The Canterbury Bulldogs have rediscovered the form that saw them make last season’s grand final and will be favoured to defeat a Sydney Roosters side down on troops and confidence. Join us for live scores and commentary from 7.30pm AEST.
The Roosters have hit a brick wall after a terrific start to the season and now face a tough ask tonight against a Bulldogs side coming off a great win over Manly at Brookvale Oval.
Sydney’s defeat to the Warriors last week was by far their worst performance of the season and they will need to improve tenfold if they are a chance of upsetting the Bulldogs away from home.
The Roosters are without Mitchell Pearce, James Maloney and Michael Jennings for tonight’s encounter, while the Bulldogs are missing key duo Josh Morris and Josh Reynolds to Origin duty .
Canterbury however are playing by far the better football at the moment, in comparison to the Roosters, who have lost all structure in defence and attack over the past few weeks.
The result of this contest could be decided in the opening 20 minutes of the match.
Expect the Bulldogs forwards to come out firing in a bid to dominate a Roosters pack that has severely struggled to get on top of the opposition in recent weeks.
In their defeat to the Warriors last week, Sydney hardly had any field position against a New Zealand pack that simply punched holes through the Roosters defence.
When the Roosters are on the back foot, their discipline goes out the window and they tend to panic in defence and attack when they are getting well out-muscled.
If the Bulldogs do manage to win the early arm wrestle, Canterbury may very well be headed for a big victory at home, with Ben Barba, Sam Kasiano, James Graham, Michael Ennis and Krisnan Inu all likely to wreck havoc.
For the Roosters to stand a chance tonight, all their key players must respect possession and brace themselves for the arm wrestle that is to come tonight.
Forwards Sonny Bill Williams, Martin Kennedy, Boyd Cordner and Luke O’Donnell need to focus on making yardage first and establishing a platform for the Roosters halves before they can think about taking chances in attack with their offloading abilities.
If the Roosters can just get back to basics and play with the type of intensity that served them so well earlier in the year, then they are a chance of causing the upset.
Recent form however suggests that the Bulldogs are well on course for another strong victory at home.