Matt Pritchard reviews the Sydney Roosters win over the Gold Coast Titans at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
A woeful performance from the struggling Titans under interim coaches Craig Hodges and Luke Burt in going down 58-6 against the red-hot Sydney Roosters at the Cricket Ground on a sunny Sunday Sydney winter’s afternoon.
It was the brilliance of James Tedesco, the experience of Cooper Cronk and Brett Morris, with the return of Angus Crichton to form that will make Trent Robinson very happy as the finals series near. Morris broke the 150 try mark and Cooper finally made the centurions tryscoring list.
In the Roosters scoring ten tries, Morris scored a hat-trick with Mitchell and Tedesco scoring a brace of tries as they carved up the Titans both on the left and right hand edge defence. Tedesco’s 153 metres, three try assists and six tackle busts sent an ominous warning to their next opponents, the Canberra Raiders in a huge clash set down for next Sunday. Mitchell’s mid season form slump is well and truly over with a twenty-two point haul.
At no point were the defending premiers challenged. The swift set plays which featured Tedesco, Radley and Crichton were way too good for a Titans side that have now conceded 130 points since Garth Brennan was sacked after their loss to the Panthers at Panthers Stadium back on July 12. It was a bleak afternoon which marked Ashley Taylor’s return to the side. Michael Gordon suffered a hamstring injury on their way to missing thirty tackles in defeat. Some late encouragement for the club under siege as Ryley Jacks crossed fourteen minutes from time after the Titans had a purple patch of possession.
B MOZ PASSES 150 TRIES AND COOPER CRONK 100 TRIES
It was an afternoon out for Brett Morris who crossed for his 150th try inside the first twenty minutes. In doing so, he passed Greg Inglis (149) and went equal (152) with Manu Vatuvei and Harold Horder. Next in line is South Sydney great Nathan Merrit (154). A brilliant try to Cooper Cronk in the second half saw the veteran half bring up his 100th career try. He becomes the 70th player to do so and joins another Queensland halfback great, Allan Langer having made the milestone.
END OF THE ROAD FOR GORDON?
Titans custodian Michael Gordon went off the field within the opening forty minutes with a hamstring injury. With Gordon off contract and likely to head into retirement, it might be the end for the journeyman after 257 matches for the Penrith Panthers, Cronulla Sharks, Parramatta Eels, Sydney Roosters and the Gold Coast Titans. He’s scored 92 tries and 1,722 points at club level.
HOLBROOK HEADACHE FOR 2020
There was a lack of motivation in the Gold Coast Titan’s performance which will ring alarm bells for incoming coach Justin Holbrook. Unfortunately he may have some collateral salary cap issues to deal with in order to get the team he wants. Shannon Boyd (2022), Cartwright (2021), Peachey (2021), Taylor (2021) and Wallace (2022) are on good money. It’s hard to recruit new players when a bulk of the salary cap will be there for at least the next two seasons.
ROOSTERS FOR AND AGAINST BOOST
Outside the Storm, there will be musical chairs between the Raiders, Roosters, Rabbitohs and potentially Manly for the other three spots inside the top four. The Roosters huge points differential boost ensures they stay ahead of the Rabbitohs and Raiders in second place, in a prime position to host week 1 in the NRL finals series.
SYDNEY ROOSTERS 58
Tries: Brett Morris 3, James Tedesco 2, Latrell Mitchell 2, Daniel Tupou, Cooper Cronk, Sam Verrills
Goals: Latrell Mitchell 9
GOLD COAST TITANS 6
Tries: Ryley Jacks
Goals: Ashley Taylor
SYDNEY ROOSTERS: 1. James Tedesco 5. Brett Morris 4. Joseph Manu 3. Latrell Mitchell 2. Daniel Tupou 6. Luke Keary 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Isaac Liu 9. Sam Verrills 10. Zane Tetevano 11. Angus Crichton 12. Mitchell Aubusson 13. Victor Radley 14. Nat Butcher 15. Poasa Faamausili 16. Lindsay Collins 17. Sitili Tupouniua.
GOLD COAST TITANS: 1. Michael Gordon 2. Anthony Don 3. Kallum Watkins 4. Brian Kelly 5. Phillip Sami 18. Ashley Taylor 7. Ryley Jacks 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Nathan Peats 10. Jack Stockwell 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Sam Stone 13. Jai Whitbread 14. Tyrone Peachey 15. Moeaki Fotuaika 16. Brenko Lee 17. Bryce Cartwright.