Allianz Stadium hosts a Top 4 clash between the Roosters and Dragons on Sunday.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
The Roosters have won 6 out of their last 7 matches with their most recent victory a 56-24 demolition of the Sea Eagles. Their attack was in peak form as they ran in 10 tries for the match with Blake Ferguson and Latrell Mitchell both grabbing doubles.
The win put them into 4th position and the scoreline gave them the 2nd best points differential in the League behind the Storm.
After 2 straight losses, the Dragons got back on track against the Cowboys prevailing 24-10. It was an even contest for the first 30 minutes. However two tries in the 10 minute period before half-time gave the Dragons an 18-10 lead.
A try to debutant Jordan Pereira in the 49th minute was enough for the Dragons to hold onto as the score remained at 24-10 for the rest of the match.
Isaac Liu and Mitch Aubusson return via the interchange with Lindsay Collins and Nat Butcher moving to the reserves.
Tyson Frizell returns in the back-row, Luciano Leilua reverts back to the bench. Jordan Pereira retains a place on the wing after a solid debut last week.
The two sides last faced off in the traditional ANZAC Day clash. On that day the Dragons were simply too good for a Roosters side that was struggling to click in attack.
The Dragons restricted the Roosters to just one try while posting four of their own for a 24-8 victory.
Matt Dufty has been on a recent scoring streak with 4 tries in his last 4 games. His rapid speed and acceleration can turn plays that are going nowhere into scoring opportunities.
His ability to produce sudden tries got the Dragons a last minute win over the Eels and broke open the game against the Cowboys. Even in their loss to the Tigers, he scored a late try that got his team to within 4 points. He’s the Dragons greatest strike weapon at present and he is the man with the ability to turn the game around.
The Roosters man to counter those shifts of momentum is Jake Friend. After a poor run of form by his standards Friend has raised his game back to a high level in recent weeks. His running game and speed out of dummy half has improved, putting pressure on retreating defences.
Coupled with his kicking game, an in-form Friend gives the Roosters more creativity in attack. The more dangerous the Roosters are, the harder it’ll be for the Dragons to seize the momentum.
1 James Tedesco, 2 Daniel Tupou, 3 Latrell Mitchell, 4 Joseph Manu, 5 Blake Ferguson, 6 Luke Keary, 7 Cooper Cronk, 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 9 Jake Friend (c), 10 Siosiua Taukeiaho, 11 Boyd Cordner, 12 Ryan Matterson, 13 Victor Radley
Interchange: 14 Isaac Liu, 15 Zane Tetevano, 16 Mitchell Aubusson, 17 Kurt Baptiste
Reserves: 18 Nat Butcher, 20 Matthew Ikuvalu, 21 Dylan Napa, 22 Lindsay Collins
1 Matt Dufty, 2 Jordan Pereira, 3 Euan Aitken, 4 Tim Lafai, 5 Jason Nightingale, 6 Gareth Widdop (c), 7 Ben Hunt, 8 James Graham, 9 Cameron McInnes, 10 Paul Vaughan, 11 Tyson Frizell, 12 Tariq Sims, 13 Jack de Belin
Interchange: 14 Jeremy Latimore, 15 Kurt Mann, 16 Leeson Ah Mau, 17 Luciano Leilua
Reserves: 18 Patrick Herbert, 19 Blake Lawrie, 20 Jai Field, 21 Zac Lomax
WHO WILL WIN?