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Turbulence and Resilience: Season 2021 So Far

Season 2021 has been one like no other, and although there has been plenty of turbulence for the Sydney Roosters, there has been just as much resilience and tenacity shown by your boys in Red, White and Blue.

Before we recap the first half of season 2021, here are some statistics from Rounds 1-12. 

The Stats That Matter

  • The Roosters have fielded 27 players in the first 12 rounds of the competition - only the Broncos, Bulldogs and Warriors have used more. 
  • There have been 7 players who have made their Club debut in 2021, with 6 of them making their NRL debut in 2021 - the most since 2016. 
  • The aforementioned players are Adam Keighran (Club Debut), Fletcher Baker, Sam Walker, Ben Marschke, Tuku Hau Tapuha, Joseph Suaalii and Egan Butcher (All NRL Debut).
  • Only 4 players have played all 12 games: Daniel Tupou, Isaac Liu, Joseph Manu and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.
  • The Roosters sit in 5th position on the NRL ladder with 8 wins and 4 losses, with the 3rd best attack (344 scored), defence (197 conceded) and points differential (+147).
  • The Roosters have the equal-second best record at home with 6 wins and 1 loss - only ladder leaders Penrith have a better record at home. 
  • The Sydney Cricket Ground has become a fortress for the side, with 4 wins and 1 loss, with an average of 31 points scored per game and 16 points conceded at the venue.


Round 1: Manly Massacre at Sydney Cricket Ground

You couldn't have asked for a better start to a season than the first match of the season as the Tricolours posted their biggest-ever Round 1 victory in Club history in a 46-4 demolition of Manly at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Round 1 Match Highlights: Roosters v Sea Eagles

James Tedesco and Brett Morris starred, each scoring a hat-trick as Luke Keary made a successful move to halfback with three try assists, handing over the no.6 jersey to youngster Lachlan Lam who also put in a strong performance. 

Adam Keighran made his Roosters debut from the interchange bench but would succumb to a wrist injury, while few could predict it would be the final NRL match for captain Jake Friend. Overall though, it was a positive start for the Roosters to kick-off season 2021, and it would only get better one week later. 

Round 2: Campbelltown Carve Up

The Roosters posted 40+ points for the second time in as many weeks, in a big 40-6 win against the Wests Tigers at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.

A scrappy first half turned into a second stanza carve up as the boys from Bondi posted 22 unanswered points, which included debutant Fletcher Baker's first try in the top grade.

Round 2 Match Highlights: Roosters v Wests Tigers

Front rower Lindsay Collins had a day to remember with a try and two assists, while Brett Morris etched his name into Rugby League try-scoring folklore by becoming the first recorded player to open a season with consecutive hat-tricks.

Round 3: Battle of Attrition 

After two big victories, it was a tough viewing for the Roosters' faithful in Round 3.

Although two late tries closed the deficit, the Tricolours took a disappointing 26-16 loss to arch-rivals South Sydney, but to make things worse, Luke Keary suffered a season-ending ACL rupture late in the contest. 

Lindsay Collins and Lachlan Lam also succumbed to respective injuries, leaving the side without an established halves combination for Round 4, but things were about to take a positive turn against the Warriors...

Round 4: Double Debut and Return of Radley

The return of Victor Radley from his 10-month injury layoff proved to be a welcomed boost for the side, but the addition of best mate Ben Marschke and 18-year-old Sam Walker who both made their NRL debuts made this victory all-the-more special.

Post Match with Victor Radley

In a gritty contest, the defensive fortitude of the Roosters shone brightly as Walker sparked the side's resurgence by putting Nat Butcher over for a memorable four-pointer just before half-time to reel the side back from a 12-4 deficit. 

From there it was all one-way traffic as the Roosters ran away with a 32-12 victory with Brett Morris striking twice, while Drew Hutchison and Josh Morris sealed the result with memorable tries of their own.  

Round 5: Comeback Against Cronulla

The boys from Bondi made it three from three at the SCG in their Round 4 clash against Cronulla, following the announcement of captain Jake Friend's immediate retirement from the NRL.

Round 5 Match Highlights: Roosters v Sharks

Overcoming an 18-4 deficit in the second half, the Roosters rallied in the final half-hour of the contest, with tries to Drew Hutchison, Daniel Tupou, Sam Walker and Brett Morris sparking the side to an emphatic 26-18 win in front of a cheering home crowd.

It was more bad news on the injury front, however, as young hooker Freddy Lussick sustained a broken forearm. 

Round 6: Tough Lesson in Melbourne

For many of the young squad members, it was a tough trip to Melbourne against the Storm, with a host of uncharacteristic errors ending in a 20-4 loss.

In a positive, the Roosters' defence was a highlight, keeping the reigning Premiers to just two penalty goals in the first half, but fatigue and ill-discipline allowed them to extend their lead before Matt Ikuvalu scored on the buzzer, who was a late replacement for Brett Morris.

In a brutal affair, Ben Marschke played admirably in his first starting role in first-grade, with Adam Keighran returning for the first time since Round 1.

