Mitchell magic seals golden-point win for Roosters
Latrell Mitchell settled a thrilling rematch of last season's NRL Grand Final as his stunning long-range drop goal secured a 21-20 golden-point victory for defending champions Sydney Roosters, who held off a furious Melbourne Storm fightback to hand them a first defeat of the season.
A fourth-minute try from Mitchell and further efforts from Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and James Tedesco, who was sensationally set up by Mitchell for his fifth try in the last four games, gave them a 20-0 lead with just over half an hour played.
Brodie Croft converted a Josh Addo-Carr try and then added a penalty on the stroke of half-time to trim the deficit to 12 points at the interval.
And the Storm carried that momentum into the second half as Tui Kamikamica crashed over and Curtis Scott scooted in from dummy half to level matters with 28 minutes still to play.
Yet a thrilling finish yielded no decisive score in normal time and a moment of magic was required to separate the sides in the additional period.
Former Storm star Cooper Cronk, booed on his return to AAMI Park, seemed the most likely candidate to attempt a one-pointer for the Roosters.
Instead it was Mitchell who incredibly took aim from the 40-metre line and sent his effort straight down the middle to clinch a dramatic victory.
The Storm and the Roosters are now level on 10 points at the top along with South Sydney Rabbitohs, who claimed an unconvincing win over struggling Canterbury Bulldogs.
First-half tries from Campbell Graham and Alex Johnston, sandwiched by a score from Bulldogs prop Ofahiki Ogden, proved enough for South Sydney to prevail 14-6.
Both sides produced some spectacular defence in a scoreless second half, the Bunnies holding firm to continue their strong start and condemn rock-bottom Canterbury to a fifth defeat in six games.