Roosters v Bulldogs
Roosters v Bulldogs

Latrell’s birthday bash soured by Origin dumping

Dumped NSW centre Latrell Mitchell scored a brace of tries at the Sydney Cricket Ground as the Bulldogs ran riot in a thumping victory over the Bulldogs. 

With all eyes on the young Sydney Roosters superstar ahead of the naming of the NSW team, Mitchell finished with two tries and five goals for a personal tally of 18 points, as the Roosters snapped a three-match losing run to pile more misery on Dean Pay's Bulldogs.

The Roosters ended up running away with a comfortable 38-12 victory after leading 16-6 at halftime.

The Roosters proved too strong for the Bulldogs at the SCG. Picture: Brendon Thorne
The Roosters proved too strong for the Bulldogs at the SCG. Picture: Brendon Thorne

Blues captain Boyd Cordner was superb for the premiers while Joey Manu was equally outstanding filling in for James Tedesco at fullback.

It was the Bulldogs' fourth straight defeat and leaves them anchored at the bottom of the NRL ladder with only three wins in 14 games.

LATRELL'S BIRTHDAY BASH

Sometimes you have to question the expectation that is put on these young NRL stars.

Mitchell only turned 22 on Sunday and yet he has already achieved what a lot of the best never do.

 

Latrell Mitchell scored the first try of the match. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Latrell Mitchell scored the first try of the match. Picture: Phil Hillyard

 

He won an Origin series last year and a premiership, and six weeks ago the debate was if he was the No 1 player in the game.

But on Sunday it was whether or not he deserved another chance in the NSW team to play Queensland in Perth next Sunday.

Mitchell answered the challenge with a solid performance but it still wasn't enough to get him a second chance for the Blues, although his two tries again highlighted what a threat he is with half a chance.

Cordner and Manu were the Roosters' best. In particular, Manu caused all sorts of problems filling in at fullback for Tedesco who was rested, running for 253m that included two tries and 10 tackle busts.

 

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak’s Bulldogs debut ended early. Picture: Brendon Thorne
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak’s Bulldogs debut ended early. Picture: Brendon Thorne

 

FORAN ALL HEART

Since his return from injury Foran has played his guts out for the Bulldogs. Again in defeat the 28-year-old five-eighth could not have given more.

He was targeted heavily by the Roosters to try and tire him out. But despite being on the receiving end of some heavy hits he still kept getting up and going back twice as hard.

Foran was unlucky not to be rewarded with a try just before the break while another chance he created came to nothing when Dallin Watene-Zelezniak bombed a four-on-one overlap.

JURY OUT ON DWZ

No one is arguing that Watene-Zelezniak is not an outstanding NRL player. But whether or not his best position is fullback remains up for debate.

Despite naming Nick Meaney in the No 1 jumper, Pay shifted the youngster to the right wing to accommodate DWZ's arrival.

Watene-Zelezniak is known as one of the NRL's hardest running outside backs but he still has a way to go in relation to his ball playing.

 

Daniel Tupou impressed on the wing for the Roosters. Picture: Brendon Thorne
Daniel Tupou impressed on the wing for the Roosters. Picture: Brendon Thorne

 

While Meaney is only early in his NRL career, he is a specialist fullback who was brought to the club on decent money and now also finds himself playing out of position.

Watene-Zelezniak was forced off midway through the second half after a head knock but even then Pay chose to leave Meaney on the wing.

EMPTY SCG

It's a tough sell for the NRL during the Origin period but perhaps they might want to rethink where some of these games during this testing time are played.

On Sunday the official crowd at the SCG was 8,217. But for anyone at the ground, well, let's just say the atmosphere left a lot to be desired.

There was confirmation during the week that the NRL grand final will be played at the grand old ground in 2020 and 2021 while work is underway at ANZ Stadium.

SYDNEY ROOSTERS 38 (J Manu 2 L Mitchell 2 D Hutchison I Liu S Tupouniua tries L Mitchell 5 goals) bt CANTERBURY 12 (R Faitala-Mariner W Hopoate tries R Martin N Meaney goals) at Sydney Cricket Ground. Referee: Matt Cecchin, Adam Cassidy

News Corp Australia


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