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The Sydney Roosters have ended any slim hopes the New Zealand Warriors had of playing in finals with an almighty 42-6 smackdown on Sunday afternoon.
Sydney Roosters 42
New Zealand Warriors 6
Sunday afternoon football begins with a bang this weekend with the New Zealand Warriors travelling across the Ditch to take on the defending premiers the Sydney Roosters. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 2pm (AEST).
The Warriors managed to keep their season alive after a massive upset win over the Sea Eagles last weekend. Currently in 11th spot on 19 points, they are the lowest-placed team still able to make the finals.
It’s a precarious situation to say the least – and just about the last team they would want to face in this situation is the second-placed Roosters.
The Roosters are flying high after their four-point win over the Raiders. It was a very high-quality game, truly reflective of the fact that it was second vs fourth. The Roosters will be extremely proud to have gotten the result against a very good Raiders side.
Aiding their cause is the inclusion of inspirational skipper Boyd Cordner on the extended bench. He’s no certainty to play this weekend, but his inclusion in the side would be massive for the Roosters who have been below full-strength for the entire season.
Cordner’s return would be the penultimate piece in the Roosters’ premiership puzzle, the ultimate being the impending return of hooker and co-captain Jake Friend, who has missed plenty of football this year.
The Warriors are unchanged from the 17 that beat Manly last week. Kodi Nikorima has been included on the extended bench in jersey 18.
After a star performance from five-eighth Chanel Harris-Tavita last week, it’s unlikely Nikorima would walk straight into the halves after missing last week’s game through injury. But his ability to play hooker and break games open from the bench could see him take Adam Keighran’s spot.
It’ll be some miracle if the Warriors manage to keep their slim finals hopes alive with a win in this game.
We’ve seen at various points this year the Warriors bring their A-game, and they are no doubt an impressive side when that happens. The entire match last week prior to the sin-binning of Adam Blair was one of the best Warriors’ performances I’ve seen this year. And who can forget Anzac Day when they came within 1 point of the Storm – without Roger Tuivasa-Sheck!
They will have to have their best game of the season to even be in with a chance. With the stakes so high, I think they’ll give it a red-hot crack. But I believe the Warriors lack the class across the park to match it with the Roosters at the SCG.
Roosters by 8.
And as a final point, this fullback battle is going to be incredible!
It’s always a pleasure to watch both James Tedesco and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck play individually for their respective sides each week. But to have both on the field at the same time may be simply too much to handle.
If the game is tight, it could be like that time in late 2009 when the Wests Tigers played the Parramatta Eels played each other and both Benji Marshall and Jarryd Hayne were at the peak of their powers.
So strap yourselves in, because this individual battle is going to be absolutely epic! It could be a nice preview for the Oceania Cup match between the Australian Kangaroos and New Zealand Kiwis at the end of the year (assuming both Tedesco and RTS are fit come the end of the year).
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 2:00pm (AEST).
Where: SCG, Sydney
TV: Fox League
Streaming: NRL Digital Pass, Kayo Sports
Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Latrell Mitchell 4. Joseph Manu 5. Brett Morris 6. Luke Keary 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Sam Verrills 10. Isaac Liu 11. Angus Crichton 12. Mitchell Aubusson 13. Victor Radley 14. Nat Butcher 15. Zane Tetevano 16. Poasa Faamausili 17. Sitili Tupouniua 18. Lindsay Collins 19. Billy Smith 20. Lachlan Lam 21. Boyd Cordner
Warriors: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2. Adam Pompey 3. Peta Hiku 4. Gerard Beale 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Chanel Harris-Tavita 7. Blake Green 8. Agnatius Paasi 9. Jazz Tevaga 10. Leeson Ah Mau 11. Adam Blair 12. Isaiah Papalii 13. Lachlan Burr 14. Adam Keighran 15. Sam Lisone 16. Bunty Afoa 17. Ligi Sao 18. Kodi Nikorima 20. Blake Ayshford 21. Leivaha Pulu 22. Hayze Perham