A bitter rivalry gets us underway for Round 2 of the NRL this week.
SYDNEY ROOSTERS looked every bit the premiership contender many painted them to be at the start of the season when racing out to a huge lead against the Gold Coast last week. While their second half was far less clinical, the damage had been done and they scored an impressive win nonetheless.
Canterbury, on the other hand, had to slog it out in atrocious conditions at Belmore against the Melbourne Storm but fell just short in a dour 12-6 contest.
HOME GROUND ADVANTAGE
The chooks finished off last season with some impressive wins and that included three straight victories at Allianz Stadium.
Salvaging something from what was a horrid season, Sydney Roosters beat finals contenders Broncos, defending champs (at the time) North Queensland Cowboys and the Stgeorge Illawarra Dragons. Even more impressive was the average winning margin of all three games which was a whopping 21.3 points!
All up they won five games at Allianz Stadium last season and all were by double figures. A Roosters Win by 11-20 points is paying a healthy $3.75 with William Hill.
NEW SEASON, SAME RESULTS
The Bulldogs had enough chances to win two games of football against the Storm but couldn’t find the points when needed.
Points and their attacking play were big criticisms of the dogs last season and despite a promise of a shake up in the off-season, coach Des Hasler’s side didn’t really produce anything different from what we saw in 2016.
Going back to last season they have now dropped five straight games.
On recent history you have to give Canterbury a chance to bounce back.
They have won the past two games, both last season, against the Roosters but of course the chooks were in all sorts for most of the year so you can only read so much into those efforts.
Prior to that the Roosters won four straight all by double figures margins.
Bookies have installed Sydney Roosters as favourites and it’s easy to see why.
The new halves combination of Mitchell Pearce / Luke Keary was electric against the Titans last week and will only be better for their first competitive match together. The latter especially was impressive after piling on two tries.
Their lightning fast beginning, which saw them race to a 28-nil lead, will be sure to have the Dogs on their toes as their start against Melbourne was the complete opposite. Before the Belmore faithful knew what was happening the visitors had raced to a 12-nil lead inside eight minutes!
Alarmingly for Canterbury they looked slow and lethargic but seemed to get better as the game wore on, however, they didn’t ask many questions of the Storm defence.
A poor recent record at Allianz (three losses from their past four) will also hinder their chances here so on the basis of all the above, it looks like the Roosters are going two-for-two to start the season.
MATCH WINNER TIP: SYDNEY ROOSTERS
FIRST TRYSCORER: BLAKE FERGUSON
MARGIN BETTING: SYDNEY ROOSTERS 1-12
OTHER TIP: SYDNEY ROOSTERS TO LEAD AT HALF TIME