Roosters Mid-Season Review
Are the Roosters a premiership force or a side on the slide? Their 2015 results can be misleading. The Tricolours were just one win off bottom place after eight rounds, but the club was in much better shape than their position on the ladder suggested.
The Roosters lost four games in a row between Rounds 5 and 8, the result in all four clashes was up for grabs right until full-time, or golden point in the case of their Round 6 meeting with the Broncos.
Coach Trent Robinson was always confident that his side would bounce back and be rewarded for their efforts. Fast forward to Round 14 and they now find themselves in 6th place on the NRL Telstra Premiership ladder with a 6-6 record.
The Run Home: The Tricolours have a balanced draw, clashing with top eight teams six times in the final 12 games. They also a favourable itinerary, where after this week's clash with the Warriors in New Zealand, they don't leave New South Wales at all in the last 11 weeks of the season, the furthest road trip being a two hour drive up the F1 to Newcastle.
Game to remember: While the Roosters were impressive in Round 1 where they routed the Cowboys 28-4 in Townsville, it was their 24-2 performance against the Storm in Round 12 which really turned heads. A solitary penalty goal from Cameron Smith after the half-time siren was the only points the Storm could muster in an otherwise 80 minute shut-out where the Roosters showed their premiership credentials.
The one that got away: The Broncos won an epic golden point game in Round 6 after James Maloney's would be match-winning field goal attempt hit the cross bar, a week later it was Melbourne's Cooper Cronk icing the game with a late field goal of his own, before the Dragons pipped them by two points on Anzac Day.
MVP: Halfback Mitchell Pearce and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck have both been standouts for the Roosters. Pearce has produced the fourth most try-assists this year with 10 and the most support runs in the competition with 258, while RTS has made the most hit-ups (261) and both most metres (2,872) and average metres (239 per game).
Stats that matter: The Roosters boast the equal best defensive record in the competition, conceding just 155 points. This has helped them earn the best for-and-against record with +99. Their sets get off to a great start with the back three of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Daniel Tupou and Shaun Kenny-Dowall making the most kick return metres with 2,616. The club however has made the second most errors in the competition with 141 and has the third worst completion rate at 72 per cent.
Fantasy stud: Jake Friend tops the averages with 53.4 from seven games. Mitchell Pearce (50.8), Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (47.7), Boyd Cordner (46.7) and Aiden Guerra (46.3) have also been handy players in NRL Fantasy. Sio Siua Taukeiaho has been the star cash cow, making smart coaches a cool $189,000 off the back of a healthy 40.2 average points per game.
Injury report: Blake Ferguson has been the biggest name on the Tricolours' injury list, missing a massive chunk of the start of the season and flying to the USA for revolutionary treatment in a bid to get back in a timely fashion.
What they are saying: "I don't know if we have been too inconsistent at all. We had four games in a row where we lost by only a few points. We have trained well and prepared well for each game but we have failed to execute on a few occasions. I think we have had a pretty good year to be honest but we just haven't been able to seal those close games" Dylan Napa said.
Predicted finish: The Roosters may have struggled for continuity against the Sharks in Round 13, but outside of that result, look to be building nicely towards another premiership tilt. This is a side that has recently won a grand final and knows how to get up for big games. Trent Robinson has proven he knows how to time his side's run and on that basis we think they might just sneak into the top four.