Perhaps another surprise thrown the way of the fans in Rd 1, the Sydney Roosters have recorded an easy victory on the back of a first-half try-scoring blitz, winning 32-18 against the Gold Coast Titans.
They burst out of the blocks and looked like a genuine contender based on the way they were playing as new halves pairing Mitchell Pearce and Luke Keary went to work, and work they did!
Despite a light drizzle, the Roosters played an up-tempo brand of footy as they carved up the brittle Titans defence through the middle.
It paid off when new recruit Luke Keary opened the scoring before a swift back-line play saw young gun Latrell Mitchell extend the lead.
It was clearly all one-way traffic as the Roosters continued to dominate possession and scored two further tries – a second to Keary among those – before custodian Gordon scored followed by a second to Mitchell.
Their first-half exploits were exciting but their second half efforts were quite the opposite. Disappointing with ball in hand and making several errors as the Titans slowly clawed their way back into the contest, or at least tried to.
They did get on the scoresheet through Anthony Don, Kane Elgey and Jarryd Hayne but in the end, it was not enough as the Roosters held on to win thanks to a late Mitchell try, his 2nd.
Despite a strong performance by Mitchell in the eyes of some, playing in the centres for the first time at the NRL level, coach Trent Robinson had a much more blunt assessment.
“They’re there to finish those tries and score those tries,” he said.
“People are going to value that but I didn’t know he’d scored three until someone reminded me after the game.
“We’re looking at the other stuff that was good and it wasn’t a bad game from him. It was a pass mark from what we want from our centres but it’s a good start to our season.”
Player of the Game:
3. Luke Keary
2. Michael Gordon
- Latrell Mitchell
Sydney Roosters 32 (Latrell Mitchell 3, Luke Keary 2, Michael Gordon tries; Michael Gordon 4 goals) def. Gold Coast Titans 18 (Anthony Don, Kane Elgey, Jarryd Hayne tries; Ashley Taylor 3 goals) at Cbus Super Stadium. Crowd: 13,933. On report: Mitchell Aubusson (Roosters). Holden Cup: Roosters 38-18.