roosters put the game to bed though when Shaun Kenny-Dowall - who was highly impressive - planted the ball down in the right-hand corner, showing great strength to stay in the field of play.
Boyd Cordner shot over from close range to blow the score after 73 minutes.
Kenny-Dowall then notched up a well-deserved hat-trick, leaping spectacularly for a cross-field kick to touch down out wide.
Bulldogs winger Curtis Rona - who had a rough night with a few errors - achieved some minor consolation right on the full-time siren.
When he finished nicely just inside the left-hard corner post, it was his 23rd try of the season, equalling the joint-club record held by Ben Barba and Nigel Vagana.
ROOSTERS 38 (S Kenny-Dowall 3, K Evans, R Tuivasa-Sheck, B Cordner tries; J Maloney 7 goals) BULLDOGS 12 (T Lafai, D Cook, C Rona tries). At Allianz Stadium last night.