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Pearce field goal seals epic Roosters win

Blake Ferguson of the Roosters is tackled by Cameron McInnes and Paul Vaughan of the Dragons.
Blake Ferguson of the Roosters is tackled by Cameron McInnes and Paul Vaughan of the Dragons. DEAN LEWINS

MITCHELL Pearce has won a see-sawing golden-point classic 13-12 for the Roosters, with his 84th-minute field goal a dagger through the hearts of the valiant Dragons in an epic Anzac Day match that lived up to its billing.

Pearce took control of the match in the second half, delivering the try for Blake Ferguson that got his side back into it before scoring the go-ahead four-pointer late in the match by regathering a juggled effort over the try line.

At that point it looked like the Roosters had done enough for an epic come-from-behind victory but there was to be another twist in the tale, with a stunning late Nene Macdonald try converted from out wide by star fullback Josh Dugan, who rarely takes goal kicks.

Dugan's heroics levelled the game with less than a minute to play but just as the momentum looked to have swung back to the Red V, Pearce stepped up to snatch victory with a rare field-goal.

It was the halfback's first one-pointer for the Roosters since 2011.

Dragons captain Gareth Widdop came off injured just before half-time and his side missed his direction and control with the boot.

Joel Thompson earlier ran a simple line to push past the attempted tackles of Aidan Guerra and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves to open the scoring after 19 minutes.

The Roosters had to wait until the 50th minute when Blake Ferguson raced through to ground a Jake Friend grubber.

Pearce then put the Tricolours ahead, steaming on to a short ball from Isaac Liu to score under the posts after initially juggling the ball.

And despite Macdonald's effort and Dugan's clutch goal, it was man-of-the-match Pearce who had the last laugh.

Topics:  nrl st george illawarra dragons sydney roosters

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