SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 08: Aidan Guerra of the Roosters celebrates with his team mates after scoring a try during the NRL Qualifying Final match between the Sydney Roosters and the Brisbane Broncos at Allianz Stadium on September 8, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Predicted Finish: 9th

Actual Finish: 2nd

Best Performer: Luke Keary

Although I stand firm that Paul Vaughan was the signing of the season, Luke Keary could very well be the next best. He had a wow of a season, and for mine was the Roosters best in 2017. His stats are impressive: seven tries, 11 line breaks and 14 try assists, and he added a different direction to the tri-colours attack. He showed maturity beyond his years and helped control his Roosters outfit. I’m surprised he didn’t score more tries to be honest, as I seem to remember him popping up at the end of breaks almost every week. Incredible season. I cannot believe Souths let him go.

Season Highlight: 16-14 win over the Sharks

The Roosters has better wins and far more impressive displays in 2017 than their August 26 victory over the Sharks, but the significance of this was was massive. Not only was it there first win over the Shire-based club in what seems like a decade, but it sent them firmly into the top two. The win also ended the Sharks top four hopes, in front of a big black, white and blue crowd no less. A Michael Gordon penalty goal right on full time saw the twelve man Roosters edge out the then defending premiers. The Sharks had a chance to win it and drag the Roosters into a real top four battle, but the Roosters scrambled, forced an error, made metres and drew the match-winning penalty. It isn’t highlight feature stuff, but it was super important in the makeup of the season.

Best Signing: James Tedesco

The Roosters made two game-changing, marquee signings for 2018, but in James Tedesco, I think they’ve found the missing piece of the premiership puzzle. Cronk for Pearce looks a straight swap, but Tedesco is primed to become the game’s elite number one in Bondi. The only criticism of his game at the Tigers was he tried to do too much. That should not be a problem at the Roosters as he’s surrounded by a far superior supporting cast. Look for him to still run up massive numbers in terms of metres and tackle busts, but also look for him to inject himself more creatively rather than running the ball twice a set.

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Bounce back: The Roosters has one bad season in among a series of successes in 2016, but it now seems like a distant memory. Some clubs enjoy success, hit a snag and then crumble, but the Roosters managed to get their house in order quickly and return to the top two in just 12 months. The credit has to go to Trent Robinson who looked under huge pressure at the start of 2017. Another final-less season would have seen his tenure at the club come to an end. Instead, they enter 2018 as short-priced premiership favourites. What a turn around in such a short space of time.

Angus signs already: The 2018 season hasn’t yet kicked off and already fans of the Roosters are celebrating a marquee signing for 2019 and beyond. Souths gun Angus Crichton did the unthinkable and signed for his club’s bitter rivals a year a full year in advance. Souths fans are rightfully dirty, Roosters fans are literally crowing. It’s a huge plus to know such a talent is coming. It’ll also add interest to Souths games as they tune in to see their shiny, new asset running around. His impending arrival has to be a huge selling point for future recruitment also.

Brilliant cap management: For all the fun I have with this on social media, is there a better club in the NRL at managing the salary cap? Make all the jokes you want but the Roosters are never dragged into any salary cap scandals despite having arguably the best playing roster in the game. They host an all rep side (almost) yet have a reported $1 million spare for 2018? That sounds like an absolute laugh considering the talent on show but all the stats back it up. To think they could theoretically still pick up any player in the NRL and add them to their 2018 roster is scary. SCARY!!!

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Season Grading: A

The Roosters has an absolute shocker in 2016 and to be honest, although they were sure to improve, I just didn’t see the Roosters finishing second. Really, we should have seen it coming. There is just too much talent in this Roosters side for them not to return to finals footy.

The key was getting their house in order off the field. 2016 was derailed by a series of off-field incidents, something the Bondi club avoided this time around. On field they produced some absolute magic.

Luke Keary lit the competition up, Latrell Mitchell is one of the best young players in recent memory, and the Roosters forward pack had a field day all season.

