The Sydney Roosters will be out to end a 2 game losing streak and put themselves back in contention for a Top 2 finish while the Wests Tigers will look to continue a strong finish to the season and avoid the Wooden Spoon.

Last Time Out 

Despite going down 16-13 the Sydney Roosters put together their best performance of the season against the Melbourne Storm. For 77 minutes of the contest, the Bondi wall could not be breached. Their defence on the goal-line was impeccable and only penalty goals and a penalty try were the only points the Storm could muster.

However it was one crucial defensive lapse in the final minutes that saw the Storm grab a late try to come out the victors. It was a game that elevated the Roosters from potential pretenders to genuine contenders. Connor Watson was a particular standout for the Chooks, running for 220m at the back.

The Wests Tigers pulled off an amazing comeback to prevail over the Sea Eagles 30-26. After conceding the first try, the Sea Eagles posted 4 unanswered tries and it looked like a massacre was on the cards. Down 20-6, the Tigers somehow rallied together to post their biggest comeback victory in years.

In the end they just wanted it more. This was no more evident than when Sauaso Sue barged past 3 lazy defenders to score and get the Tigers within 2 points. Luke Brooks played one of his best games of the season while Tui Lolohea’s vastly improved goal-kicking helped the Tigers ultimately prevail.

Key Battle 

The battle of the fullbacks. Flash Gordon vs James Tedesco. The impact these two custodians have on their teams is undeniable. Whichever team wins this match, it’s a likely bet that it’ll be due to a strong performance from their respective No.1’s.

Whilst the Roosters went 2/4 in Gordon’s absence, his organization in defence was sorely lacking at times and it has made a massive difference to the team in 2017. At 33 years of age, Gordon has been in vintage form this year, performing above expectations and earning a new one year deal at the club. The Roosters will welcome his leadership back against the Tigers and if they’re to beat them, they’ll have to get past him first.

It’ll be Tedesco’s task this week to be the man to break through that defence. Bondi bound in 2018, he is always a danger man for the Tigers and last week he was a key player in their upset victory. He had a hand in two tries as the constant threat of his running game put the defence in two minds and freed up space on the edges. He’ll need to produce more of the same to split the Roosters defence and get his team rolling on the scoreboard.

Prediction

The Tigers have shown a great deal of fighting spirit in the last few weeks. By their standards, fighting back from a 14 point deficit was a miracle. However history is on the Roosters side. They’ve lost 1 out of their last 14 games against the Tigers and they haven’t scored less than 30 points against them since 2011.

The match will likely see a lot of points scored by both teams but the hoodoo speaks for itself. The Roosters should win comfortably in the end. Roosters by 12+

Squads
Sydney Roosters
1 Michael Gordon
2 Latrell Mitchell
3 Ryan Matterson
4 Mitchell Aubusson
5 Blake Ferguson
6 Luke Keary
7 Mitchell Pearce
8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
9 Jake Friend ©
10 Dylan Napa
11 Boyd Cordner ©
12 Aidan Guerra
13 Isaac Liu
Interchange
14 Zane Tetevano
15 Sio Siua Taukeiaho
16 Kane Evans
17 Connor Watson
Reserves
18 Joseph Manu
19 Victor Radley
20 Chris Smith
22 Mitchell Cornish

Wests Tigers
1 James Tedesco
2 David Nofoaluma
3 Esan Marsters
4 Kevin Naiqama
5 Malakai Watene-Zelezniak
6 Tuimoala Lolohea
7 Luke Brooks
8 Aaron Woods ©
9 Matt McIlwrick
10 Tim Grant
11 Chris Lawrence
12 Elijah Taylor
13 Matthew Eisenhuth
Interchange
14 Alex Twal
15 Sauaso Sue
16 Michael Chee-Kam
17 Jack Littlejohn
Reserves
18 Josh Aloiai
19 JJ Felise
20 Joel Edwards
21 Ava Seumanufagai