St. George Illawarra Dragons vs Sydney Roosters: Five things we learned

The Dragons continuing their strong start to the season have also landed some early blows on the Roosters premiership credentials, running out 24-8 winners.

  1. 1 Ben Hunt belongs in Origin

    Ended yesterday's Anzac Day clash with 5 offloads, a line break, line-break assist, a try and 545 kicking metres taking control of the kicking in one of the toughest matches of the year. Whilst he didn't get the try assist for the first try his presence of mind to run the ball during the first set of the match and play what was in front of him epitomised the quality needed to be an Origin player. 

    In 2015 played with a confidence unbeknown to most players fortunate to play the game, and for an entire season with a Brisbane team that had been waiting 9 years for another premiership. Fast forward to 2018 and Hunt has well and truly rediscovered that rich vain of form, carrying a sense of belief that doesn't look like dissipating any time soon.  

  2. 2 Roosters hot and cold start to 2018 continues

    They are now four and four, for the season and would undoubtedly expected to be sitting higher on the table. Cannot continue to put monumental efforts one week and then crash back down to earth the next for the duration of the season. Their besieged captains have been under-performing which must attribute to their slow start and however it needs to be sorted as soon as possible. 

    One thing that doesn't look like changing in 2018 is the unpredictable nature of how good a sides performance will be on any given day. Parramatta racked up their first win admittedly against a Manly side that was two and four this season, however piling on 44 points is no walk in the park. 

    When they're hot, they can be electric but until they can find consistency their season could finish much earlier than desired. 

  3. 3 No post May blues for the Dragons this year

    Everyone has been saying it and after yesterday it confirmed the Dragons will not only not tail off come May, they will keep getting better, gaining momentum and teaching sides a thing or two about the beautiful game. 

    For mine they must be premiership favourites at the present moment, this is not me saying they will win the competition this year though, especially after the Storm performance last night. 

    Having everything a side needs to win including the old cliche "the ability to win ugly" which will see them feature heavily into the finals this year, a Grand Final appearance at the very least beckons!

  4. 4 Video referee blunder costly

    When Nene MacDonald went over in the corner during the 69th minute, the game looked like it may have slipped through the Roosters grasp even with 10 minutes to play. After a live telecasted inspection from the video referees most, if not all fans realised the Roosters were still in with a fighting chance, the try a clear knock-on. 

    Try given and converted it created a 16 point lead that is rarely chased down within 10 minutes all but ending the Roosters comeback. Whilst it did not ultimately decide the final result it created a lot of discontent, anger and sheer disappointment that such a grand occasion was scuppered by such a poor call. Moreover, it was clear as day and didn't require a qualified eye to make the correct ruling.

    For mine it needs to spark an overhaul with the video refereeing, referees call needs to not weigh so heavily on the video refs determination of a decision, forward passes need to be ruled on along with a few further key changes.

  5. 5 Cronk signature, Pearce departure, a big mistake.

    After three or four rounds of the Cowboys season Greg Alexander voiced his concerns that one, Johnathan Thurston had possibly gone past his use by date, playing into season 2018. The ensuing debate evolved with many other former rugby league players voicing their opinion, and many agreeing. Cooper Cronk may have just gone a season or two, too long himself. 

    Yesterday he was hampered on the last tackle at every opportunity getting tackled into oblivion by Sims and constantly heckled, without response. Pre-game there were talks about the impacts of Hunt and Cronk at their new respective clubs with Hunt contributing 7 try assists to Cronk's 1. 

    There is no doubting Cronk's competitiveness, effort and commitment to the team, the kicking boots just don't work like they used to no more it seems. Place his brain in Moses Mbye and suddenly you have one of the games premier halves with lightning pace. There are still 16 rounds left and Cronk will definitely find some sort of form at some stage soon, however, the signature of Cronk looks to be a massive mistake by the money rich side, who let a reformed and local junior in Mitchell Pearce get away. 

    What key talking points did you come away with after the Dragons seventh win of the season versus the Roosters? Let us know in the comments below.

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