I’d say the Roosters would be very disappointed to drop out of the finals in straight sets, but considering what they achieved across the regular season, nothing other than an A grading would suffice.

The way in which 2017 ended may want to fade from memory but I have a feeling Roosters fans will be too busy celebrating in the near future to worry too much.


  1. “”Cronk for Pearce looks a straight swap”” i would disagree …
    Cam Smith might be the captain of the storm but the guy screaming the orders in the play last year was Cronk.
    Pearce goes into his shell when the chips are down albeit i think he will be a better player with the pressure off him at the Knights.

    I dont gamble – but ill take a schooner that easts are in the GF next year.

      • Balance has been restored to the force my son…out of 10 the ratings go like this.

        Cronk to Roosters – up 2 points on his own (Storm -1 but they will still get a good half in Croft)
        Maloney to Panthers +1 (cant rate Sharkies with Moylan just yet)
        Parra – loose Radee yee haa – 2 but gain drama boy +1 / -1 depending on his stability. Moses >?? not sure..
        Hunt /and the Nibbler to the Dragons >> Up 2 (Broncs – 1)

        Knights!! + 6 with Ponga / Pearce / SKD / Moga / Watson – that’s exciting stuff…

        • And you forgot the Rabbits Jedi master pedro. The Rabbits will have a fully fit GI, a rejuvenated Gaigai, a motivated Sam Burgess, Cody Walker and Adam Reynolds “together again” and… ANGUS CRICHTON!!! Bahahahahahahahaha

          Well done you little midi-chlorians, I love your work! 😉

        • A fully fit GI. What a joke. If he was horse he would have been taken out the back long ago. Sam and Crichton are the only Bunnies worth feeding.

        • Best case scenario (all our top players remain uninjured) bottom of the top 8 (6th – 8th), Worst case (10th – 12th). I don’t see Souths finishing below the Tigers, Titans, Warriors or Bulldogs. Fair enough?

  2. Its been a good year and Roosters have strengthened for 2018.
    Cannot wait to see Coops lay on his specials for the red white and blue !
    Bring on 2018 already !!!

    • How is coming 2nd and then no grand final appearance, from a bought up team that thinks they are unbeatable, considered a good year???

    • Interesting match come Storm Easts game , Cam Smith fiflty on Cronk going to Easts, word has it they had a frosty relationship late last season, just goes to show how much respect he has for Easts.

      Most club supporters by now detest that club cause of their history of buying players from other clubs, i would not like my club to be put in that catergory, but they don’t give a fu.k, , let me say that it will be interesting to see how Cronk goes without his usual support players, Easts will be expecting him to be the messiah and just do things but i don’t reckon he will be any better than Pearce , time will tell, also big test for the coach whom people keep talking up, a less than top 4 result will see how much respect they have for him.

  3. Will make the 8 but that’s it. Cronk won’t do much without slater and smith,
    Everyone knows Tedesco looked good and had good stats at tigers cause he never never ever passes the ball. Jwh and Napa are most overrated meathead front rowers around bar none. This seems like a team of individuals that won’t gel.
    Will be quite amusing also when it happens

      • And I wasn’t even taking a dig, it’s what I believed. Jwh is just on a downward spiral by the game. Napa will play 3 good games all year. Ferguson. Well enough said. And it’s all without how some senior players are going to react about there god mate Pearce being shafted. There is no depth in the backs or halves or now I think in there pack. They reall don’t have a solid squad. Just a decent individual team 1-13 but then they struggle

        • Crowy, I think you hit the nail on the head re the Rooster’s squad, by pointing out their depth.

          As per a very long winded post I wrote below, if they are to remain within the cap, and I believe they are, they could only do so by using a bucket load of cheap players to make up the min. 30 squad.

          I also see / take your point re will it be a team, or a strong on paper list. I don’t see them having anywhere near the issues the Warriors have had, but they have had mega strong lists on paper and missed the 8, many times.

