SBW is really starting hit form at the Roosters. Image courtesy of: sportal.com.au
Sydney Roosters v Canberra Raiders
Saturday May 31 – 5:35 Pm (AEST)
A man of the match performance from Sonny Bill Williams was exactly what the Sydney Roosters needed. After some poor performances to start the season, SBW was instrumental in the Roosters' 32-12 hiding of the Bulldogs last Friday night. It’s bad timing for the Canberra Raiders , who need to go on from their 42-12 thrashing of the Cowboys last Sunday.
After the Origin period, the Roosters usually have to wait for Mitchell Pearce to recover from yet another loss to find his form. But after missing selection, he comes into Saturday's clash fresh as a daisy. James Maloney has had enough time to recover from a niggling shoulder injury, after also being excluded from the NSW team and heads into the game near 100%. Origin stars Aiden Guerra, Daniel Tupou and Michael Jennings all return to the starting side, replacing Nene Macdonald, Samisoni Langi and Kane Evans.
It's been a frustrating wait, but the Raiders finally put a tick in the win column last start. It may have been against an understrength Cowboys side, but still, a win's a win. The recent signing of young-gun James Tedesco is massive news for the Raiders after losing Anthony Milford to the Broncos at season's end. On Sunday, Milford was sensational, Jarrod Crocker as solid as always, and Terry Campese finally utilized his running game, something that's been missing all season. Josh Papalii returns from Origin duty, pushing Joel Edwards back to the bench and Shannon Boyd to 18th man.
Both teams showed solid form last week - now they must strive for consistency. The problem for the Raiders is that when the Chookies start hitting top form, they are near impossible to stop.
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