Roosters a threat on both sides in premiership push

Scott Bailey |

Dom Young’s speed and athleticism has added another dimension to the Sydney Roosters attack.
Dom Young’s speed and athleticism has added another dimension to the Sydney Roosters attack.

The numbers don’t lie – the Sydney Roosters boast the attacking artillery to again threaten for the premiership.

An analysis of the league’s attacking figures show two stand-out edges in the NRL this year – and they both belong to the Roosters.

The Tricolours’ left edge is by far the most dangerous in the competition, generating 38 of the club’s league-leading 84 tries.

The right edge comes in second, creating 34 four-pointers.

“We’re attacking 68 metres (the width of the field) a bit more, right through to last tackle,” Roosters coach Trent Robinson said. 

“We have got more variation in attack. We’re all trying to be really steely in defence. If you match the two up, then you’re going to be a threat.”

Data shows the Roosters still shift left more often in 2024, but the addition of Dom Young on the right has made them a genuine threat on both sides.

He leads the NRL for linebreaks, with Joey Manu being able to create space for the English flyer both in the red zone or from within the Roosters’ own half.

Typically too, Tricolours’ left winger Daniel Tupou sits equal-second for linebreaks, with five-eighth Luke Keary and Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii feeding him good ball.

“Dom has given us a lot. Toups is quick, but Dom is very, very quick,” Keary said. 

“We haven’t had that since B-Moz (Brett Morris). Someone you give a half chance to and they score. 

“It’s definitely changed our attack. We’ve been a real threat on the left for a lot of years. But that right edge is starting to hum.

“We’re not a Penrith where we just get out of yardage and kick the ball back, rely on that sort of stuff. There’s probably a little more stuff we can do. 

“That doesn’t mean it’s better or worse than Penrith. It just means we have little different styles.”

Keary puts a lot of it down to Sam Walker’s growth at halfback too.

“As a half you get to 50 or 100 games and you start to see things a lot better. You pick up things,” Keary said. 

“(Things like), the fullback is over there, I’ll kick in behind. You can’t come in with that. 

“He came in with the long balls, but it’s hard to give them those different situations over and over again.

“It’s hard to measure that, but he’s got better at reading the game.”

Still, Keary believes the Roosters must prove to themselves they are a genuine threat.

They have beaten Brisbane twice this season, but are yet to defeat fellow top-four sides Penrith, Melbourne and Cronulla.

“The big games are played a bit differently. But you still need to be able to take opportunities at different stages,” he said. 

“It’s more defensively. 

“A few of us know what it takes. And we’re just not there yet. We have to prove that to ourselves to get there.”