In the last two rounds, it’s become a trend for teams to lose a game after getting out to a lead. In worrying signs for the Roosters they were up 20-6 in the 2nd half before the Bulldogs mounted a comeback and reduced the margin to just two points heading into the last 20 of the game. However they held onto their lead and scored another try to give them some breathing space and win the game.
Staying composed when things are going wrong and the momentum is against you is what the good teams in the comp can do. The Roosters held their nerve and have secured a place in the Top 4 for the time being.
Pearce confirms place as Origin halfback
Based on form for the year, there was never really too much doubt Pearce was in the driver’s seat to earn an Origin recall. His performance against the Bulldogs though proved beyond doubt he is the right man for the job.
His kicking game was top notch as he forced a number of repeat sets and laid on a try assist for Latrell Mitchell with a grubber to the in-goal. When the Dogs threatened to make a comeback and re-gain the lead, Pearce got his team home. He took control of the game late to halt the Dogs momentum. A pinpoint grubber on their goal-line to force a drop-out from Pearce came about just as his team had done a lot of defensive work and needed a break to settle things down. He iced the game with a try to seal the game for the Roosters and have his name confirmed in the 7 jersey for Game I.
Roosters left edge brilliant, Dogs right edge terrible
It was a little from column A and a little from column B as the Roosters left edge ran rampant over a Dogs edge defence in shambles. The combo of Brenko Lee and Kerrod Holland were turning their heels constantly to chase down Latrell Mitchell and Daniel Tupou. The Roosters pair combined for 2 line-breaks apiece as the Dogs failed to number up and Keary rocketed passes over to the open side. The Chooks ran in 3 tries down that edge in what will be a costly lesson for the Lee/Holland pairing.
Bulldogs make it tough for themselves over the Origin period
The defeat to the Roosters made it 3 losses from their last 4 games for the Dogs. Now they’ll have to go into the Origin period without the services of Josh Jackson and David Klemmer with Brett Morris tipped for a NSW recall as well.
The loss of those players will be a huge hit to the Dogs. Jackson in particular had a huge game for the Dogs as he got through a mountain of defence while still being able to run for 152m with one of his runs producing an offload that set up a try.
Their replacements will need to step up because the following weeks will play a crucial part in determining whether the Dogs finish the season in the Top 8 or not.
In the Sheds
Latrell Mitchell left the field with a sternum injury in the 59th minute. Coach Robinson confirmed afterwards it was nothing too serious and he’d be right for the game next week.
James Graham went down in severe discomfort with what looked like pain in his shoulder area. He wanted to play on but was absolutely filthy that he was made to be taken off the field.
Jake Friend left the field for a HIA assessment with some blood on his face heading into the last 10. He was jubilant in the sheds so it was just a precaution.
Sydney Roosters- 24
Tries: Daniel Tupou (13m), Jake Friend (16m), Latrell Mitchell (30m), Mitchell Pearce (76m)
Goals: Michael Gordon 4/5
Canterbury Bulldogs- 18
Tries: Josh Morris (6m), Kerrod Holland (51m), Matt Frawley (57m)
Goals: Kerrod Holland 3/3