The Roosters prevailed over the Bulldogs in ugly fashion with the lowly winning scoreline of 6-0 at ANZ Stadium.
At the 4:30 mark of the game Latrell Mitchell received the ball on a backline shift from 15m out and powered his way through the defenders and over the line to score what was the game’s first and only try.
The excitement for the match just about stopped from there. The rest of the game turned into a defensive slug-fest as the Roosters kept turning the Dogs away time and again. In the last 10 minutes, the Dogs started to get a little more adventurous with the ball and threaten to send the match into golden point but the Roosters held firm for the one try victory.
Bulldogs get all the metres for no results
The Dogs had all the possession and territory which ended up amounting to nothing in the end. With 55% of the ball and 54 tackles in the opposition’s 20m zone, they walked away with zero points to show for it. Aaron Woods put in an impressive performance, running for 239m with Klemmer hitting close to the 200 mark but their efforts were wasted.
The lack of creativity on the Roosters goal-line. cost the Dogs. They rarely looked like being able to crack the Roosters defence and there was little tension to be felt, even with a 6-0 scoreline for most of the game. A few players were held up over the goal-line and came very close to scoring so the Dogs would have to rue some big opportunities missed, including being unable to score when the Roosters had a man in the sin bin.
Latrell puts himself forward for Origin contention
It’s a tried and tired cliché to talk up any young player in decent form as putting themselves into the Origin frame but in the case of Latrell Mitchell it’s simply the truth. The 20 year old centre has been a destructive force out on the Roosters left edge, scoring 4 tries for the year so far and making a lot of punters happy as he always crosses first.
His powerful frame combined with his fend has made him a nightmare for defenders to try and contain, making him one of the form centres in the comp. NSW coach Freddy Fittler has always rated the youngster, including him in his hypothetical Origin team last year. With the way Latrell is playing, it’s likely that he’ll have placed himself very high on Freddy’s current selection list.
It’s still far too early to lock anyone in for rep duties but Latrell is doing well to make himself a standout candidate.
Roosters put up Bondi Wall
The Roosters won the game on the back of a resolute defensive effort, the likes of which coach Trent Robinson said he hasn’t seen in years. The Roosters right edge was incredibly solid as the centre/wing combo of Aubusson and Ferguson shut down a lot of left side attacking plays from the Dogs while Ryan Matterson made 65 tackles for the match.
After getting demolished in the middle by the Souths forwards the previous week the Roosters responded well, making a strong defensive statement. Consistency is the key though as a clash with the competition leaders in the Dragons awaits next week.
Jake Friend head knock makes Roosters nervous
In the 42nd minute Jake Friend went down after going low in a tackle and copping a knee to the head which busted him wide open. The knock to the head ruled him out for the rest of the game and resulted in him having to get 4 stitches.
As per the standard, he’ll be monitored throughout the week but he’s not currently expected to miss any game time. With the ANZAC Day clash against the Dragons right around the corner, they’ll certainly be hoping to have all hands on deck for what should be a tough encounter.
However there was a silver lining to Friend’s absence as Victor Radley got an opportunity to play some extended minutes in the dummy half role. That may come in handy later in the season should Friend go down for an extended period or if he’s ruled out next week.
Tries: Latrell Mitchell (4m)
Goals: Latrell Mitchell 1/1