Knights left edge defence is shocking
The Knights left edge has conceded a try to the opposition’s right centre or winger at least once in every single game this season. Once again they found themselves scrambling to make try-saving tackles as this time Joseph Manu stepped and powered his way to the line.There’s a clear lack of communication between Trent Hodkinson, Peter Mata’utia and Nathan Ross on that defensive edge. It’s the same players making the same poor reads in defence and that’s not acceptable for them to constantly leak tries. It needs to be fixed and soon.
Knights can’t compete for 80
For 60 minutes of the match the Knights were competitive with the Roosters. They were going set for set with them and their goal-line defence was staying relatively stable. However once the game headed into the final quarter, it all came apart for them. Luke Keary took advantage of a tired sliding defence to slice through the line, evade a tackle from Mitch Barnett and stroll to the try-line. What was a competitive game had a blown out scoreline at the end.
When the Knights are staying in games and getting in the grind with teams it’s disappointing that they have momentary lapses in concentrations that allow the opposition to get over the top of them.
Pearce has a blinder
Mitchell Pearce got Laurie Daley excited and NSW fans worried with a fantastic performance against the Knights. He controlled the game well for the Roosters and kept them out of trouble when they were hitting quiet periods during the match. He set up Michael Gordon for a try, holding up a pass for just the right time to send Gordon through a gap. He later scored the game sealer by taking the line on and busting through 3 defenders to score under the posts. He was solid in defence and booted the ball for a massive 485 metres.
While logic would dictate Pearce should prove himself by making a mark on the game for his team against tougher opposition, Laurie Daley has never been one to follow a plan of sensibility. It’ll be an interesting battle to see who wins the 7 jersey for NSW this year.
Roosters lucky to get away with boring attack
For the 2nd time in three games, the Roosters executed an ingenious game plan of targeting the opposition’s right winger up against Daniel Tupou in defence. Ken Sio was the recipient of a lot of kicking traffic and just like Uate he handled it very well. Yet the Roosters persisted with the tactic despite how well Sio was handling the high ball pressure. Eventually it did pay off with one line-drop out gained.
However the predictability of the play and its relative ineffectiveness needs to have the Roosters halves re-thinking their game plan. When they face the in-form Dragons next week who have the 2nd best defence in the League, they’ll need to re-think their strategy as such pedestrian tactics won’t work against good teams.
In The Sheds
Ryan Matterson came limping off the field with an ankle injury
Sydney Roosters- 24
Tries: Joseph Manu (18m), Michael Gordon (32m), Luke Keary (63m), Mitchell Pearce (73m)
Goals: Michael Gordon 4/4
Newcastle Knights- 6
Tries: Ken Sio (45m)
Goals: Trent Hodkinson 1/1