Roosters player Luke Keary has been a star this season.
Roosters player Luke Keary has been a star this season. DAVE HUNT

Roosters pair doing the damage in NRL

IF Luke Keary's the buy of the year he'd do well to reserve plenty of room in his acceptance speech for Trent Robinson.

After four rounds it's stating the obvious to say Mitchell Pearce and his new running mate have really hit it off.

Both are scheming, dynamic ball runners capable of turning a game on its head in a blink of an eye.

Braith Anasta calls them "a match made in heaven" but throw them together at any other club and there's no guarantee they would have given the rest of the competition this much of a fright this quickly.

The secret to their success? A blueprint that simplifies Keary's contribution and maximises the areas on the field the Chooks can strike from.

"It didn't shock me that Robbo decided not to lock Pearce and Keary in on opposite sides of the ruck, although I can't say I expected it either," Anasta told foxsports.com.au.

"It's been a masterstroke and I think other teams have taken a leaf out of their book really.

"Obviously the formula's working and what it does is it gives them strike power all over the park.

"They can score from anywhere on the park. It also puts trust on both players to be able to come up with the big play whenever they need it."

Trust. It's a word that can be underestimated in rugby league but between a player and a coach there's nothing more important.

Pearce lost it with his Australia Day antics last year but he's regained it with interest since returning as a 27-year-old who was finally prepared to act his age.

"His temperament has improved and his control of the game has gone to another level. It was always going to with everything settled for him on and off the field," Anasta observes.

It's with that in mind that Keary has arrived at the perfect time. He's been given the tools to be a shining star and play second fiddle at the same time.

"All it means is Keary's just got to look up and see where the space is, see where the opposition's lacking numbers, either go left or right and call the footy. It's working fantastic at the moment," Anasta says.

"When you look at it, Robbo's given Keary a really simple game plan, which has made the transition really easy.

"I think his responsibilities will go to the next level once the opposition starts reading their plays and reading their style of play, he might need something up his sleeve for Keary."

A scary thought, even for a Manly side that has "jumped out of the ground in the last fortnight" in the words of Ben Ikin.

Daly Cherry-Evans has matched his price tag in those two wins.

If he can do it again on Friday it will throw up a contest worth the price of admission on its own.

News Corp Australia


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