Roosters rout patched-up Panthers

Sydney Roosters will face Gold Coast in the other NRL preliminary final after crushing a depleted Penrith side 34-12.

Penrith, who were already without the injured Trent Waterhouse, also lost Michael Jennings, Luke Lewis and replacement Gavin Cooper during a bruising first half.

The Roosters grabbed the first try when a long pass from Carney allowed winger Phil Graham to race away before putting Mitchell Pearce away for the score.

The Roosters doubled their lead in the 33rd minute when a quick close-range pass from Pearce sent skipper Braith Anasta over for the try and hand his side a 12-0 interval lead.

The home side added their third just six minutes into the second period when a well-timed pass from Pearce saw Sean Kenny-Dowall put Sam Perrett in at the corner.

The home side continued to dominate and Carney extended their lead to 18-0 with a 56th minute penalty.

Penrith did stem the flow with a try from winger Adrian Purtell after halfback Luke Walsh dummied his way through to make it 18-6 with a quarter of the half remaining.

But the Roosters hit back within minutes when Anasta put fullback Anthony Minichiello through a hole to dive over and extend the home lead to 24-6.

Todd Carney kept up his impressive try-scoring record when he dived over from a short pass from halfback partner Mitchell Pearce to take the Roosters out to 30-6.

Penrith showed their spirit when replacement back Wade Graham scrambled to Nathan Smith’s grubber, but Sam Perrett was quick to add his second at the other end from a measured kick from  Carney to round off the scoring at 34-12.

The Roosters will progress to a preliminary final against Gold Coast at Suncorp Stadium on Friday.

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