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Red-hot Roosters' attack among best in club history

The Roosters' NRL-leading attack is on track to rank as one of the most potent in the foundation club's proud 113-season history.

With several stars returning from injury for their finals campaign, Trent Robinson's side is averaging a healthy 28.3 points per game in the shortened 2020 season.

It's a figure that is trumped in Roosters history by only the all-conquering 1935 Easts outfit led by Dave Brown, and Ricky Stuart's runners-up from 2004.

The 2003 premiers and 1998 Roosters by Phil Gould have also notched the same points per game figures, but this year's red, white and blue vintage ranks as one of the best attacking sides in the last 15 years.

Parramatta's in/famous 2001 minor premiership still sits as the modern era benchmark – with their regular season tally of 839 points at 32.2 a game unlikely to be challenged any time soon.

Between 2001 and 2005 a couple of sides each year scored at more than 28 points a game, but only the 2016 Raiders (28.6) have done so since.

As a result the 2020 Roosters are occupying rarefied offensive air.

And with Luke Keary (ribs) and Kyle Flanagan reuniting at the scrumbase with greater cohesion and Sonny Bill Williams joining their pack amid a four-game winning streak, the Roosters' steady rise bodes ominously as they chase a third straight title which has not been achieved since the Eels of 1983.

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Back-rower Angus Crichton is among the big names to return from injury in recent weeks and has also one of the club's biggest improvers this year in his second season at the club.

"Time makes a massive difference," Crichton said this week.

"Getting to know my teammates a bit better and understanding what makes them drive and what makes them go out on the field every weekend.

"Understanding the players they are, how they move, guys that are going to pop up offloads, guys that are going to pass the ball at the line.

"Building relationships with my teammates and then understanding the way that we want to play at the Roosters and then understanding the kind of style the coaches are trying to ingrain into us, that all takes time.

"There was a lot of hard work last season and a lot of hard work throughout the pre-season and this season, and I think we're just starting to scratch the surface of what we're capable of."

Robinson sung from a similar hymn sheet, adding: "I think the combinations and the depth of connection between the players is really important. And year-on-year that continues to grow.

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"I think adaptation to the rule change and some variations in what was needed there has been important."

The Roosters square off on Saturday with Cronulla, who miss the most tackles in the NRL and comfortably concede the most points among top-eight sides, before a final-round showdown with archrivals South Sydney.

Already this season the premiers have put more than 40 points past their opposition five times.

A combined 117-12 aggregate from two thrashings of the hapless Broncos mirrors similar hauls from their 1935 predecessors, who only lost one game all year en route to the title.

Roosters legend Dave Brown, with Viv Thicknesse in support, looks to distribute the ball in a match on the 1933 Kangaroo tour.
Roosters legend Dave Brown, with Viv Thicknesse in support, looks to distribute the ball in a match on the 1933 Kangaroo tour.

Against poor old Canterbury in their debut season 85 years ago, the Roosters racked up 87-7 and 65-10 victories in the days of three-point tries.

Dave Brown's "The Bradman of League" tag rang outrageously true on both occasions, with his 45-point (five tries, 15 goals) and 38-point (six tries, 10 goals) hauls still ranking as the most points scored one player in a game.

The current-day Roosters are clearly making the most of the high-octane six-again rule.

The 40.49 total points averaged in each game across the entire NRL in 2020 is more than last season (39.51).

But it still falls short of the 41-plus mark hit in recent seasons including 2013, '14, '16 and '17.

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And as for the figures Robinson, or any coach for that matter, prize above all others?

The Bondi Wall remains as solid as ever.

The Roosters' defence – 13.55 points conceded a game – sits just behind Melbourne (12.44) and Penrith (12.45) this year.

But it is a noticeable improvement on the 2018 and 2019 premiership-winning campaigns, when they were giving away a tad more than 15 points each regular season outing.