Roosters hold on for valuable win despite Origin absentees

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Sydney Roosters were without a number of key players on State of Origin duty but secured an impressive 14-12 victory over arch-rivals South Sydney Rabbitohs at Allianz Stadium.

Despite the absences of Mitchell Pearce, Dylan Napa, Blake Ferguson and Boyd Cordner, who will try to win New South Wales Blues' first Origin series since 2014 next week, the Roosters responded to last week's thumping from Cronulla Sharks with a valuable win.

Joseph Manu beat Bryson Goodwin to Jake Friend's grubber for the only try of first half, with Michael Gordon adding the extras before slotting a penalty to secure a comfortable cushion at the interval.

The Rabbitohs, resounding 42-14 winners against Penrith Panthers last time out, cut the deficit early in the second period when Robbie Farah spotted a gap in the line from dummy-half.

Aidan Guerra darted between the posts at first receiver to restore the Roosters' eight-point lead, before a brilliant, mazy run from Goodwin set up a tense finale.

Trent Robinson's men were able to hold on until the buzzer, though, moving up to second and two points adrift of leaders Melbourne Storm, who face Parramatta Eels on Saturday.