          One thing is for sure, every team is going to make the extra effort to take the Roosters down, or at the very least, every supporter of a rival club will be supporting their opponents, except when Manly is playing them of course.

  4. While we are on the subject of Easts , like the last couple of days, Easts supporters, all 25 of them, say that Souths bought their 2014 comp with the Burgess boys and Inglis, Teo and so forth, quite true, but here’s the rub, all clubs need imports to strengthen there club and when Souths won the 2014 comp they had up to 7 local juniors in the side and not to mention more juniors through out the season, Easts can never have that many juniors and that is why everyone is pissed with that club, their supporters can put a spin on everything , but, they know what they are doing is WRONG with rugby league, please relocate that club, we have to many Sydney clubs, do a South Melbourne in the AFL when they relocated to Sydney and became the Swans, let’s face it , they have no crowds, no real membership numbers and no real identity with their location, if they did why have they changed their name three times.

    • “say that Souths bought their 2014 comp with the Burgess boys and Inglis, Teo and so forth, quite true”

      No penso you are wrong mate, it is NOT the same thing!

      Year player debuted for South Sydney:

      2010 Sam Burgess
      2011 Greg Inglis
      2012 George Burgess (played NSW Cup for the Bears before debuting in first grade for Souths)
      2013 Tom Burgess (played NSW Cup for the Bears before debuting in first grade for Souths)
      2013 Ben Te’o

      Souths built their team over a number of years not just in one off-season and how many players did Souths have to shed along the way to fit them in? Souths also did NOT sign any of these stars at the beginning of the season they won the premiership in (2014), with the exception of Kirisome Auva’a (an unknown who had not played first grade). Unlike the Roosters who signed James Maloney, SBW and Michael Jennings at the start of 2013 and won the title in the same year… QED bought a premiership!

      South Sydney juniors who played in the winning 2014 side (x 5):

      John Sutton, Adam Reynolds, Alex Johnston, Dylan Walker, Jason Clark

      South Sydney Rabbitohs’ NYC team (x 3):

      Luke Keary, Apisai Koroisau, Kyle Turner

      Players who did not play first grade in the NRL before coming to Souths (x 6):

      Sam Burgess, George Burgess, Tom Burgess, Chris McQueen, Dave Tyrrell, Kirisome Auva’a

      Seasoned professionals who Souths recruited (x 3):

      Greg Inglis, Lote Tuqiri, Ben Te’o

      • Also the Burgess brothers already played first grade in English with Sam already a representative in the national team BEFORE signing with Souths…

        • “Players who did not play first grade in the NRL before coming to Souths”

          What about that do you NOT understand? SL (English) vs NRL (Australian). NRL is the APEX RL competition in the world. Most SL players could not make it here, look at Dan Sarginson. Clear now or do you need me to draw a picture?

    • @STD they had their chance to win it in both 2012 and 2013 with their fresh recruits but fell one game short of the grandfinal on both occasions before finally winning in 2014.

      Just because they needed longer to win the comp with those players than the roosters doesn’t mean they didn’t buy their only premiership in 45 years

      • And if you want to talk about losing players, look at the roosters grandfinal squad of 2010 compared to 2013 then the 2013 team compared to the current top 17.

        10/17 players in the 2010 grandfinal team were not there in 2013

        12/17 players of the premiership winning 2013 team have left the club

        So while they might be constantly bringing in players, they’ve also been losing a lot of their top 17…

  5. SSTID, in response to your post on a previous article, CP3O is unable to do the comprehensive analytics on the Rooster’s cap, as that level of detail is unavailable to supporters, and that goes for all clubs, not just the Roosters, but If they were salary cap compliant this year (2017), and no one seemed too concerned / as concerned about this year as they seem to be for 2018, so I’ll have a crack at it.

    Sticking to established facts only, and using an assumption they were cap compliant this year:

    They lost Pearce, Guerra, SKD, Gordon, Evans, Watson (Nikorima now it would appear), and a few others. How much did that drop of their 2017 cap? That’s got to be over $2mil. surely?

