Stopping the Roosters Back 5
The Bulldogs backline will face a David V Goliath battle against the star studded Roosters back-five.
Bulldogs fullback Brett Morris scored a fantastic try last week against the Dragons and saved quite a few with his defensive awareness; however he goes head-to-head with the most in-form fullback in the competition.
Despite his agility and offensive awareness it is the sheer number of times Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (RTS) touches the ball which the Bulldogs will need to combat.
The Roosters fullback averages 21 runs with the ball per game while his Bulldogs counterpart runs the ball roughly 12 times a game.
RTS leads the completion in all running stats and has crossed the stripe for 11 tries as well.
The Roosters fullback is not alone however, with the likes of Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Daniel Tupou returning the ball along with Tuivasa-Sheck they have managed to amass almost 800 more kick-return metres than the Bulldogs.
The Roosters also have an 82.8% kick defusal rate compared to the Bulldogs 73.5% which was well tested by the Dragons last weekend.
Another alarming stat for the Bulldogs is the amount of tackles the Roosters backs have broken, 443 to 299.
The left side of Jennings and Tupou will look at where the Dragons went last week and will look to exploit the Bulldogs right hand side on attack.
Despite the different levels of metres gained and tackle breaks, along with the amount of representative players in the Roosters backline; the Bulldogs have only scored four less tries in their back-five and sit equal with them on line-breaks.
Bulldogs forward David Klemmer is weary of the dangers possessed by the Roosters all over the park.
“You just got to watch their outside backs, they’re all class,” he said.
“They’re a red-hot side and come Friday it’s going to be very exciting.”
WORDS: Eddie Webeck