Five things we learned from roosters v st helens

Five things we learned from roosters v st helens Written by PHIL WILKINSON, February 20, 2016

THE Roosters were too good for St Helens in a 38-12 demolition. Here are the five things RLW learned:

It was the question which hung over the Roosters’ pre-season – how will they cope until Mitchell Pearce returns? On this evidence, just fine. Jayden Nikorima will face stiffer opposition this season – indeed, he may not face many softer defences – but the 19-year-old’s debut was still richly encouraging. He had a hand or foot in several of the Roosters’ seven tries, including an arcing run for Shaun Kenny-Dowall’s try in the 52nd minute. He proved his mettle, too, returning to the pitch after treatment for an early head knock.
Mentioning Roosters’ youngsters, teenage sensation Latrell Mitchell has been tipped for a big future – and it’s easy to see why. He effectively got the nod ahead of English recruit Joe Burgess in the Roosters backline, starting at centre with Shaun Kenny-Dowall switching to the wing. In the 15th minute, it was a powerful run by Mitchell which led to the game’s opening try by Kane Evans, and he made other strong contributions.

It seemed St Helens halfback Luke Walsh didn’t realise this game was being played under international rules when he attempted a ‘free play’ in the opening half. He risked an attacking kick after claiming possession from a Roosters error – expecting play to be brought back for a scrum when the move didn’t come off. There are only two professional rugby league competitions in the world but, incredibly, their are three sets of rules – a situation veteran Sky Sports commentator Mike ‘Stevo’ Stephenson labelled “madness”.

St Helens started solidly but Sydney Roosters’ superior class soon surfaced. They scored three tries in a 10-minute burst midway through the opening half, and Saints simply had no answer. “The difference in the game was how good the Roosters’ outside backs were,” said Saints coach Keiron Cunningham.

Organisers may privately be hoping Wigan and Leeds beat Brisbane and North Queensland in the remaining two games. Since the expanded World Club Series was brought in last year, the NRL clubs have now won all four games – and a clean-sweep again would inevitably prompt debates about the concept’s future. But Roosters coach Trent Robinson, a strong advocate for developing the international game, said: “I don’t think you should question it, you should love it and nurture it. It’s here to stay. I love it over here.”

Sydney Roosters 38 (A.Guerra 2, K.Evans, B.Ferguson, D.Copley, S.Kenny-Dowall, D.Tupou tries; J.Hastings 5 goals) beat St Helens 12 (D.Peyroux 2 tries; L.Walsh 2 goals).

Read More

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply