Round 2 Preview: Sydney Roosters vs Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs



                                      Sydney Roosters v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 
Allianz Stadium
Friday 16 March 
6:00pm (NSW), 5:00pm (QLD), 8pm (NZ)

Roosters:
1. James Tedesco
2. Daniel Tupou
3. Latrell Mitchell
4. Joseph Manu
5. Blake Ferguson
6. Luke Keary
7. Cooper Cronk
8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
9. Jake Friend (c)
10. Sio Siua Taukeiaho
11. Boyd Cordner (c)
12. Mitchell Aubusson
13. Isaac Liu

Interchange: 14. Dylan Napa, 15. Zane Tetevano, 16. Ryan Matterson, 17. Victor Radley

Reserves: 18. Reece Robinson, 20. Nat Butcher

Bulldogs:
1. Moses Mbye
2. Brett Morris
3. Josh Morris
4. Will Hopoate
5. Marcelo Montoya
6. Matthew Frawley
7. Kieran Foran
8. Aaron Woods
9. Michael Lichaa
10. David Klemmer
11. Joshua Jackson (c)
12. Raymond Faitala-Mariner
13. Danny Fualalo

Interchange: 14. Adam Elliott, 15 Aiden Tolman, 16. Greg Eastwood (Already Dropped) 17 Jeremy Marshall-King

Reserves: 18. John Olive (Already Dropped) 19 Asipeli Fine, 20 Kerrod Holland, 21 Renouf Toomaga

The Roosters did the impossible in the first round and lost to a tough Tigers outfit. Everyone and their dog had tipped Roosters except for the staunch Tigers supporters. New signings James Tedesco and Cooper Cronk failed to live up to their hefty price tags first up but as they say they will be better for the run and I expect them to be better prepared for a Bulldogs side hat showed that they have a little more attacking flare and pounce on opportunities that are given to them. 

Roosters will be desperate to win this one as history shows that after losses in the opening 2 rounds they haven’t made the finals since the 1980s. 

Key match ups: 
Boyd Cordner v Josh Jackson
The 2 NSW back rowers will face off against each other this week, and will need to put in big games to help their sides win. Cordner started off the bench last week in the head scratcher of the round while Josh Jackson didn’t put a foot wrong in his sides loss to the reigning premiers. 

Jake Friend v Michael Lichaa
Quiet games from both rakes last week with Lichaa only running 3 times against Storm while his counterpart Friend ran 4 times for a measly 8 metres! Both these players will be looking to improve on their opening performances and what a game to do it on a Friday night. 

Cooper Cronk v Kieran Foran 
This match up speaks for itself really. Both players were bought to their respective clubs to add a polish and professionalism to their sides. Foran showed pretty quick last week what he had to offer using his backrower perfectly to put him through a hole to score the opening try while Cronk had a less than impressive start to his Roosters career. Both will take time to adjust to their new teams but this match is a good start. 

Prediction: 
Look for a much improved Roosters side with live wire five eight Luke Keary making his return from injury alongside new halves partner Cooper Cronk. I can see a Roosters win here but it’ll be closely fought due to the Bulldogs improves pack mentality. Roosters by 8.

- Nath

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