Warriors vs Roosters
Sat 16th March 7:30pm (NZ time)
Well 2013 kicked off where 2012 finished in Parramatta last Saturday night. Supporter resilience is at an all time low, the Warriors need to produce something in the ballpark of an adequate performance to gain some respect back. It’s been 253 days since our last NRL win, and I’m not convinced that run is going to be broken this weekend.
The Warriors return to Ed3n Park to take on SBW’s Rooters for their 3rd fixture at the venue: Ed3n – The Failing. SBW hype aside, it’ll be interesting to see how Jabroni performs against his old side. After last weekend, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the small ranga tear us a new one.
The Roosters will have been disappointed in their showing against the Bunnies last Thursday, but they’re a side with key players still forming combinations and things may take a while to fall into place. A trip across the Tasman would usually be something a lot of teams find daunting, however our form over the last 12 months means this fixture really isn't as threatening as it once may have been.
Recent Form: Both sides lost convincingly last weekend. The Warriors in particular were horrific against the Eels, showing no improvement on attack or defense from the end of last year. There were next to no positives to be taken from the match, one or two players aside. The Roosters started well against the Bunnies, however it was one way traffic after the opening 10. Things may start slowly for them this season but they should only go from strength to strength.
Players to watch: All eyes will of course be on SBW and James Maloney with their Kiwi connections, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t interested in seeing how these two in particular perform. I didn’t think SBW was as average as the media made out against the Bunnies, he’s starting this weekend and if there’s any team that can play him into form – it’s the Warriors. He should be salivating at the prospect of taking on the worst fringe defense in the NRL. I thought Jennings looked dangerous in his first appearance and he similarly will be looking to exploit the holes he’ll inevitably find out wide. Keep an eye on giant Roosters winger Daniel Tupou. He’s tall, fast and great in the air – the sort of winger we’d love to have on the books (though sadly don’t and never will, it seems).
On our end, well our entire side is under the microscope. Elijah Taylor will again be scrutinised at dummy half while Shaun Johnson needs to pull his finger out and show us he’s not a one hit wonder. The Kondom similarly is on the verge of Vulcanisation while Mateo’s performances will only continue to come under scrutiny as he continues to be linked elsewhere. On a positive note it’ll be interesting to see if Sebastine can back up his strong round 1 showing, while I think Pita Godinet seems to be going from strength to strength at dummy half.
My prediction: I’d love to say the home advantage should swing this in our favour, yet we all know how Ed3n Park matches usually end up. This combined with our totally woeful effort last weekend means confidence levels are pretty low headed into this one. On paper this Roosters side destroys us. If they get their shit together then things could get ugly, though even if they don’t, our glaring deficiencies should provide them with plenty of opportunity. Losing streak to extend to 260 days, and if the rain stays away this could be a high scoring affair. Roosters to get the lollies here: 32 – 20.