Round 10: Warriors v Roosters preview
Can the Warriors put the Roosters away twice in one season?
The New Zealand Warriors jumped back into second spot on the NRL ladder last weekend following their win over the Wests Tigers in Auckland last weekend, but things don't get easier for the Warriors again with the Sydney Roosters making the trip to take on the Warriors.
Last weekend the Warriors put aside a thumping from the Melbourne Storm on ANZAC Day to jump back into the winners circle after a convincing 26-4 victory over the Wests Tigers. The Warriors form over recent weeks has been up and down with the Kiwis unable to put back to back victories together in the past four weeks which included the 40 point loss to the Melbourne Storm.
The Warriors will be without Shaun Johnson for a number of weeks with Mason Lino coming into the side yet again at halfback to make his fourth appearance of the season for the Warriors. The Warriors in 2018 after 9 rounds have scored 52 points more this season than they had in 2017 so far. The Warriors defensively have been massive improvers with 40 points less conceded in 2018 as compared to the same point in 2017.
The Sydney Roosters will be out for revenge following their surprise Round 4 defeat to the New Zealand Warriors, the Sydney Roosters have jumped back into the NRL top 8 following a 22-20 victory over the Manly Sea Eagles. The Roosters attack has been one of their biggest issues in 2018 with a lot of clunkiness to their attack which was proven in their clash against the Bulldogs a fortnight ago when they could only put one try on the board in their 6-0 victory.
The Roosters in 2018 have only scored more than 20 points on four occasions but have also been kept to under 20 points on five occasions this season which is one more than their performances after the first 9 rounds of 2017. The Roosters have lost to the Warriors on the past four occasions which gives them added incentives to try and take victory over the Warriors and end any conversations about a potential hoodoo.
Who to watch: Mason Lino - The Warriors fill-in halfback makes his fourth appearance of the season scoring two tries for the Warriors this season. Lino made his first appearance of the season in the Warriors first defeat of the Roosters this season in Round 4 as well their victory over the St George Illawarra Dragons at home in Round 7.
Although Lino has only played 12 games since his debut in 2015, he has shown enough glimpses of talent in the lower grades to show he is a future star despite also having a 2/12 win record whilst being the Warriors half.
Jake Friend - The Roosters hooker has been a fan favourite of the Roosters faithful although lately he has copped the brunt of the unhappiness of the Roosters fans who have put blame onto Friend's average performances this season. The Roosters hooker needs to put in a big performance in a game like this to ensure that the Roosters have a chance of winning this important game.
My tip: The Warriors momentum at home is too much for the Roosters, the fact that the Warriors are looking to prove a point in 2018 and they're attack looks too slick for the Roosters who themselves have struggled to put points on the scoreboard and put teams away in 2018. Warriors by 10.