NRL premiership winner, Paul Gallen, has expressed his belief that the Roosters have lost their identity after their recent slide to 14th on the ladder. This is a significant fall for a team that were back-to-back premiers just four years ago and it is likely that they will miss out on the finals for the first time since 2016.
The Roosters have faced a number of challenges this season, with injuries affecting six players on their roster. One controversial decision was the dropping of Sam Walker back in April, which caused a stir among fans. Unfortunately, Walker has been sidelined due to injury ever since.
Gallen identifies the rotation of halves as just one of the many issues the club is facing. He believes that the Roosters’ success has been built on the strength of their spine, which consists of the fullback, halfback, five-eighth, and hooker positions. However, this season has seen changes in their halves, with players like Luke Keary, Walker, Sandon Smith, Joey Manu, and Drew Hutchinson all taking turns in the position. There has also been inconsistency in the hooker role.
In addition to these challenges, the Roosters have also had to deal with the early season loss of Angus Crichton due to mental health reasons, as well as the signing of Joseph Sua’ali’i with Australian Rugby, which caused some controversy within the club.
However, Gallen believes that the biggest problem for the Roosters is a loss of identity. He states that the team has deviated from what the Roosters have traditionally stood for – toughness and resilience. In the past, the Roosters were known for their strong forward pack and their ability to stay in the fight until the end. Gallen feels that this resilience is lacking in the current team.
Gallen also criticizes the Roosters’ kicking game, highlighting that their hookers do not kick much from dummy half and their halves have struggled with their kicking game this season. He believes that these issues, combined with the team’s other challenges, have contributed to their current position on the ladder.
In summary, the Roosters are currently facing a number of challenges that have led to their fall down the ladder. Paul Gallen believes that the team has lost their identity as a tough and resilient side, and that their rotation of halves and struggling kicking game have also played a part in their current predicament.
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Hasibur Rahaman is a passionate sports journalist. He covers everything from cricket to field hockey, delivering up-to-the-minute updates and in-depth analysis of sporting events, both within India and on the international stage.