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Gritty Roosters down Brisbane Broncos
Ian McCullough
22:33 AEST Sat Mar 23 2013

A Herculean defensive display from the Sydney Roosters laid the foundation for an 8-0 win over Brisbane in Saturday's NRL clash at Allianz Stadium.

James Maloney scored all of the points, running in for the only try of the game on the half-hour mark and then kicking a penalty goal midway through the second period.

It was a night of frustration for the visitors which will be a huge concern for coach Anthony Griffin, who watched his side dominate possession in the second half but fail to trouble the scorers.

Trent Robinson's side were truly heroic in front of their own goalline, keeping their line intact brilliantly.

At one stage, they held firm for seven successive sets of six as the Broncos took residency inside their 20-metre line - only to come up short on every occasion.

With Justin Hodges sidelined through injury, the Broncos looked bereft of genuine scoring options as halves Scott Prince and Peter Wallace failed to spark their side.

For the Roosters, Sonny Bill Williams had his best game since returning to the NRL, clocking up 36 tackles and more than 100 metres.

But he was not alone. Martin Kennedy, Jake Friend and Sam Moa were also magnificent in front of a crowd of 13,047.

Attacks were few and far between for the hosts, with Daniel Tupou squandering a glorious opportunity after failing to capitalise on a superb break from the fleet-footed Michael Jennings.

But it mattered not as the tricolours held firm to seal a successive victory and record a first shut-out since 2008 when they beat St George Illawarra 10-0.

Roosters coach Robinson was full of praise for his side's character under pressure.

"The effort was outstanding," Robinson said.

"We knew what was coming at us. We moved forward fast - put some pressure on them when we could.

"We also slid well and worked hard from the inside when they tried to go around us so it was a nice performance in 'D'."

Robinson singled out Williams and Kennedy for special praise with the pair combining for 73 tackles between them.

"I left Marty on for a bit longer than normal because he never looked tired," he said.

"It was a really, really strong 80 minutes from Sonny. It's really impressive, I think, to see the balance between some nice attacking play and then just - he'll do anything to work hard for the bloke next to him.

"It's obviously something that he's prided himself on over the years."

Broncos coach Griffin refused to be too critical of his players, despite their lack of attacking prowess.

"It wasn't a step backwards in effort. I thought it was just a real good tight game of footy," Griffin said.

"We had our chances and the Roosters were good enough to turn up and I thought we turned up all night on them as well.

"It's just one of those games and it was always going to be one of those games, a real slugfest, and they got that one try which was the difference."