Date: Friday 18th September, 2015
Venue: Allianz Stadium
Kick-Off: 7:55 pm
Sydney Roosters 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2 Daniel Tupou 3 Michael Jennings 4 Blake Ferguson 5 Shaun Kenny-Dowall 6 James Maloney 7 Mitchell Pearce (c) 8 Sam Moa 9 Jake Friend (c) 10 Dylan Napa 11 Boyd Cordner 12 Aidan Guerra 13 Sio Siua Taukeiaho. Interchange: 14 Jackson Hastings 15 Isaac Liu 16 Kane Evans 17 Mitchell Aubusson 18 Suaia Matagi.
Canterbury Bulldogs 1 Brett Morris 2 Curtis Rona 3 Josh Morris 4 Tim Lafai 5 Sam Perrett 6 Josh Reynolds 7 Moses Mbye 8 Aiden Tolman 9 Damien Cook 10 James Graham (c) 11 Josh Jackson 12 Frank Pritchard 13 Greg Eastwood. Interchange: 14 Sam Kasiano 15 Shaun Lane 16 David Klemmer 17 Tim Browne 19 Lloyd Perrett.
Following their shock loss to Melbourne last week, the Roosters will now host the Bulldogs at Allianz Stadium on Friday night, desperate to bounce back and keep their premiership hopes alive.
The previously short priced favourites to win the competition, the Roosters were outclassed by the Storm in going down 20-18, but receive a huge boost through the return of Mitchell Pearce for Friday’s clash. The halfbacks return pushes Jackson Hastings back to the bench as a utility.
Their opponents are in a form slump, yet managed to win ugly against the Dragons last week, the victory coming courtesy of a Josh Reynolds field goal. The win also looked like it may cost Frank Pritchard a game off, however the big forward was cleared by the match review panel from his charge of leading with the knees.
The forward battle will be a key to winning the match, with both teams boasting massive forward packs. A lot is being made of the Sam Kasiano v Kane Evans battle, after Evans flattened his Bulldog opponent with a shoulder charge the last time the two sides met.
The team that can dominate in the middle of the field will go along way to creating the space for their outside men to out score the opposition. Both teams boast exciting back lines with plenty of spark. For the Roosters, expect the step of Roger Tuivasa Sheck and the Michael Jenning’s speed of the mark to cause the Bulldogs’ forwards headaches in the second quarter of the game as they begin to tire. The Canterbury side will look to cause damage of their own through the Morris twins and try scoring machine Curtis Rona. For the latter, he will need to get involved taking hit ups, to take pressure off his tiring forwards in what will be a physical encounter.
Before last week, the Roosters had won 12 straight games, and their form was irresistible. The same can not be said for the Bulldogs, who have struggled to dominate games since their win over the Rabbits in round 24. Des Hasler is a great coach and will try to get them up for this clash, and an encounter with the Roosters is enough to make any side step up, however it doesn’t appear they have enough to win. The Roosters slipped up last week and after failing out of Finals quickly last year, will be desperate to make amends in 2015.
The Bulldogs should be competitive early, before the Sydney Roosters run away with the match.
Roosters by 14.