Mitch Dransfield reviews the Sydney Roosters’ 2019 Premiership season.
2019 Club Record
Competition Points: 36
2019 Player Achievements
Jack Gibson Medal Player of the Year: James Tedesco
Most Tries: Latrell Mitchell (19)
Most Points: Mitchell (273)
It was a season to remember for one of the foundation clubs, tasked with attempting to win back-to-back premierships (the first since Brisbane in 1992-93). The assumed result was that the Roosters would find less motivation throughout the year and fall sometime during the finals, but they were able to string along each week despite adversity – through players being injured or suspended – to finish second and claim consecutive titles.
There were many casualties along the way for the premiers, and the most impressive thing was how Trent Robinson worked his team week-in-week-out, with players coming in and getting the job done in crucial positions. They were without most of their core spine for big chunks of the year, with their hooker and co-captain Jake Friend only playing six games, while the halves Cooper Cronk and Luke Keary were also injured throughout the season; it was the depth and cohesion of the rest of the side that helped them win the premiership again.
Sam Verrills had a breakout year: he not only starred in the grand final win over Canberra, scoring the first try (an incredible solo effort), but was able to fill the big shoes of Friend for majority of the year and work alongside the big names without problems. The case can be made that he could become their rake option moving forward, with the Roosters only losing two fixtures (from fourteen appearances) while he was at hooker.
NothingButLeague Player of the Season
It’s hard to go past the standout player of the season: winning the Dally M Medal, and the Brad Fittler and Wally Lewis medals in Origin, all while playing the majority of the year at a high level. He started slowly in his first season at the Roosters last year, but still impacted late to lift the trophy. Flash forward to the end of 2019 and his involvement in the side has been a big reason why they went back-to-back.
Teddy scored 18 tries, had 13 try assists, 166 tackle breaks and 23 line breaks, which posed him as the elite player of the season. These stats were backed up in not only the NRL premiership but in State of Origin, where he scored the winning try in the decider, but was also the player of the series, which elevated him into even better form after. A remarkable season by the best player in the world, with more representative honours to follow this year. He’s already one of the greats of the game.
2020 GAINS AND LOSSES
Kyle Flanagan (Cronulla Sharks, 2021)
Cooper Cronk (retired), Josh Curran (New Zealand Warriors), Brock Lamb.