Both teams will be looking to bounce back from losses last week as their State of Origin stars return to bolster their line-ups minus Anthony Milford and Mitchell Pearce.

Last Time Out

The Sydney Roosters had a hard fought loss against the Raiders, going down 24-16. A try against the run of play on the siren inflated the scoreline. The absence of key players like Pearce and Cordner was felt but players like Jake Friend showed their class in stepping up to lead the team around. It wasn’t enough though, as the Roosters bombed try-scoring opportunities that could have seen them take the lead.

The Brisbane Broncos were an error riddled mess as the Warriors handed them a big 28-10 defeat. The loss of so much experience and talent hampered the Broncos but it was the regular first graders like James Roberts and Ben Hunt who were making all the mistakes. Roberts made 3 handling errors but also scored a double while Hunt’s kicking game varied from brilliant to woeful.

Key Battle

The new, untested halves pairings and how well they perform. Mitch Cornish played a grand total of 3 minutes against the Raiders in his club debut for the Roosters. However he was keen to run, making 21m in that space of time and a poor performance from Connor Watson has opened up an opportunity for him. If he can gel with Keary quickly then the Roosters have a chance to put on some better set plays in attack than what they came at the Raiders with.

The pairing of Marshall and Hunt have had one game together to call upon and there were some promising signs there. Marshall was one of the Broncos best as he showed some vintage touch with his footwork and evasion to help set up the Broncos first try. Hunt showed fantastic vision to chip a kick over to his winger in open space while the Broncos were camped on their goal-line to set up their second. With the return of their rep stars in the forward pack, they’ll have more opportunities to take control of the game and produce points.

Prediction

With Anthony Milford and Mitchell Pearce unavailable, both teams won’t be able to stick to their usual game plan or play style. It’s all about who steps up and which of the rep players back up best, that will determine the winner.
With the Roosters fielding a fair few NSW’ers who will be riding a wave of momentum after their incredible win on Wednesday, I think that energy will rub on off on the team and get the Roosters the win. Roosters by 6+

Squads

Sydney Roosters
1. Michael Gordon
2. Daniel Tupou
3. Latrell Mitchell
4. Joseph Manu
5. Blake Ferguson
22. Mitchell Cornish
6. Luke Keary
8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
9. Jake Friend ©
10. Dylan Napa
11. Boyd Cordner ©
12. Mitchell Aubusson
13. Siosiua Taukeiaho
Interchange:
14. Isaac Liu
16. Aidan Guerra
17. Ryan Matterson
18. Lindsay Collins
19. Connor Watson
20. Chris Smith
23. Zane Tetevano

Brisbane Broncos
1. Darius Boyd ©
2. Corey Oates
3. James Roberts
4. Tautau Moga
5. Jordan Kahu
20. Benji Marshall
7. Ben Hunt
8. Korbin Sims
9. Andrew McCullough
10. Adam Blair
11. Sam Thaiday
12. Matt Gillett
13. Josh McGuire
Interchange:
14. Alex Glenn
15. Tevita Pangai
16. Herman Ese’ese
19. Jayden Su’A