The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs clash with the Sydney Roosters this Sunday (16 June, 4pm kick-off) at the historic Sydney Cricket Ground with both sides looking to bounce back from round 13 defeats.
Roosters fans will be keen to see their stars shine if they’re break their losing streak this week. Cooper Cronk will once again be looking to provide the creative spark against a Canterbury defence that ranks among the worst for ineffective and missed tackles in 2019, centre Latrell Mitchell leads the league for points scored with 119 while fullback James Tedesco is amongst the Dally M Medal favourites amid another excellent season. Tedesco leads the league in both linebreaks (13) and tackle breaks (84) in 2019, and has been unplayable at times throughout this season,
Trent Robinson joined the Roosters as head coach in 2013 following a two-year stint at the helm of the Catalan Dragons in the English Super League. No stranger to the tricolours, Robinson was assistant to Brian Smith when the Roosters made the 2010 NRL grand final. Aged just 35 at the time of his appointment, Robinson is one of the youngest head coaches in NRL history. In his first season he became just the 2nd rookie NRL coach to claim a minor premiership, before capping off a historic debut year by leading his team to the Premiership title. He also claimed the Coach of the Year award at the 2013 Dally M Awards, becoming the youngest ever winner. Since then he has coached the club to a further three minor premierships and claimed his second NRL Premiership last season. Overall Robinson has coached 185 games at club level, resulting in 119 wins and 66 losses, giving him a 64% win percentage.
The Roosters will be without Jared Waerea-Hargreaves this week as he serves the final game of his two-week suspension but are expected to welcome back both Mitchell and Crighton in a much-needed confidence boost to an out of form side.
The creative exploits of two of the NRL’s most experienced halves will be on display come Sunday as Kieran Foran and Cooper Cronk both look to weave their magic on the hallowed SCG turf. The stats behind this battle are simply fascinating. Foran boasts three tries and five try assists from 8 appearances this season, meanwhile Cronk has two tries and five assists from his 9 games. Yet despite the even matchup on paper, the on-field fortunes of each man couldn’t be any more different. The Bulldogs are rooted to the bottom of the ladder with just three wins in 2019, meanwhile the Roosters have been flying high, and remain firm favourites to take out the Premiership despite a recent form slump. Cronk will be bright eyed coming into this one, and keen to force mistakes out of a Bulldogs defence that has been leaky throughout the season. Meanwhile Foran will be looking to make the most of his team’s impressive completion rate and translate that into points for his side. The Bulldogs will need to be disciplined in defence, and take risks in the opposition half to turn their results around, and a Sunday afternoon clash against a Roosters side that has shown it’s vulnerability in recent weeks seems to be the perfect time to do just that.
Match: Roosters v Bulldogs
Round 14 -
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney