Current ladder position: 4th
Points differential: +128
Run Home: Titans (H), Tigers (A), Warriors (A), Storm (H), Souths (H)
The 2014 season for the Sydney Roosters all began on the 22nd of February in front of a whopping 31,018 fans at home-ground Allianz Stadium. After 4 months away from the playing field, nothing could stop the ferocious reigning premiers as they stormed over English giants Wigan Warriors 36-14. From there on, the boys from Sydney’s east were world champions.
It’s a rather enthralling case as to why the Sydney Roosters haven’t lived up to anything near what they came to obtain over the last year. Having grinded out a worrying percentage of their 11 wins this season and undergone the scarring defeats to wooden-spoon contenders Cronulla Sharks and Newcastle Knights, the Roosters are becoming more concerning as to whether they can make it back to back.
Even after their first round loss to the South Sydney Rabbitohs, it was impossible to ignore a team that captivated the nation with its up-and-coming talents of Jake Friend, Rémi Casty, Daniel Tupou, Frank-Paul Nu’uausala and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. To nurture the growing talent, the Roosters boasted the household names of Sonny Bill Williams, Anthony Minichello, James Maloney, Mitchell Pierce and Michael Jennings.
So what did go wrong? The coach over-lived his incredible first season with the team? The players lost motivation or got too ahead of themselves? Or maybe it’s that anyone can pull a win out of this fiercely competitive season?
The Roosters can and will make the finals, they currently sit in the top four and matches against Titans and Tigers look like a given, but their road to the finals will be met with many speed bumps following the injuries of Aubusson, Williams and Friend. I can’t see the Roosters making it any further than the quarterfinals this season, anything further than that would have to be heavily influenced by Anthony Minichello and how he plays his final games in the red, white and blue.