Round 7: Super Sam Lights Up Anzac Day

There was plenty to celebrate on Anzac Day as the Red, White and Blue held aloft the Anzac Day Cup in front of a packed out Sydney Cricket Ground.

Sam Verrills made a welcomed return to the side after an 11-month layoff with an ACL rupture, setting up a try, while the Wartime Jersey-clad Roosters pummelled the Dragons 34-10 in a dominant victory at home. 

Round 7 Post Match with Sam Walker

Sam Walker announced himself to the NRL as a future leader, claiming the Ashton-Collier Medal in a man of the match performance which included a try and multiple assists, becoming just the fourth Rooster to be bestowed with the award. 

Round 8: A Flattening Victory

While the Red, White and Blue recorded one of their most dominant victories of the season, putting the Knights to the sword in Newcastle, the season-ending injuries to Lindsay Collins and Brett Morris was a bitter pill to swallow for teammates and Roosters Members alike.

It's's extremely flattening. It's hard to explain but the game tonight pales in comparison to how you feel about Brett and Lindsay.

Trent Robinson On the Round 8 result

Easts put on a stirring performance, piling on 20 points in the first 20 minutes with Walker continuing his rich vein of form, while the forward pack tore through the opposition and outside backs scoring at will, all without captain James Tedesco.

A hat-trick to Josh Morris found himself in good company, etching himself into the top 10 all-time try-scorers in the competition's history, but it was a sombre feeling post-match as key stars were set for some time on the sidelines. 

Round 9: Drama in Parramatta

It was far from an ideal night for the Tricolours in their Round 9 fixture against the Parramatta Eels at Bankwest Stadium.

Despite a hat-trick from Matt Ikuvalu, the scrappy Roosters fell 31-18, the defeat made worse when five-eighth Drew Hutchison sustained broken ribs and a punctured lung following a dangerous tackle from Parramatta's own five-eighth Dylan Brown.

Trent Robinson Press Conference Round 9

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Down a half and bizarrely with no charges made from the referee, the Red, White and Blue were unable to claim victory in a defensively-oriented match which saw Nat Butcher and Ben Marschke make 70 and 69 tackles respectively.

In a positive, it was a night to remember for young front rower Tuku Hau Tapuha, who made his NRL debut as a late addition to the side. 

Round 10: Teddy Tricks Sink Cowboys

Flying up to Brisbane in a bid to change their fortunes, James Tedesco put on a stunning performance in Magic Round against the North Queensland Cowboys, pulling the Roosters through to a 30-16 victory as Lachlan Lam made a timely return to the side after a seven-week stint on the sidelines.

Round 10 Match Highlights: Roosters v Cowboys

Overcoming a mid-game surge from the Cowboys, doubles to Angus Crichton and Daniel Tupou were highlights in what was a see-sawing affair, which also introduced the NRL's new rule changes and crack down on reckless and head-high tackles as both sides had players sin-binned throughout the match. 

It was a welcome return to form after a troubling fortnight, but the Tricolours continued to march on as they looked to farewell a Club Legend.

Round 11: Roosters Celebrate Jake, Welcome Suaalii

Dedicating the week to inspirational captain Jake Friend was appropriately immortalised on the Club Legends mural in Waverley alongside fellow Premiership-winning captains Arthur Beetson, Brad Fittler, Anthony Minichiello and Boyd Cordner. 

Celebrate Jake | Thanking a Club Legend

While it was a disappointing result, to say the least as emotion got the better of the side in a 34-16 loss against the Brisbane Broncos, the match also marked the debut of 17-year-old debutant Joseph Suaalii, who became Rooster #1202 in a strong performance.

Unfortunately, Victor Radley and Angus Crichton found themselves in the bad books with the referee, and more suspensions hurt the side heading into Indigenous Round...

Round 12: Indigenous Round Reversal

Erasing the pain and frustration of the week prior, the Club celebrate the NRL's Indigenous Round with a 44-16 thumping of the Canberra Raiders on the Central Coast. 

Wearing Indigenous artist Jason Ridgeway's design for the 2021 Indigenous Jersey and led out by Club Legend Shannon Hegarty, the Roosters lit up Gosford, which saw Lachlan Lam and Joseph Suaalii score their maiden NRL tries.

Roosters Celebrate Indigenous Round

But the highlights truly belonged to Joseph Manu, who scored a double and set up another try at five-eighth after a late shuffle saw Sam Walker rested. 

Central Coast local Adam Keighran enjoyed a night out with the boot by landing six goals, while the Butcher brothers had plenty of reason to celebrate as Egan became the seventh Roosters debutant in 2021, all while in front of a raucous crowd of his friends and family. 


Heading into the bye, the Sydney Roosters sit well inside the top eight, but with the marathon only half done, there's still plenty of strong oppositions awaiting and still a chance to cement an all-important spot in the top four. 

There's no better time to join us for the ride for the remainder of 2021, with 30% Off Ticketed Membership, now is the time to become a True Rooster!