NRL 2019: Sydney Roosters top St George Dragons in ANZAC Day clash

Sio Siua Taukeiaho and Jake Friend have emerged as unlikely heroes as they led the Sydney Roosters to a thrilling 20-10 NRL Anzac Day win over St George Illawarra.

The Roosters are now in the midst of their best start to an NRL season in 20 years after holding off a second-half Dragons fightback in front of 38,414 people at the SCG.

With the game on the line at 14-10 with three minutes remaining and the Dragons threatening to steal it, Taukeiaho busted through a couple of tired defenders in James Graham and Jacob Host to score the match-winning try.

After Matt Dufty spilled the ball on a regulation kick return, Taukeiaho picked up the ball 30 metres out, stepped off his right foot and fended with his left arm to scythe through the Dragons defence.

It was rich reward for a monumental performance, with the Tongan front-rower running for 256 metres and making six tackle busts.

It was Friend's tackle which caused the ball to come loose from Dufty's grasp, just one of several game-changing plays from the Roosters No.9 along with a first-half 40-20 and try assist for Angus Crichton's decisive four-pointer.

With the win, the Roosters moved to six wins from their opening seven rounds - their best start since 1999.

"I don't think we've exploded out of the blocks at all," coach Trent Robinson said.

"But I think we've won games. We didn't nail that game today or last week. We've nailed part.

"I don't think we've been the form team of the competition."

The Roosters were without in-form playmaker Luke Keary with rookie Lachlan Lam standing up in what was his third first-grade game and first as a starter.

Following their 21-20 win over Melbourne last week, the Roosters again jumped out to a big lead only to let their opposition back in the contest.

The Roosters enjoyed 66 per cent of possession in the first 40 minutes but Paul McGregor's side still found the energy to come storming back into the contest from 14-0 down.

After Zac Lomax crossed, Dufty blew the game open with a sensational 65m solo try in which he beat six defenders.

However the Dragons No.1 soon went from hero to villain when he handed over possession and the Roosters sealed their sixth straight victory via Taukeiaho.

The Dragons were forced to toil without halfback Ben Hunt for the final 13 minutes after he left the field with what appeared to be a left arm injury, however McGregor said it was only a bad cork.

"I asked the boys to leave it all out there in the second half and we did exactly that," McGregor said.

"I just wanted to know where that was in the first half."

AAP 

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