NRL: Sam Walker stars in Roosters’ win over Eels

Sam Walker again starred in attack at Suncorp Stadium in the Roosters win over Parramatta.

Sam Walker’s love affair with Suncorp Stadium continues, with the Sydney Roosters five-eighth key to his team’s 31-24 win over Parramatta on Sunday.

After scoring a try and getting a conversion on the sidelines to sink the Brisbane Broncos at the same venue last month, Walker once again rose to the occasion in a Magic Round classic.

The Queenslander teenager’s short kick game was superb in the first half, with his silky boot creating two Roosters tries.

The first came in the 12th minute when a Walker grubber kicked Eels’ full-back Clint Gutherson completely confused and embarrassed.

Roosters No.1 James Tedesco pounced, grounding the ball before Gutherson could recover.

Walker then did it all by himself in the 24th minute.

With the Eels down to 12 men following the sin of center Tom Opacic for a professional foul, Walker noted the space behind the Eels back line which included winger Gutherson.

He proceeded to override the Eels defense line before gathering to score near the goalposts.

Walker’s first-half heroism also included four goals and a field goal at the end of the interval to extend his team’s lead to 15 points during the interval.

Walker then froze the match with a late penalty that sealed the Roosters a seven-point win.

However, despite his brilliant offensive performance, Walker was not happy with his defense.

“Sam is disappointed … which I really like,” said Roosters manager Trent Robinson.

“He knows he can do those things he did in the first half. He sees the game well.

“He pushed our lead forward, but then he was really disappointed with some of his defenses.

“It has been much better than that for most of the year. I really like the attitude he has to equalize (and say) ‘I know I can do it, but I also have to do it’. “

Walker wasn’t the only Gallo to fight defensively in the second half, with Parramatta fighting back 25-6 just after half-time to narrow the gap to a point with three tries in a 10-minute blitz.

But the Roosters responded in style, with winger Joseph Suaalii scoring his second try of the match in the 61st minute after climbing high to grab a Luke Keary cross bomb.

Contend or suitors?

Parramatta’s inconsistency continues to cast doubt on the Eels’ premiership credentials.

A week after the end of Penrith’s early-season unbeaten runner-up, Parramatta – who also beat Melbourne Storm earlier this year – did not live up to expectations.

While their second half performance was admirable, the Eels’ first half display was extremely underwhelming.

“Our start was very bad,” said Eels manager Brad Arthur.

“The games that we have lost this year, we have been beaten on time at the start of the game.

“Let’s wait to see what the opposition can do. We have to go to the end of the game at the beginning. “

Origin setback for the Blues

Victor Radley’s hopes of selecting NSW’s home state took a hit when he was forced

out in the first 20 minutes with an ankle injury.

Under strong attention from Eels’ defense, the Roosters full-back’s ankle seemed to get stuck under him as he passed the ball to team-mate James Tedesco.

Radley will do the scans on what appears to be a syndesmosis lesion.

“Victor is not usually injured at all,” Roosters manager Trent Robinson said concerned.

“The medical staff have to try to rip it off, so when ‘Rads’ limped like that, it felt like a few weeks (on the sidelines).”

With Souths striker Cameron Murray injured out of action for the first game of the Origin series, Radley had a chance to make his way into the Blues squad, which could include his Roosters teammate Angus Crichton.

Originally published as Sam Walker is instrumental as the Roosters survive Parramatta’s second-half battle