Best and Worst of Roosters on display
In the first half the Roosters looked like the team of old that had won 3 consecutive minor premierships. In the second half, they looked like the same team that won only 6 games and finished in 15th place in 2016. In the opening 40 minutes the Roosters looked unstoppable as they sliced through the defensive line time and again. The new halves combo of Keary/Pearce put unrelenting pressure on the Titans goal-line defence and were able to score seemingly at will. They had amassed a 28-0 lead when the half-time siren had rung.
By all accounts the Roosters should have started to aim for the half-century mark but instead it almost all fell apart. Fundamental errors in the second half saw them concede two tries and another off a kick, which bought the scoreline to within 10 points heading into the final 15 minutes of the match.
It was a topsy turvy game for the Roosters and consistency will be an area of improvement they’ll focus on if they’re to make a return to the Top 8 this year.
New recruits fire early for the Roosters
In promising signs for the season ahead both of the Roosters new recruits Luke Keary and Michael Gordon didn’t take long to make their mark with great performances in their club debuts. Luke Keary scored a double and looked dangerous as he took the line on and slipped seamlessly into the Roosters backline shifts. Michael Gordon on the other hand, proved to be a hard man to tackle as he made 7 tackle busts and backed up well in support play on a line break from Mitchell Pearce to cross for a try near the posts.
Roosters re-form lethal left edge combo
In their premiership winning year of 2013, the left edge combo of Michael Jennings and Daniel Tupou combined for 34 tries across the season. Now in 2017 the shift of Latrell Mitchell already seems to have paid dividends and produced a new dangerous duo in attack. Tupou had a monster game as he ran for 210m, produced 6 offloads and registered two try assists for his centre partner Latrell Mitchell who bagged his first career hat-trick. Tupou made a few customary errors to the ire of fans and coach alike but what he was able to produce on offence will have fans hoping he can get back to the form that saw him play for NSW a few years ago. The continued growth and development of Latrell Mitchell will also be exciting to watch unfold as Latrell shapes up to be a dangerous strike weapon for the Roosters this year.
Titans never say die attitude shines
Going into the half-time break down by 28 points would be enough to kill the enthusiasm of most teams. An injury to co-captain Kevin Proctor leaving him unavailable in the 2nd half certainly didn’t help matters. To the Titans credit though they hung in there and gave the Roosters a real scare as they applied constant pressure and pounced on opportunities. Jarrod Wallace stepped up as a new forward leader, punching out an impressive 70 minutes while Konrad Hurrell made some strong runs to inspire his team and get some momentum going.
They didn’t win the match and they bombed two try-scoring opportunities that could have seen them get to equal terms with the Roosters but it’s an encouraging performance that saw the team never give up until the 80 minutes was over.
In the Sheds
Mitchell Aubusson was put on report for a lifting tackle on Ryan James midway through the first half.
Kevin Proctor didn’t play the 2nd half with a shoulder injury.
Sydney Roosters- 32
Tries: Luke Keary (9m, 32m), Latrell Mitchell (13m, 40m, 79m), Michael Gordon (35m)
Goals: Michael Gordon 4/6
Gold Coast Titans- 18
Tries: Anthony Don (44m), Kane Elgey (52m), Jarryd Hayne (63m)
Goals: Ash Taylor 3/3