Dazzling Ferguson grabs hat-trick as Roosters thump Eels
Blake Ferguson scored a hat-trick as Sydney Roosters crushed Parramatta Eels 48-10, while Newcastle Knights ended their seven-game losing streak against Canberra Raiders.
Australia international Ferguson rounded off a sensational first-half display from the Roosters with his first before showing strength and agility to get his third four minutes from the hooter, sending Sydney two points behind leaders Melbourne Storm.
The returning Latrell Mitchell powered over and Jake Friend crossed as Trent Robinson's side charged into a 14-0 lead, but Clinton Gutherson finished off a brilliant Parramatta move to reduce the deficit.
Ferguson's first punctuated a double from Daniel Tupou and, after Michael Jennings scored for the Eels, he matched his team-mate by somehow putting down with Semi Radradra and Nathan Brown clinging onto him.
Joseph Manu scampered over before the athletic Ferguson completed his trio by grounding with his fingertips in the corner, rounding off an emphatic victory.
A stoic defensive display from Newcastle proved key to their first win in eight as they downed Canberra 34-20.
Mata'utia brothers Sione and Pat contributed three tries for the Knights, the former bagging two, while Brock Lamb converted one of his own to end the match with 14 points.
The main bright note for the Raiders was the performance of Nick Cotric, who added to his burgeoning reputation with an impressive double.
Newcastle prop Jacob Saifiti was taken to hospital for precautionary scans after being helped off on a stretcher in the first half with what appeared to be a neck injury.
Jacob Saifiti will be taken to hospital for precautionary scans - we will provide further update when we can #NRLKnightsRaiders-- Newcastle Knights (@NRLKnights) May 14, 2017