2023 NRL Preview Round 9: Warriors v Roosters

Dylan Jhugroo previews the Round 9 clash between the New Zealand Warriors and the Sydney Roosters.



New Zealand Warriors vs Sydney Roosters
Venue: Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland
Date: Sunday April 30, 2:00pm


Warriors: 1. Taine Tuaupiki 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Marcelo Montoya 4. Adam Pompey 5. Edward Kosi 6. Dylan Walker 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wayde Egan 10. Bunty Afoa 11. Jackson Ford 12. Marata Niukore 13. Josh Curran 14. Freddy Lussick 15. Bayley Sironen 16. Tom Ale 17. Viliami Vailea 18. Demitric Sifakula 20. Ronald Volkman 21. Ali Leiataua 22. Kalani Going 23. Zyon Maiu’u

Team B: 1. James Tedesco 2. Corey Allan 3. Joseph Suaalii 4. Paul Momirovski 5. Jaxson Paulo 6. Joseph Manu 7. Luke Keary 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Brandon Smith 10. Lindsay Collins 11. Egan Butcher 12. Nat Butcher 13. Victor Radley 14. Drew Hutchison 15. Angus Crichton 16. Sitili Tupouniua 17. Matthew Lodge 18. Fletcher Baker 19. Sam Walker 20. Naufahu Whyte 21. Jake Turpin 22. Nathan Brown

Referee: Chris Butler

Embed from Getty Images


The Sydney Roosters face a tricky test this week after escaping with the two points on ANZAC day in Round 8, visiting a depleted New Zealand Warriors outfit keen to prove they’re a strong top thirty, not just a strong seventeen.

The Warriors suffered a tough loss to the Melbourne Storm on Tuesday night, in a match not short on controversial moments and decisions. Andrew Webster’s side had it extremely tough, with no players remaining on their bench in the final ten minutes. On top of their existing injuries, the Warriors will be without Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Jazz Tevaga and inspirational captain Tohu Harris when they line up against the Roosters but do welcome back in-form dummy half Wayde Egan. Gun rookie Taine Tuaupiki will have another opportunity to impress at fullback and will be keen to earn a spot given Roger Tuivasa-Sheck’s impending arrival at the club in 2024.

The Roosters on the other hand struggled defensively on the edges against the Dragons on Tuesday and will have to shore up both sides to contain the Warriors’ physical outside backs. Easts controlled the early exchanges against the Dragons, but some bad reads and a lack of defensive cohesion let St George Illawarra back into the game, with Anthony Griffin’s men actually scoring more tries than the Bondi club. In more hostile conditions at Mt Smart stadium, playing with a similar attitude could prove much more costly. The Roosters will also be without club stalwart Daniel Tupou after he suffered a groin injury in Round 8, seeing him remain 3 tries short of the club’s all-time record.

KEY MATCHUP: One of the many features that attracts us to Rugby League is the incredible physicality we get to see between the big men up front. They don’t come much bigger than this week’s matchup of Addin Fonua-Blake and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.

Both men are the inspirational leaders of their sides and have that little element of insanity that can be the difference between a successful NRL side, and one that simply doesn’t have enough mongrel. Look for both this weekend to try and set the tone in the match and win all the little individual battles that occur between two props over the course of a game.

UNDER PRESSURE: Paul Momirovski was the forgotten man at the Roosters to start this season, and the premiership-winning centre provided a mixed bag last week against the Dragons. He looks to be the beneficiary of Trent Robinson’s current halves experiment, but with Billy Smith having returned from injury with the North Sydney Bears, Momirovski will know there’s tight competition for his position.


Warriors 4, Roosters 6.


Roosters by 8 points.

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Comments (1)

  1. Avatar
    Rex Wasia Lakonem

    The Tips pridictions are absolutely correct as I have seen Sharks win by 18 points but I undermined this and went ahead with 1-12.
    44-6 confirmed 13+ win and I was lost.

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