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The Roosters Crow: Easter Showdown with Warriors

Returning fan favourites, young gun debutants and representative veterans make up an eclectic Roosters line up this Easter Sunday in what is always an intriguing contest against our rivals from across the Tasman.

Recent History: Sydney Roosters vs New Zealand Warriors

On Sunday the Roosters and Warriors meet for the 43rd time, with the visitors holding a slight overall lead with 22 wins compared to the Tricolours' 19 (with a solitary draw), but curiously, the Roosters hold a superior points difference, with 975 scored compared to 758 conceded. 

The Red, White and Blue have had the wood over Warriors in recent memory, winning the last three contest by an aggregate score of 92-16.

Match Highlights | Roosters v Warriors

Prior to that, the Warriors won the last four matches, while the Roosters had a hat-trick of wins before that, overall winning six of the last ten encounters. 

Easts and Auckland have only done battle on the hallowed Sydney Cricket Ground on one occasion, with the Roosters running away with a 42-6 victory in 2019, with four of the current five backline members in Joseph Manu, James Tedesco, Daniel Tupou and Brett Morris touching down for four-pointers.

How They Line Up

The changes to Trent Robinson's side will see fan-favourite players returning to the line up, while a handful of prospects have the opportunity to create history and make their NRL debut in the Red, White and Blue. 

Isaac Liu shifts up front at prop while Victor Radley returns to the starting side at lock for his first NRL match since mid-2020. 

Sydney Roosters Members and supporters will have the chance to see Sam Walker make his much-anticipated NRL debut after being named at halfback alongside Drew Hutchison, having impressed for North Sydney in the first few rounds of the NSW Cup. 

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Roosters is number 1 James Tedesco
    Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
  • Winger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel Tupou
    Winger for Warriors is number 2 David Fusitu'a
  • Centre for Roosters is number 3 Josh Morris
    Centre for Warriors is number 3 Adam Pompey
  • Centre for Roosters is number 4 Joseph Manu
    Centre for Warriors is number 4 Marcelo Montoya
  • Winger for Roosters is number 5 Brett Morris
    Winger for Warriors is number 5 Ken Maumalo
  • Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Drew Hutchison
    Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Kodi Nikorima
  • Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Sam Walker
    Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Sean O'Sullivan

Forwards

  • Prop for Roosters is number 8 Isaac Liu
    Prop for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-Blake
  • Hooker for Roosters is number 9 Freddy Lussick
    Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde Egan
  • Prop for Roosters is number 10 Siosiua Taukeiaho
    Prop for Warriors is number 10 Bunty Afoa
  • 2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Angus Crichton
    2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Eliesa Katoa
  • 2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Sitili Tupouniua
    2nd Row for Warriors is number 13 Tohu Harris
  • Lock for Roosters is number 13 Victor Radley
    Lock for Warriors is number 14 Jazz Tevaga

Interchange

  • Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
    Interchange for Warriors is number 12 Bayley Sironen
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 16 Nat Butcher
    Interchange for Warriors is number 15 Ben Murdoch-Masila
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 17 Fletcher Baker
    Interchange for Warriors is number 16 Leeson Ah Mau
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 19 Benjamin Marschke
    Interchange for Warriors is number 17 Jack Murchie

Match Officials

  • Referee: Ben Cummins
  • Touch Judge: Liam Kennedy
  • Touch Judge: Wyatt Raymond
  • Senior Review Official: Alan Shortall

Last updated:

Matt Ikuvalu has been named to fill the utility role on the bench, joined by Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Fletcher Baker and Nat Butcher, who also returns to the side after being a late omission in Round 3. 

Rookies Egan Butcher, Ben Marschke, Tuku Hau Tapuha and Joseph Suaalii round off an extended bench full of youth. 

For the Warriors, Marcelo Montoya replaces the injured Peta Hiku in the centres, while Bayley Sironen earns a starting role after coming off the bench last week. 

Key Matchup: James Tedesco vs Roger Tuivasa-Sheck

Another former Rooster lines up against James Tedesco this week in the form of Warriors custodian Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.

Both donning the no.1 jersey and both captains of their respective sides, the comparisons don't stop there - with the two fullbacks also both recipients of the Dally M Medal, ironically in successive seasons, and also Premiership winners in Bondi. 

Their highlight reels are equally distinguished, as is their status in the game as two of the best players for both club and country.

Tedesco has made a habit of finding the line this season, dotting down for six tries in the first three matches of the year. While Tuivasa-Sheck scored his sole four-pointer last week, it was an all-important one in his side's comeback victory against the Raiders.

The duo pride themselves on their presence and work rate on the field, while RTS boasts more average run metres than Tedesco (215m vs 173m), the Roosters' skipper has proven his reliability in defence, with 16 tackles at 74% efficiency compared to Tuivasa-Sheck's 44% efficiency with 5 tackles made and 5 missed.

What They Said

“We’ve still got a massive belief in ourselves and the squads we have. That’s how we all feel, whoever comes up next will be ready" - Second Rower Sitili Tupouniua

“It’s an opportunity for us to step up. It will be a great test of our character, and I’ve got confidence in this squad that we can live up to that. I’m looking really forward to Sunday at home" - Second Rower Angus Crichton

“I don’t think we’ll be flying under the radar just yet. We’ve still got plenty of good players in our side and whoever the next man up is confident they can get the job done" - Centre Josh Morris

“We had a good start to the year there at home, so it will be good to get back there, get a big crowd there and hopefully a good win" - Captain James Tedesco

Daniel Tupou Round 4 Media

Your Verdict 

With a new-look halves pairing and a number of youngsters looking to force their way into the top seventeen, it's an exciting period for the rejuvenated Roosters, who have the opportunity to make it two from two at home in 2021 as the Warriors seek to prove their credentials in the competition.

Make sure to grab your tickets here, head on out on Sunday afternoon and cheer on the Red, White and Blue as we prepare for what is bound to be another blockbuster at the SCG!