The Bulldogs and the Roosters meet again for the second time this season in their Round 7 clash at ANZ Stadium.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
The Bulldogs turned around a two-match losing streak to record a commanding 27-10 win over the Cowboys in Townsville. The Dogs forward pack and their goal-line defence were the features of their victory in a match that had captain Josh Jackson praising the team’s willingness to keep turning up for each other.
After the Roosters were smashed by the Warriors, a 28-10 victory over the Sharks made it seem like they were back on track but last week the Rabbitohs humbled them in a 14-26 loss. The Roosters forwards gave up tons of easy metres in the middle against a Souths team missing two of their best forwards.
The Bulldogs retain the same 17 that downed the Cowboys.
After a string of poor performances, Reece Robinson has been dropped from the backline with Joey Manu shifting to the wing and the ever reliable Mitch Aubusson slotting in at centre. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Zane Tetevano swap between the starting position and bench while Frank Paul-Nuuausala returns to the Roosters side off the bench. Sio Siua Taukeiaho has been named in the reserves with an outside chance of being fit for Thursday.
The two sides met earlier this year in Round 2 and on that occasion it was the Roosters who came out on top with a decisive 30-12 victory. Luke Keary’s first game for the year produced an avalanche of points which a new look Dogs side wasn’t able to handle. With the benefit of another month playing together and the momentum of a big win, it could produce a very different performance from the Dogs this time.
It’s a simple matter of which team’s forward pack comes to play that’ll determine the result of this game. The Roosters forwards, bar one or two, were lazy and complacent against the Souths while the Dogs pack upped their game to prevail over the Cowboys.
The Roosters need their forwards to lift in a big way if they’re to beat the Dogs. Waerea-Hargreaves needs to bring a ton of impact off the bench for the Chooks while Woods and Klemmer need to win the early exchanges so the Dogs can pile the pressure on the Roosters defence.
Aaron Woods has lost his last 10 games against the Roosters.
Bulldogs: 1 Moses Mbye, 2 Brett Morris, 3 Josh Morris, 4 Will Hopoate, 5 Marcelo Montoya, 6 Jeremy Marshall-King, 7 Kieran Foran, 8 Aaron Woods, 9 Michael Lichaa, 10 David Klemmer, 11 Josh Jackson ©, 12 Raymond Faitala-Mariner, 13 Adam Elliott
Interchange: 14 Asipeli Fine, 15 Danny Fualalo, 16 Greg Eastwood, 17 Kerrod Holland
Reserves: 18 John Olive, 19 Rhyse Martin, 20 Renouf Toomaga, 21 Matt Frawley
Roosters: 1 James Tedesco, 2 Joseph Manu, 3 Latrell Mitchell, 4 Mitchell Aubusson, 5 Blake Ferguson, 6 Luke Keary, 7 Cooper Cronk, 8 Zane Tetevano, 9 Jake Friend ©, 10 Dylan Napa, 11 Boyd Cordner ©, 12 Ryan Matterson, 13 Isaac Liu
Interchange: 14 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 15 Frank-Paul Nuuausala, 16 Nat Butcher, 17 Victor Radley
Reserves: 18 Sitili Tupouniua, 19 Sio Siua Taukeiaho, 20 Kurt Baptiste, 21 Reece Robinson
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Thursday April 19th
Venue: ANZ Stadium
WHO WILL WIN?