The second match on Friday night has shifted from Gosford to the SCG, with the Roosters hosting the Sea Eagles. Both sides are coming off disappointing losses in Round 1. They were the favourites yet produced performances which were far from their potential.
The ideal factor for punters is that most betting markets should be inflated given the relative uncertainty of each team. Questions remain – Is Tommy Turbo capable of backing up his stellar Dally M performance in 2021? Are the Roosters too small in key positions? Time will tell. Either way, the stage is set for an epic Friday Night of NRL action.
Sydney Roosters vs Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
The Sydney Cricket Ground, Friday 18th March, 8:05pm (AEDT)
1. James Todesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Billy Smith 4. Joseph Manu 5. Paul Momirovski 6. Sam Walker 7. Luke Keary 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Connor Watson 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. Kevin Naiqama 19. Daniel Suluka-Fifita
1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Jason Saab 3. Brad Parker 4. Morgan Harper 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Toafofoa Sipley 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Martin Taupau 11. Haumole Olakau'atu 12. Ethan Bullemor 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Dylan Walker 15. Karl Lawton 16. Sean Keppie 17. Taniela Paseka 19. Andrew Davey 20. Tolutau Koula
The Roosters went into Round 1 as the shortest-priced favourites of the week and were upset by the Knights 20-6. It was only a 76th minute try which save them of the embarrassment of going tryless. Despite being impacted by HIA’s during the match, the expected dominance of their halves didn’t occur. They were outplayed by a team which display more desire. Run hard and tackle hard is a simple but effective formula for success.
The Sea Eagles were also favourites for their match and appeared poised for victory with the withdrawal of Nathan Cleary for the Panthers. Unfortunately, it was the opposite with their opponents exposing a formula to defeat Manly. This revolved around long kicks and forcing them to continually come off their own line. It also exposed the weakness of their hooker and desire for improvement in this area. For this game, it will be a matter of how well each team bounces back from their defeat.
Both sides have the talent (including their coach) to turn around their performance from Round 1. There are no major team changes aside from Dylan Walker named to return for the visitors. The concern for the Roosters is that their halves combination will still need a few weeks yet to feel comfortable, while the Sea Eagles may be limited by a game plan which nullifies their attacking weapons.
Given there is more upside for the Roosters and a strong record at home, they should have what it takes to handle their opponents. The ideal advice would be to stay away from this contest altogether, but the value on off for the Roosters (or the Sea Eagles if you really believe they can win) is too much to overlook. This game may only be decided late so enjoy everything that this contest has to offer.