    They signed Cronk and Teddy, and Robbo. Robbo”s not likely to be a big dent, but I like him, and am happy to see him back playing RL (but I digress). That’s a bit over $2 mil, but roughly that’s about in line with the value of the lost players above.

    Keeping it really simple, they lost 7 and gained 3, so they’re down 4 players.

    The tier 1 squad requirements has increased from 25 to 30, and they’re already down 4 (as per above) so they are now down 9 FG players, but in theory, at this stage at least, at the same cap as this year (2017).

    The salary cap was raised by $2.4 mil. and the min salary for a FG player is around $140k, so if they filled the gap with min salary players they would be around $1 mil under the cap.

    Some players may have salary cap indexing in their contracts, but not too many at the Roosters based on what I can see, but let’s say that could add a couple of hundred grand, and they would still be well under the cap.

    They have undoubtably added some coin to the value of re-signed players, but they have close to a $mil to play with.

    I’m not defending the Roosters, but running through this sort of scenario I can see why / how they could conceivably remain under the salary cap.

    Let’s not forget, Crichton is not on their 2018 book (yet, but I’m sure the Bunnies / Roosters will do a player swap/deal to make it so), but there’s a very basic analysis.

    Do TPA’s come into play, outside of the cap? Of course, and they do for all clubs at varying degrees, but that’s a whole other issue.

    • mighty, I have tried now 4 times to post, edit and re-post an reply but it keeps getting blocked. I will message you direct and you can reply either way. Cheers.

    • +1 finally some common sense on this site that uses facts and numbers to make educated assumptions because at the end of the day, until they become transparent, most comments based on salary caps are pure assumption.

      It’s much better than the bias BS dribbled by STD who’s on a personal vendetta against the Roosters and ducks any comments that involve genuine facts that prove his one eyed opinion wrong.

      The fact is no one really knows what goes on behind closed doors but it’s not hard to see (as detailed above) how there is a logical explanation for the roosters being under the cap written from a non-bias point of view.

  6. ripper of a year for the boys, isacc liu and zane tetevano had a great year, should only get better! Another year under latrells belt will be great for him, if he gets busy during the 2018 season and works hard on all the little things, he’ll be awesome. Hoping to see keary and Cronk gel, along with teddy slotting in nicely, he will be one busy fullback with the roosters style of play. Wishing the boys the best of luck next year!

  7. I won’t comment on the whole cap thing as it has been done to death. A quick recap of the season shows that the Roosters probably overachieved in finishing 2nd, and then would have been disappointed to miss the GF from there.

    For 2018 they have bought well on paper in Cronk and Tedesco. Tedesco in particular adds some spark in attack, I am a big fan of Gordon, but Tedesco will provide so much more at the back. Cronk should play a similar role to Pearce in the team, with more big game experience, which looks promising. The big risk here though is how much the shafting of Pearce impacts team morale, and how Cronk goes outside the Storm system. Like I said, on paper it looks good, but it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

    The other thing, as has been pointed out above, is the Roosters don’t look to have a lot of depth. I can’t say for fact that they don’t, as I haven’t paid any real attention to their lower grades, but it doesn’t look particularly strong. I think they are in for a long season with a couple of injuries, and while that can be said about most teams, the depth does look a real problem.

  8. Eelsalmighty:
    Well said mate, finally a common sense analysis of roughly how the Roosters can still have money to spend.

    Just to add to that, I real recently where veteran Mitch Aubason in on $280,000 a year, not a lot by some standards but quite happy to play for the Roosters for that amount!!

    I do however get quite a chuckle out of reading what some of these so called experts continue to ramble on with.

    SSTID you would do better going out and getting some TPA’s for your team so they can keep some of their players or stop your owner from blaming poor results on one or two like he did with Keary….

    Merry Christmas everyone

    • 👍

      Politis owns the factory that makes them. Apparently they ramp up production at this time if year. Uncle Nick must be fond of a packed lunch then. Bahahahahahaha 😂

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