Roosters stave off Brisbane comeback
Sydney Roosters denied Brisbane Broncos at the death when Latrell Mitchell scored a clinching try in their 24-22 victory at Allianz Stadium.
The Tricolours needed one last effort after Corey Oates' second try of the game with nine minutes to go had put Wayne Bennett's side ahead.
Mitchell replied within four minutes to level the scores, with Michael Gordon's successful conversion sealing a thrilling win.
The Roosters were made to pay for a Blake Ferguson error as Oates grabbed his second try. Ferguson pushed a 40/20 attempt back into play but none of his teammates were on hand to regather and Oates took advantage.
Mitchell's rampaging run to the line helped the hosts get back in front, and they held out to ensure they get next week off while Brisbane have to go into a sudden-death semi-final against the winner of Manly v Penrith.
The Roosters dominated the first half, with 23 tackle busts and six line breaks.
They grabbed the first two tries of the match inside the opening 20 minutes. Aidan Guerra raced onto a lovely Jake Friend cut-out at the line and his fellow back-rower Boyd Cordner then stepped around Adam Blair to score.
Gordon tacked on a penalty goal to make it 14-0 after 26 minutes but the visitors got on the scoreboard just before the break.
Benji Marshall's deft grubber set up James Roberts for a try that Jordan Kahu converted, to bring them within eight points.
The Tricolours extended their lead early in the second half when Luke Keary cut through a gap, but Kodi Nikorima then clawed one back when he put Oates over in the corner.
Roberts came up with a try-saver to deny Mitchell, and Brisbane took heart from that as they scored two tries in the space of two minutes to take the lead.
Ben Hunt kicked for himself out of dummy half then won the race to the ball, before Oates' easy try edged them ahead.
Sydney Roosters are 5000/1 to win the grand final.
View all Rugby League betting