2011 Position – 11th
2012 Gains: Josh Ailaomai (Knights, 2013), Jack Bosden (Dragons, 2013), Adam Henry (Warriors, 2012), Anthony Mitchell (Eels, 2012), Daniel Mortimer (Eels, 2013), Peni Tagive (Dragons, 2013), Daniel Tupou (Eels, 2012)
2012 Losses: Cheyse Blair (Eels), Todd Carney (Sharks), Daniel Conn (retired), Phil Graham (Titans), Kane Linnett (Cowboys), Ethan Lowe (Cowboys), Nate Myles (Titans), Mark Riddell (retired), Jason Ryles (Storm), Anthony Watts (ESL)
2012 Premiership Odds $21 courtesy of Tab Sportsbet
1. Anthony Minichiello
2. Sam Perrett
3. BJ Leilua
4. Shaun Kenny-Dowall
5. Justin Carney
6. Braith Anasta
7. Mitchell Pearce
8. Jared Warea-Hargreaves
9. Jake Friend
10. Martin Kennedy
11. Aiden Guerra
12. Mitchell Aubusson
13. Frank-Paul Nuuausala
14. Daniel Mortimor
15. Mose Masoe
16. Lama Tasi
17. Tom Symonds
Others: Josh Ailaomai, Alofa Alofa, Tinirau Arona, Jack Bosden, Anthony Cherrington, Boyd Cordner, Glenn Dumbrell, Adam Henry, Mark Kheirallah, Issac Liu, Anthony Mitchell, Tautau Moga, Peni Tagive, Brad Takairangi
After the euphoria of backing up a wooden spoon season with a grand final appearance, the crash back to earth was pretty loud for the Chooks last season. The football seemed to be a by-product of the Todd Carney saga, not to mention poor behaviour from a few other players. On the field they didn’t put any decent football together until far too late in the season, with the loss of Carney to injury sapping their creativity.
Their best football occurred when they decided to banish Carney and Myles for good. They seemed to be a more united side at that point and had some good victories over much better performed sides, such as St. George Illawarra and Melbourne. This has got to bode well for the upcoming season, and their trial form is again strong.
Their forward pack is quite well balanced for the upcoming season. Martin Kennedy is a front rower a bit in the mould of Shane Webcke, and after an injury ruined season will be hungry for a big year. There is size with players such as Warea-Hargreaves and Nuuausala that is complimented by the football smarts of Aiden Guerra, who couldn’t stop scoring tries last year, and Mitchell Aubusson, who is a tireless defender. Masoe, adds size off the bench also.
Jake Friend is an unheralded sort of player, but his work from dummy half has improved enormously over the past 18 months, since his return from a club impost suspension. Good defender and consistent service to his halves.
Anasta and Pearce tend to play quite good football together. Anasta is much better at 5/8 than in the second row whilst Pearce is a solid all round player. The concern would be over the 1-5.
Minichiello has been a quality player for a long time but his best football is behind him. Perrett is a solid player, a bit in the Nightingale mode, but players such as BJ Leilua and, especially, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, can be frustratingly inconsistent.
The other issue is lack of experience. Only three players (Minichiello, Anasta and Perrett) are over 25 and the side has a very young feel about it. This can be a great thing but it also means there are a lot of players who aren’t quite battle hardened at NRL. It bodes very well for the club going forwards, as there is a lot of talent around the Eastern Suburbs at present, but the side looks to be a year off at this stage.
The Coach Brian Smith seems to be cursed to come second. “Forever Malcolm Young” as Frenzal Rhomb might say. I personally think he’s a pretty damn good coach, he has a good record of getting sides competitive, although his consistency between seasons isn’t always great. Still, free of the drama, I think he’ll do a good job with this squad.
Key Player Mitchell Pearce has been in first grade for a few seasons now and even played at State of Origin level. He’s a solid first grader, good kicking and organisation, quality defender but if the Roosters are to have a good season this is the year he really has to take control.
Prediction A year off really challenging I feel. A quality squad that Smith will get playing good football but I suspect they’ll just fall short in a few games. Still, promising signs going forward. 9th
All player movements thanks to http://www.zerotackle.com.au/rugby-league/player-movements-2012/