2023 NRL Preview Round 24: Roosters Vs Dolphins

Can the Roosters keep their finals hopes alive with victory over the Dolphins this Saturday?



Sydney Roosters Vs Dolphins
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Date: Saturday 12 August, 7:35pm


Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Billy Smith 4. Joseph Manu 5. Joseph Suaalii 6. Luke Keary 7. Drew Hutchison 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Brandon Smith 10. Lindsay Collins 11. Nat Butcher 12. Siua Wong 13. Victor Radley 14. Sandon Smith 15. Fletcher Baker 16. Terrell May 17. Dylan Napa 18. Junior Pauga 19. Elie El Zakhem 20. Jake Turpin 21. Zach Dockar-Clay 22. Corey Allan

Dolphins:  1. Kodi Nikorima 2. Jamayne Isaako 3. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 4. Valynce Te Whare 5. Tesi Niu 6. Isaiya Katoa 7. Sean O’Sullivan 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Mark Nicholls 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Connelly Lemuelu 13. Kenny Bromwich 14. Ray Stone 15. Josh Kerr 16. Anthony Milford 17. Jarrod Wallace 18. Herman Ese’ese 19. Max Plath 20. Poasa Faamausili 21. Harrison Graham 22. Jack Bostock

Referee: Todd Smith

Embed from Getty Images


On Saturday night the Sydney Roosters will clash with the Dolphins at Allianz Stadium in Sydney.

The last time these two teams met, the Dolphins caused a huge upset in their round 1 NRL debut match against the Roosters, defeating them 28-18.

In their last match the Roosters showed strength in defence against an equally strong Sea Eagles side holding them off for a final score line of 26-16. They will be hoping to repeat this performance as they clutch onto their finals hopes.

The only change to the Roosters side will be the return of Dylan Napa who will replace the suspended Nathan Brown after his Grade 2 careless high tackle on Sea Eagles forward Ben Trbojevic.

The injection of Dylan Napa to the forward pack combining with Jared Waerea-Hargreaves could threaten to unhinge the confidence of the Dolphins.

Given the size and aggressive play of these two, this could assist the Roosters in claiming a victory.

Playing his first NRL game since 2021, in NSW Cup Napa has made 11 tackle breaks, 420.6 post contact metres and 286 defensive tackles this season.

Waerea-Hargreaves known as the enforcer boasts 666.3 post contact metres, 444 defensive tackles made and 124 average running metres.

The Roosters also exhibit an equally intimidating backline with the strong combination of players like James Tedesco, Daniel Tupou, Joseph Manu, and Joseph Suaalii.

The performance of Daniel Tupou in the match against the Sea Eagles demonstrated he has impressive and tricky moves that proved no match for his opponents, catching them off guard by making a series of tries.

Tupou has made 33 tackle breaks just this season, averaging 177 running metres.

Manu and Suaalii form a dangerous combination on the right-side edge and if not intercepted could dash any hopes of a win for the Dolphins.

Just this season Suaalii has made 47 tackle breaks and averages 118 running metres combining with Manu’s 106 tackle breaks and averaging 139 running metres.

The Dolphins come into this match having only won two of their last 10 matches and will see them reshuffle their line-up.

Ray Stone will be back on the bench after coming off the injury list, pushing Herman Ese’ese to 18th man. Kodi Nikorima will replace Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow as fullback, which will see Maroons representative move to the centres. Euan Aitken will be out for another week due to a knee injury.

The Dolphins will field solid defence from their forward pack with the combination of Jesse Bromwich, Felise Kaufusi and Connelly Lemuelu.

They will look to their captain Bromwich for guidance and leadership, having made 14 tackle breaks, 652.4 post contact metres and 506 defensive tackles.

Lemuelu helped bring the Dolphins margin closer against the Knights with a spectacular line break in the 74th minute getting over for a try. He has made 39 tackle breaks just this season and 532 defensive tackles, averaging 94 running metres combining with Kaufusi who averages 101 running metres.

The Dolphins present a particularly dominant backline with Nikorima, Jamayne Isaako, Valynce Te Whare.

Nikorima averages 62.5 kicking metres, 14 try assists, 18 line breaks and has made 226 defensive tackles.

Isaako has now scored 11 tries in his last ten matches, made 61 tries, 83 tackle breaks and averages 161 running metres.

The athleticism of Isaako which saw him score a hat trick of tries against the Knights with, the energy and intensity of Nikorima may be the key to their success.

While Te Whare in the centres could help set up play having made 35 tackle breaks,134 passing receipts, 107 defensive tackles and averages 122 running metres.

This weekend will see a thrilling match between two equally strong teams banking on their luck in a last ditch effort towards finals hopes and a spot in the top 8.


Roosters 0, Dolphins 1


Roosters by 6 points.

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