The Sydney Roosters fell just short of a premiership hat-trick after a late-season slump.
2020 Club Record
Competition Points: 28
2020 Player Achievements
Most Tries: Brett Morris (12)
Most Points: Kyle Flanagan (198)
At the start of the season coach Trent Robinson was looking at playing the long game, resting captain Boyd Cordner for the first two games of the season; he probably wouldn’t of brought him in until round five, but COVID-19 put an end to that plan. After going down in the first two rounds to Penrith and Manly, the Roosters returned from the forced shutdown to win five games on the trot.
The wheels started to come off when they lost both Victor Radley and Sam Verrills to ACL injuries for the season. Injuries to other key personnel like Angus Crichton, Cordner, and the Morris twins didn’t help, but it did give Robinson the chance to blood players like Matt Ikuvalu and Sitili Tupouniua, who will be all the better for the experience. The Roosters were lucky to get the services of Sonny Bill Williams at the back end of the season to cover for some injuries as well.
Some good wins – as well as some close losses – early in the season were enough to convince fans that a three-peat was possible: the back end of the season told us otherwise. Looking tired at times, they leaked metres through the middle of the field, where Radley would be. Their attack seemed ordinary against teams like the Panthers and the Storm: unfortunately Kyle Flanagan wore the brunt of the criticism for that, being dropped late in the season. The Roosters did it hard in their last three weeks, losing to arch-rivals South Sydney by 52 points, then going down to the Panthers and Raiders in the finals.
There were a few shining lights during the season, with Ikuvalu making the most of his chances: one highlight was his five-try haul against the Cowboys. When fit, the Morris twins put in vintage performances and were looking as good they did in the prime of their careers.
Tupouniua also shined during the season, though at times his defence let him down. One player that will be missed is Mr. Reliable Mitch Aubusson. He didn’t get the fairytale finish he may have wanted (players rarely do), but he has had a magnificent career and does have three grand final wins to his name.
NothingButLeague Player of the Season
Tedesco was the Roosters’ best for this season. Though he also looked tired at times, he always tried to spark the attack and had the most tackle breaks this season with 139. He was unfortunately on the receiving end of one of the hits of the season, when he tried to stop a rampaging Maika Sivo head on. No doubt the hit will be shown in highlights packages for the next few seasons.
2021 GAINS AND LOSSES
Adam Keighran (New Zealand Warriors)
Mitch Aubusson (retired), Poasa Faamausili (St-George Illawarra Dragons), Kyle Flanagan (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Ryan Hall (Hull Kingston Rovers), Christian Tuipulotu (Manly Sea Eagles), Sonny Bill-Williams (Toronto Wolfpack).