Andrew Johns says Roosters can nonetheless win premiership


There’s been loads of speak this week about it being a grand closing rematch. The crucial six-to-go name would’ve burned the Raiders all low season however what would’ve damage probably the most was the actual fact they had been the higher staff that might’ve gained if solely centre Joey Leilua performed that two-on-one overlap late within the match.

If he had, the Raiders would’ve scored within the nook and the premiership would’ve been theirs.

There’s additionally been loads of speak concerning the rivalry between Roosters coach Trent Robinson and Canberra’s Ricky Stuart.

The gamers do not care and it gained’t decide the end result. What is going to are the inclusions for the Roosters.

And Jake Buddy is an enormous one for the Chooks. Freddy Lussick, the younger alternative for him final week, did very effectively however he’s solely performed 4 video games in 12 months. It was such a giant ask.

Buddy units the tone for his or her defence. He leads the kick-chase, the velocity of the road and cleans up across the ruck.

He’s had points with concussion this yr and his membership and coach must be applauded for the best way they’ve dealt with them. The identical goes with Boyd Nook and Luke Keary.

Some golf equipment would’ve performed Buddy final week. Robinson erred on the facet of warning. He will get his captain again this week and he’ll make a major distinction.


I’ve been actually impressed with the mix shaped between halves Jack Wighton and George Williams.

The sport is clearly faster this season as a result of we’ve returned to utilizing one referee and the brand new six-to-go rule. It’s additionally only a naturally faster sport as a result of it’s finals footy, which may clarify the large scorelines in week one.

This fits the Raiders. Their first intuition is run. As my previous coach Warren Ryan would say, they kick the door in and hold kicking it in.

Williams has been spectacular in his first yr within the NRL. He’s not robust —he’s Pommy robust, reduce from the identical granite as Adrian Morley and James Graham.

What the Raiders have of their favour is that they’re unpredictability. You throw set performs and buildings on the Roosters and their defence will lap it up all night time. It’s advert lib footy that worries them and the Storm, as I wrote final week.

The Raiders bought the Storm in Melbourne within the first week of the finals final yr, then virtually bought the Roosters within the grand closing. That’s their key to victory for them on Friday night time.


The massive X-factor for the Raiders is backrower Joseph Tapine. I’ve bought an enormous rap on him.

Footwork, agility, robust and ball abilities, too, one thing that’s typically laborious to include in the midst of the sphere. He’s an excellent participant now however he’s bought the potential to go to the subsequent degree and simply be a famous person.


The massive match-up is Wighton on Angus Crichton. Crichton will run at Wighton, attempting to terrorise him like he did final week when working at Panthers five-eighth Jarome Luai.

On the flipside, Wighton will attempt to expose the Roosters’ right-side defence as Penrith did by way of Viliame Kikau and Stephen Crichton.

This time, it will likely be Wighton attempting to reveal gaps in and round Roosters halfback Kyle Flanagan. That is the way it will occur…

The Raiders will play the ball in the midst of the sphere, 10 metres out from the attempt line. Wighton will go to the left and catch the ball within the hole between Flanagan and Crichton.

He desires Crichton to return up out of the road, attempting to place strain on Wighton so he can defend Flanagan. When Wighton sees this, he’ll placed on that large left-foot step of his on Crichton’s inside shoulder.

Everybody will realize it’s coming. The Roosters knew it was coming within the grand closing final yr however couldn’t cease it and Wighton scored.

He comes off it so fast and powerful that it’s virtually unstoppable near the road.


I anticipate Canberra to go after Keary, believing if they’ll shut him down on that left facet, it would shut down a big chunk of the Roosters assault.

They’ll assault him from the within, make him play early and pressure him into making loads of tackles, intimidating him each bodily and verbally.

No coach likes gamers verballing different gamers greater than Ricky, as a result of he was so good at it himself.

However Keary is just too sensible and too skilled to take the bait. He additionally would’ve been watching the all of the raps going to Souths’ Cody Walker in the previous couple of weeks.

He’ll need to make an announcement about who’s the most effective playmaker within the competitors.

JOEY’S TIP: Roosters by eight.

Most Seen in Sport