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PREVIEW: Sydney Roosters vs New Zealand Warriors

The Sydney Roosters are taking their game to the Central Coast this weekend where they’ll be hoping their fortunes take a turn for the better. To avoid a 0-5 start to the season they’ll have to get past a Warriors side who secured their first win of the season with a convincing win against Newcastle.

Last time out

The Roosters were a much improved side last week but they still couldn’t get the job done. Whilst controversy from a questionable bunker decision and poor goal-kicking played it’s part the Roosters were unable to stay composed for the full 80 minutes and were unable to really take control of the game. Plenty of positive signs were there though. Their forwards were more energized, they scored 4 tries to Manly’s 3 and Hastings resumed goal-kicking duties.

The Warriors started out slow last week, going into half-time against the Knights at 12-all. In the second half though the Warriors came out and displayed some of their trademark flashy brilliance. Running in 5 unanswered tries and only conceding a late consolation try, the Warriors ended an 11 game losing streak dating back to last year.

Key Battle

The key battle in this contest will be for field position. The Roosters forwards have to raise their game and their discipline in order to stop the Warriors from gaining territory which Shaun Johnson and RTS will exploit to the fullest if given the opportunity. It’s a Rugby League cliché but the forwards lay a platform for their backs to work off of. If the Roosters pack can get into the grind and shut down Johnson then they’ll give young Jackson Hastings the chance to make something happen for the Roosters.

Prediction

While the Roosters showed a vast amount of improvement last week it still wasn’t enough to beat a Manly side missing some key players. The Warriors had a good win over the Knights and look like they might be hitting some form but nothing’s ever for certain with them and they can sometimes struggle with long away trips.
It’ll be a close game for mine, Roosters to improve on defence but the Warriors should have too much strike power for the Roosters to contend with. A late try or two will inflate the scoreline. Warriors by 12+

Squads

Roosters
1 Latrell Mitchell
2 Daniel Tupou
3 Brendan Elliot
4 Blake Ferguson
5 Shaun Kenny-Dowall
6 Jayden Nikorima*
7 Jackson Hastings
8 Sam Moa
9 Jake Friend (c)
10 Dylan Napa
11 Mitchell Aubusson
12 Aidan Guerra*
13 Sio Siua Taukeiaho
Interchange
14 Isaac Liu
15 Kane Evans
16 Mitchell Frei
17 Eloni Vunakece
24 Abraham Papalii

*It is widely tipped that Nikorima will shift back to the bench with Guerra to 5/8 and Issac Liu starting at Lock like last week.

Warriors
1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
2 Tuimoala Lolohea
3 Blake Ayshford
4 Solomone Kata
5 Manu Vatuvei
6 Shaun Johnson
7 Jeff Robson
8 Jacob Lillyman
9 Issac Luke
10 Ben Matulino
11 Simon Mannering
12 Ryan Hoffman (c)
13 Albert Vete
Interchange
14 Jazz Tevaga
15 Sam Lisone
16 Charlie Gubb
17 Konrad Hurrell

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