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The Roosters Crow: Milestones in Mackay

Thursday night will see two important milestones met as the Roosters and Eels duke it out for the 150th time, while Jared Waerea-Hargreaves takes the field for his 250th match in Red, White and Blue. 

A spot in the top four is also up for grabs as the teams head up to Mackay for their first-ever match against one another in Queensland. 

Recent History: Sydney Roosters vs Newcastle Knights

As stated before, Thursday night will be the 150th meeting between the two clubs since 1947, with the Tricolours holding a 52% winning record with 78 wins, 66 losses and 5 draws heading into the match. 

It will also be the first time Easts and Parramatta take on one another outside of New South Wales, with the only time outside of Sydney being in Newcastle in 1994. 

The Roosters have been victorious on twelve of the last seventeen occasions, with the last being a 31-18 defeat in Round 9, but the Red, White and Blue will be determined to rebound with a victory which will see them level on competition points with their opponents.

Both sides head into the match in different bouts of form; the Roosters on a three-match winning streak while the Eels have won just one game in the last month - but as we all know, form counts for nothing once the teams get on the field. 

How They Line Up

Trent Robinson's side has had two major changes to the backline following the win against the Newcastle Knights. 

Captain James Tedesco once again takes his place after a stirring performance against the Knights at fullback, while Daniel Tupou will be joined alongside the returning Josh Morris who lines up in the centres with Adam Keighran as Joseph Manu reverts to the wing.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Roosters is number 1 James Tedesco
    Fullback for Eels is number 1 Clinton Gutherson
  • Winger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel Tupou
    Winger for Eels is number 2 Maika Sivo
  • Centre for Roosters is number 3 Josh Morris
    Centre for Eels is number 3 Tom Opacic
  • Centre for Roosters is number 4 Adam Keighran
    Centre for Eels is number 4 Waqa Blake
  • Winger for Roosters is number 5 Joseph Manu
    Winger for Eels is number 5 Blake Ferguson
  • Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Drew Hutchison
    Five-Eighth for Eels is number 6 Dylan Brown
  • Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Sam Walker
    Halfback for Eels is number 7 Jake Arthur

Forwards

  • Prop for Roosters is number 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
    Prop for Eels is number 8 Reagan Campbell-Gillard
  • Hooker for Roosters is number 9 Sam Verrills
    Hooker for Eels is number 9 Reed Mahoney
  • Prop for Roosters is number 10 Isaac Liu
    Prop for Eels is number 10 Junior Paulo
  • 2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Angus Crichton
    2nd Row for Eels is number 11 Isaiah Papali'i
  • 2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Sitili Tupouniua
    2nd Row for Eels is number 12 Ryan Matterson
  • Lock for Roosters is number 13 Victor Radley
    Lock for Eels is number 13 Nathan Brown

Interchange

  • Interchange for Roosters is number 14 Lachlan Lam
    Interchange for Eels is number 15 Shaun Lane
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Nat Butcher
    Interchange for Eels is number 16 Oregon Kaufusi
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 16 Egan Butcher
    Interchange for Eels is number 17 Will Smith
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 17 Siosiua Taukeiaho
    Interchange for Eels is number 19 Ray Stone

Reserves

  • Reserve for Roosters is number 19 Fletcher Baker
    Reserve for Eels is number 18 Haze Dunster

Match Officials

  • Referee: Grant Atkins
  • Touch Judge: Dave Munro
  • Touch Judge: Matt Noyen
  • Senior Review Official: Ashley Klein

Last updated:

The halves pairing of Drew Hutchison and Sam Walker has been retained, while Waerea-Hargreaves leads from the front alongside Sam Verrills and Isaac Liu in the front row. 

Angus Crichton will start in the second row next to Sitili Tupouniua as Victor Radley locks up the scrum to round off the starting side. 

The interchange bench consists of Lachlan Lam, Nat Butcher, Egan Butcher, and the returning Siosiua Taukeiaho, while Ben Marschke, Fletcher Baker, Moala Graham-Taufa and Naufahu Whyte have been listed on the extended bench.

As for the Eels, they welcome back centre Tom Opacic who was rested last week, while hard-running forward Marata Niukore is replaced by Bryce Cartwright due to injury. Halfback Mitchell Moses also remains on the sidelines. 

Key Match Up: Jared Waerea-Hargreaves vs Reagan Campbell-Gillard

Two front rowers with the biggest presence and quite literally the biggest names in the game face off against one another in what will no doubt be a physical contest if their last meeting is anything to go by.

The Roosters' milestone man has been in superb form in the last two months and has led from the front for the men from Bondi, particularly in the absence of some of the Club's greatest leaders.

Waerea-Hargreaves comes up against State of Origin and fellow international front rower Reagan Campbell-Gillard, with the pair showing very similar numbers through season 2021.

The Kiwi enforcer has played eighteen matches, averages 153 running metres and has made 6 offloads, while his opponent has played seventeen matches, averages 149 metres and has made four offloads.

Remarkably, they both have a tackle efficiency of exactly 92.4%, displaying their prowess on the other side of the ball and reinforcing how close a contest this will be. 

What They Said: 

"We’ve been really happy with the past couple of weeks and we’ve started to really develop our footy and play our style but we haven’t beaten a top-four team yet and that’s something we’re looking to do on Thursday." - Second Rower Nat Butcher

"I came here to the Club as a 19-year-old not knowing what the future held for me. I’m really proud and honoured to represent such a prestigious Club in the Sydney Roosters and to be a leader of this Club and a captain of this Club, I’m really really honoured." - Front Rower Jared Waerea-Hargreaves

Your Verdict

It has certainly been a busy week for the Sydney Roosters, with players coming in and out of the side, a massive milestone to celebrate and with a top-four spot potentially up for grabs, this will no doubt be one of the more intriguing contests for the Red, White and Blue.

For those in Roosters' heartland in Sydney's east, across Australia and abroad unable to attend the match, you can cheer on your team on Channel 9, Fox League (channel 502 on Foxtel), or streamed through Kayo.