Luke Keary spoke on AthleteTV about how closely the Sydney Roosters followed the Barcelona club and how coach Trent Robinson tried to emulate their success onto the rugby league field.
Let’s look into who performed and who didn’t in Round 8.
When the Victory announced the return of Robbie Kruse to the club in preseason, it wasn’t well received by the fan base. His performance on Friday night proved his doubters wrong in his man-of-the-match effort. Scoring his first goal of his return campaign guided his team to securing all three points, and he also created chances for others.
Completing 24 of his 33 passes with a pass accuracy of 73 per cent demonstrated his passing ability. He also put in a shift defensively, making five ball recoveries for the game and two clearances. This display needs to be repeated if his side want to make a charge for a finals spot.
At age 36, you’re not expected to be playing career-best football. Yet Moss looks to be an outlier as his performances this season have been class. The Wanderers should have scored in this match, but Moss was there as a brick wall denying what came past him and his defenders. Making four crucial saves and keeping a clean sheet, it was a man-of-the-match display.
He put in an impressive shift in midfield and was a major reason as to why his team came away with all three points. His ability to find a target was on full display, as twice his passing led to Adam Le Fondre goals. Thirty of his 37 passes were successful, a pass success rate of 81 per cent, and he made key five passes for the game, further demonstrating his great passing ability.
The Glory have gone from being a grand finalist last season to now being the worst side in the competition as they sit at the bottom of the table. With one of the best squads in the competition on paper and Tony Popovic being a proven manager at A-League level, it comes a surprise. The side have performed well under the mark this season and will need to start stringing wins together if they want to keep their season alive.
Western Sydney Wanderers
New training facility, new stadium, new signings. It was supposed to be the season when the Wanderers became a premier team of the competition, but instead they have fallen off dramatically, losing three games in a row. The result against Newcastle was the most underwhelming of them as they failed to be clinical in front of goal. Things need to turn around – and fast – if they are going to live up to the high expectations of them this season.
After making an impressive start for Western United, Berisha has gone cold. While three goals after eight rounds isn’t disastrous, he’s failing to make the same impact during games as he did at the start of the season. Against Sydney FC, Berisha was kicked out to the starting line-up in favour of Kwabena Appiah and will want to have an impact in upcoming games if he wants to prove himself as a starter and rediscover his form.