MATCH PREVIEW | Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs vs Sydney Roosters

  Shannon Meyer previews the clash between the haves and have-nots on Sunday afternoon.


Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

The Bulldogs are in a scrap to avoid the wooden spoon, and should be wary of the Titans’ trump card of the new coach bounce. They are just two points above the Gold Coast, and with a points difference that is 63 worse than the Titans, they need to stay one win ahead.

Canterbury moved off the bottom of the ladder with two straight wins before last weekend’s loss to the Broncos. The wins over top eight sides Cronulla-Sutherland and Newcastle proved there is something there to work with.

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Sydney Roosters

The Roosters have gone win-loss for the past six weeks, and haven’t strung two wins together since Magic Round. They are still third – just two points from the Rabbitohs – and will keep their neighbours honest with more performances like the second half of their 48-10 win over Newcastle last weekend: 42 points and 7 tries showing just how powerful the Roosters can be at full cry/crow.

It may all boil down to the last round game against Souths for second spot.

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Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

A bunch of changes to the Bulldogs side, Lachlan Lewis back into the halves being one, although Kieran Foran is named on an extended bench. Canterbury could be keen for the ‘Gareth Bale of the Bulldogs’ to play so they can shop him around easier if he is form, if reports are to be believed.

Outside of those worries Aidan Tolman returns, which should give them a little extra forward power, and Kerrod Holland replaces Marcelo Montoya.

1. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 2. Nick Meaney 3. Kerrod Holland 4. Will Hopoate 5. Reimis Smith 6. Jack Cogger 7. Lachlan Lewis 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Michael Lichaa 10. Dylan Napa 11. Josh Jackson 12. Corey Harawira-Naera 13. Adam Elliott 14. Jeremy Marshall-King 15. Renouf To’omaga 16. Danny Fualalo 17. Chris Smith 19. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 20. Kieran Foran 21. Jayden Okunbor 22. Ofahiki Ogden.

Sydney Roosters

Joseph Manu returns to the centres, meaning the Roosters’ backline is at full strength, and the Bulldogs will be very thankful. Victor Radley replaces the luckless Jake Friend at hooker, and Isaac Liu moves into lock. Friend aside, it is as strong a line up as they can field at the right time of the season.

1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Latrell Mitchell 4. Joseph Manu 5. Ryan Hall 6. Luke Keary 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Victor Radley 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho 11. Boyd Cordner 12. Mitchell Aubusson 13. Isaac Liu 14. Sam Verrills 15. Zane Tetevano 16. Angus Crichton 17. Brett Morris 18. Sitili Tupouniua 19. Poasa Faamausili 20. Lachlan Lam 21. Billy Smith.


Fans and TV viewers alike will be hoping the game has more to offer than the previous Bulldogs home game between these sides, which ended 6-0 to the Roosters. You would think that – wild weather aside – there should be more points in this game, for the Roosters anyway.

The Bulldogs have to go back to 2016 for their last win in this fixture, although they did do the double over the Roosters that year.

As for 2019, the Round 14 clash just over a month ago was an easy 38-12 win for the Roosters.

For some barely interesting facts the Bulldogs lead the Roosters 11-7 at the Olympic stadium, and hold the advantage 7-1 for home games on a Sunday against the Roosters. That one Roosters win was in 2017.

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The Roosters have the Bulldogs covered all across the park, so there isn’t really a key battle to talk up. More like a few individual players for the Bulldogs who could make the difference.

One is Dylan Napa who would surely love a big game against his former club, especially after how much he ‘enjoyed’ the off season. Then if Kieran Foran does get a start, it gives the Bulldogs a potential game breaker to match the known quality of the Roosters halves.

But do the Bulldogs have a game breaker out wide like Latrell Mitchell or James Tedesco? As good as Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and Will Hopoate are, you can’t see them providing enough magic out wide.


Date: Sunday July 28
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Kick-off: 2pm
Referee: Adam Gee, Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski


At their best the Roosters could win this by 50 points, but can they put two halves of football together? Evidence says no. In saying that, one half will probably be good enough, so it’ll still be the Roosters by 32 points.

Sydney Roosters by 32.

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