Taukeiaho the x-factor in Roosters’ win

marty beauchamp Roar Rookie

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    The Dragons look good against the Warriors this weekend. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

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    Form lines are hard to read in the NRL. The evenness of the entire competition leads to successive weekends like those Eels fans have just delighted in – and then endured.

    It’s hard to see how a team that looked so good beating the Cowboys can be decimated as they were yesterday by the Roosters.

    A lot can probably be traced to the injury to the Eels pivotal playmaker Corey Norman. The second half seemed to go fairly pear shaped after that.

    For me the damage started much earlier though. The Eels have a good forward pack who would have fancied their chances against the Roosters. You know you are going to get a good contest in the middle out of Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Dylan Napa, and Boyd Cordner and Mitch Aubusson are excellent second rowers.

    Nothing that Tim Mannah and Suaia Matagi, Manu Ma’u and Tepai Moeroa couldn’t handle though.

    Sio Siua Taukeiaho was the X factor, the POD in supercoach parlance. The bare statistics don’t show this, his runs and tackles were not much different to any of the other forwards.

    But there was something about the quality of each of his carries, the stages of the match that he made those carries, and especially when he made multiple carries in the same set, that made the Roosters a different proposition.

    He has obviously timed his return from injury well, not rushed it, because he looked every bit the player he was last year, this week and last despite the crazy result against the crazier Warriors.

    Suddenly the Roosters look that little bit more a team who could win the whole thing, and in such a tightly contested competition, it is the little things that make all the difference.

    The Roosters forwards have been confrontational, aggressive in defence, everything they should be. But yesterday they looked just that little bit different.