The Roosters are most people’s choice to take out the 2018 Premiership. After finishing the 2017 regular season in 2nd place, the Roosters were knocked out in the semi-finals.
Coach Trent Robinson has made some changes to his already promising squad. Out goes long time half Mitchell Pearce (Newcastle) and reliable journeyman fullback Michael Gordon (Gold Coast). In comes Australian and Premiership winning long-term Melbourne Storm halfback Cooper Cronk, along with NSW and former Wests Tiger excitement machine James Tedesco.
To the chorus of salary cap cheats by all other clubs fans, the Roosters have declared they are well under the cap and there are reports they are looking at bringing Sonny Bill Williams back.
If you are a Roosters fan 2018 should be a great year. For all others, it will be hard to stomach especially if Sonny Bill makes an appearance. For Roosters players, competition to be part of a potential Premiership team will be tough. With Tedesco and Cronk guaranteed spots, all others seem up for grabs.
Latrell Mitchell is one player that will be vying to secure his position.
After two seasons in the NRL, the 20-year-old has moved from fullback to wing to centre. The kid who all compared to Greg Inglis due to his body shape running style and silky skills exploded onto the scene in 2016 playing every game.
In 2017, he scored a hat-trick in the opening round but a few games later after a game where he was exposed badly in defence when playing in the centres coach Robinson sidelined him for a few weeks. It is not known if it was form or personal related. Either way on his return his attack was back to his best but he got found out in defence a few times.
With Tedesco tying up the fullback spot, the only chance Mitchell has of playing in his natural position will be to cover Tedesco for injury or Origin absence. If he is exposed in the centres he may be forced to fight out a wing spot with Blake Ferguson, Joseph Manu and Daniel Tupou. However, with Matt King and Craig Fitzgibbon on the coaching staff, they should iron out Mitchell’s deficiencies.
Standing almost 6 and a half ft tall and with another year conditioning his body, Mitchell has good pace, an allusive sidestep and a big fend. His ability to finish and set up play make him a very dangerous player for opposition teams to mark.
The Roosters have a good squad with depth. Players like Mitch Aubusson, a regular first-grade starter, and Zane Tetevane who had a very impressive 2017, will be fighting for a spot in the run in the side as will Rookies prop Lindsay Collins and utility Victor Radley. With great competition for spots, anyone not performing will make their way back to the NSW Cup. Once there it will be hard to make there way back into the NRL.
I think Latrell Mitchell will have a breakout year and be one of the players of the 2018 Competition. He is such a good player to watch it’s remarkable to think he is still only 20. He can only get better which is a scary proposition.
The Roosters are my choice to take out the Premiership. If they avoid injury I can’t see any other team being able to stop them. What do you think?
Will the Roosters be the 2018 Premiers? Or will they cock it up?