Matt Attard previews the Saturday evening clash between Canterbury-Bankstown and the Sydney Roosters …
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Vs Sydney Roosters
Venue: Accor Stadium, Sydney.
Date: Saturday April 30, 5:30pm.
MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS
Related: NRL Team List TuesdayEmbed from Getty Images
Bulldogs: 1. Matt Dufty 2. Brent Naden 3. Aaron Schoupp 4. Jake Averillo 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Luke Thompson 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Corey Waddell 12. Tevita Pangai Junior 13. TBA 14. Bailey Biondi-Odo 15. Joe Stimson 16. Max King 17. Ava Seumanufagai 19. Josh Cook 20. Jackson Topine 21. Jayden Okunbor 22. Reece Hoffman 23. Billy Tsikrikas 24. Paul Alamoti 25. Tuipulotu Katoa.
Brent Naden and Jake Averillo return from their COVID-19 omissions, with Jayden Okunbor and Jacob Kiraz out. Ava Seumanufagai returns on the bench for Billy Tsikrikas. Captain Josh Jackson is out after testing positive to COVID-19.Embed from Getty Images
Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Kevin Naiqama 3. Paul Momirovski 4. Joseph Manu 5. Joseph Suaalii 6. Sam Walker 7. Luke Keary 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Sam Verrills 10. Lindsay Collins 11. Angus Crichton 12. Sitili Tupouniua 13. Victor Radley 14. Drew Hutchison 15. Fletcher Baker 16. Nat Butcher 17. Siosiua Taukeiaho 18. Lachlan Lam 19. Daniel Suluka-Fifita 20. Ben Marschke 21. Naufahu Whyte 22. Adam Keighran 23. Renouf Atoni 24. Tom Carr.
Kevin Naiqama is on the wing for the suspended Daniel Tupou. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Victor Radley are back in the run-on side; Siosiua Taukeiaho and Nat Butcher will start from the bench.
Referee: Ben Cummins.
Make no mistake, the Bulldogs, while still lingering at the bottom of the ladder, are improving.
Yes, they unforgivably gave up the lead last week against the Broncos in a match they had full control of. They were disastrous in the final 20 minutes. But the good signs are there, despite all the doom and gloom some sections of the media will have you believe.
The Roosters, however, seem to be going backwards with a tough and narrow win over the Warriors two weeks ago and a loss on ANZAC Day to the Dragons.
For all their star power, the Chooks looks like a team yet to gel, but with plenty to like individually.
The Bulldogs sit at the bottom of the ladder thanks to their inability to click in attack and their mental weakness when the going gets tough. Is that something that can change overnight? Definitely not. But they’ll want to move quick smart.
Sydney coach Trent Robinson is renowned for turning around their fortunes after a loss and unfortunately for the Bulldogs that will likely come this week.
One positive for the club has been the form of James Tedesco. He is always one to watch, but in a losing side last week he ran for more than 300 metres.
Joey Manu and Sam Walker were each at their tackle-busting best against St George Illawarra, running for more than 160 metres each and combining for four line breaks and seven tackle busts.
The Bulldogs weren’t without their impressive performances either. Kyle Flanagan has settled back in to halfback well, controlling and plotting from left to right. Matt Dufty was very good against Brisbane, running for 170 metres, scoring a try and breaking seven tackles.
Josh Addo-Carr found his form, making several big runs and scoring two tries while his new centre partner, young gun Aaron Schoupp, was excellent after earning a recall, winning his running battle with Kotoni Staggs.
Jacob Kiraz – on debut – was one of the Bulldogs’ best, but due to NRL rules will be ineligible to play in the NRL again until round 11 onwards.Embed from Getty Images
It has been six long years since the Bulldogs tasted victory over the Roosters. Since round 17, 2016 – when the Bulldogs last won – the Roosters have claimed the points in eight straight matches.
In those eight matches, the Roosters have won 210-100. They clearly have the wood over their arch-rivals from the early 2000s.
Both the Bulldogs and Roosters changed their traditional team names when the New South Wales Rugby League became the Australian Rugby League in 1995: Canterbury-Bankstown became the Sydney Bulldogs and the Eastern Suburbs Roosters became the Sydney City Roosters.
The Sydney Bulldogs became the Canterbury Bulldogs from 1996 and then just The Bulldogs from 2000. The full Canterbury-Bankstown name returned in 2010.
Sydney City became the Sydney Roosters from 2000, a change they’ve kept to this day, though they still recognise their old Easts name on some of their training gear and are still registered with the National Rugby League competition as the Eastern Suburbs District Rugby League Football Club.
Roosters by 12
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