Much has been said about the Roosters forum this season. Some are puzzled as to why they are going so poorly but I have to say, I’m not surprised at all.
The Roosters build their best sides on the back of two things.
1. They were one of the most athletic sides ever. Big, fast, mobile forwards. Strong, strapping backs, speed, power, acceleration, stamina…..the works.
Then, the most important thing….
2. Brad Fittler. The best footballing brain running around. A great captain, a brilliant player, he guides the team around the part, he take on the kicking duties in general player, he is the heart and soul of the team.
So when Freddy retired the Rooster were left with an athletic squad, but no footballing brains.
Now, I’m not saying they are a dumb side, the Warriors and Dragons are dumb sides, the Roosters are not at there level. But by not replacing their play maker the Roosters now struggle with the little things they did so well in the past.
The settling plays, Freddy would get in there when then needed to just settle down and hit it up for a full set of six. If he didn’t run the ball up himself, he made sure his forwards knew what needed to be done. One the back of it, he would put in a nice kick….and all of a sudden the Roosters were pinning the opposition on their own try line.
The inside balls, the little offloads in traffic, getting the team organized, providing leadership, settling the side down during the tough times….all of this is missing.
If you watch the Roosters now, you’ll see that most of their attack out wide now consists of trying to out pace the defender on the outside and then tossing the ball back in, hoping for the best.
The kicking game isn’t anywhere near what it used to be, around the ruck, the Roosters have very little and are not nearly as dangerous as they once were.
When you couple this with a style of game that has worn down some of their forwards over the past few years….its got the Roosters in the position where they look like a poor, tired side that could use and off season and a good play maker.
The tough part for Ricky Stuart is that they Roosters have tried a number of combinations in the halves and the best one looks like Brett Finch (Who I think he has realized isn’t the club leading halfback he was hoping he’d become) and Craig Wing (Who is dangerous, but is more the athlete then the play maker).
That coupled with the poor start to the season, the number of top quality sides that are near the bottom of the table, the break away start a number of sides at the top of the ladder have and heading into a must win game this weekend against the Bulldogs….it all makes for tough times ahead at the Roosters.
For years the Roosters talked about being the standard setters in the NRL. They were the top dogs, everyone wanted to be just like them and they were building and empire everyone would follow.
Now…..its time to show how good a football club they really are. Its easy to win, its a lot harder to drag yourself out of the s***.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
Apr 14, 2019 0