Walker fires Roosters into top four with win over Dogs

Sydney Roosters halfback Sam Walker has orchestrated a 26-8 defeat of Canterbury that ensures his side will finish the weekend in the top four for the first time since March.

Fetalaiga Pauga was sent off for an ugly high shot on Bulldogs fullback Connor Tracey in the last eight minutes and the Roosters were then reduced to 11 men after Walker pulled a professional foul.

But the Roosters' lead never looked under threat, the side confirming victory at a rainy Central Coast Stadium even without their four State of Origin representatives.

Despite a breakout game from ex-rugby sevens star Jeral Skelton, the Bulldogs struggled for consistent opportunities, in no small part due to their poor ball-handling in the wet.

Across the first 75 minutes of Saturday night's game, Canterbury enjoyed only two tackles in the Roosters' 20.

But the Tricolours had no shortage of opportunities, Walker setting up all four tries.

In the first half, he threw the last pass to Dom Young that helped Easts to their first try from a scrum play, then threaded a kick through the line for Nat Butcher.

walker fires roosters into top four with win over dogs

Nat Butcher was one to profit from Sam Walker's class in the rain. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS)

When Skelton spilt the ball during the first set after halftime, the visitors were in position to extend their lead through when Walker kicked for Terrell May - immense with 213 run metres.

Looking to bounce back from his omission from the NSW side for Origin II, Canterbury's Matt Burton was a bit player after being shifted to centre as Bronson Xerri's injury replacement.

He missed a tackle on Joey Manu that allowed the Roosters to march up-field for their fourth try, scored by Blake Steep after yet another pinpoint pass from Walker in the final 15 minutes.

Axed for last week's game for missing the Roosters' mid-season review, Brandon Smith kicked a crisp 40/20 that put his side in position for its second try and a 14-4 halftime lead.

The hooker was busy out of dummy-half, running for 77 metres in the first half before having his minutes curtailed in the second 40.

In his first NRL game this year, Bulldogs winger Skelton came up with a contender for tackle of the year, jamming in to absolutely flatten a sore and sorry Pauga in the first half.

He had a hand in both the Dogs' tries, first tearing away to put Jaeman Salmon over on the right edge, and then dashing away for a length-of-the-field effort.

Pauga looks certain to spend time suspended for the shot that ended Tracey's night and could be joined on the charge sheet by Walker, who hit Jacob Kiraz with a far milder high shot early on.

In an amusing subplot, referee Grant Atkins needed to stop play in the first half after finding a mobile phone on the turf, presumably left behind by a pitch invader who had rushed the field earlier.

OTHER NEWS

33 minutes ago

UK weather: Huge temperature change of up to -22C as Brits grapple fierce winds today

33 minutes ago

Real Madrid target Alphonso Davies will see out final year of contract, says Bayern Munich chief

33 minutes ago

Maniac accused of killing 4 relatives, including 2 kids, inside NYC home left building with bloody face, claimed he was on ‘shrooms’: DA

33 minutes ago

Prince George's birthday: Fans reminisce over royal's cheeky younger years with adorable photos as the future King turns 11

33 minutes ago

Diego Maradona's iconic match-worn 1986 World Cup semi-final shirt is set to go up for auction - and is being valued at more than £900,000 after the Argentinian's 'Hand of God' jersey sold for £7.2m

33 minutes ago

The surprising time the first Aussies will be in action at the Olympic Games

33 minutes ago

Hundreds of migrants leave southern Mexico on foot in a new caravan headed for the US border

33 minutes ago

Labour told it will need to defeat ‘net-zero nimbys’ to decarbonise Britain

33 minutes ago

Federal Government launching campaign preventing elder abuse

33 minutes ago

'I practiced with Rory McIlroy ahead of The Open and I've never seen anything like it'

33 minutes ago

Phillies Rookie Plays Stopper

33 minutes ago

Business diary: Events coming up

33 minutes ago

Manchester United outline their plans for Fiorentina’s Sofyan Amrabat

33 minutes ago

Amphibious cars take to the Thames for Traditional Boat Festival

33 minutes ago

Bangladesh’s top court scraps job quotas that sparked mass protests with 114 deaths

33 minutes ago

Rangers struck gold with Beale signing who's worth more than Barron

33 minutes ago

Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo throw anniversary party in Mexico

33 minutes ago

Prince George's godmother reveals her birthday tradition with the young royal inspired by Princess Diana - but admits it's hassle for William

33 minutes ago

‘20 Days In Mariupol’ Secures Double Grierson Nomination

33 minutes ago

Ryanair shares tumble 12% as budget airline reports 46% fall in quarterly profit, sees lower fares

33 minutes ago

Civilians in Sudan endure 15 months of 'indiscriminate and widespread' violence: Humanitarian report

33 minutes ago

ITV Sports presenter Laura Woods expecting baby with Love Island star

33 minutes ago

Scott Robertson: All Blacks San Diego Test shows how ‘healthy’ rugby is in the USA

33 minutes ago

Liverpool target Brazilian defender as Van Dijk exit accelerates and Slot pleas fall on deaf ears

33 minutes ago

Actor Rob Delaney says 'there's so much money' in UK as he calls for 'Robin Hood-style' taxes

33 minutes ago

Opening of Parliament | Ramaphosa to respond to debate

33 minutes ago

Melanie Sykes hits out at BBC in sweary rant

33 minutes ago

Bangladesh court scraps most job quotas that sparked deadly protests

33 minutes ago

Video: Aussie men in their 30s reveal exactly how much they have in savings (and it's less than you'd expect)

33 minutes ago

Video: Mum-of-three, 24, accused of running down and killing young mother in her SUV outside a Daisy Hill, Brisbane daycare centre in alleged hit-and-run murder

33 minutes ago

McLaren boss never doubted Norris as a team player

33 minutes ago

Allen’s lollies brings back an Aussie favourite with six new killer flavours

33 minutes ago

How To Replace the Battery Terminals in Your Car

33 minutes ago

Five things from the Dana Open, where Chanettee Wannasaen prevailed and the Sohleim Cup captain was low American

33 minutes ago

Rafael Nadal 'not comfortable' but glad to avoid injury ahead of Paris Olympics

33 minutes ago

NASCAR Cup Indianapolis: Kyle Larson wins drama-filled Brickyard 400

33 minutes ago

Struggling Australians turn to Buy Now Pay Later services to pay for essentials

33 minutes ago

Thousands protest against mass tourism in Mallorca

33 minutes ago

Jack Grealish is 'STILL on edge after £1m raid on his £5.6m home eight months ago' - as Man City star 'worries thieves will never be caught' with Police still yet to make an arrest

33 minutes ago

How Aussie cricket star who hasn't played footy for SIX YEARS won an AFL contract