Sydney Roosters

'I want to add value': Naiqama relishing NRL return

After spending the last three seasons in the north of England helping St Helens to a treble of championships, the opportunity to Australia to spend quality time with family - and take in some of the sun's rays - was Naiqama's priority.

“Really good, I’ve missed it a lot,” he admitted.

“Me and my wife have been in England for the last couple of years and I guess our situation was heightened with wanting to come back, and we haven’t been able to for the last two years.

Fiji international’s NRL return confirmed

Naiqama exited the competition at the end of 2018 after stints with the Wests Tigers, Panthers and Knights. He joined Super League team, St Helens, whom he won three grand finals with.

He returns to the NRL after his two-try performance in the 2021 Super League grand final saw him claim the Harry Sunderland Medal as man of the match.

The Fijian international adds experience and depth to the Roosters’ outside backs after Brett and Josh Morris retired.

 

Tedesco cops $10,000 fine over alleged drunken ‘Squid Game’ incident

A woman of Vietnamese descent brought a complaint to the NRL last month, alleging Tedesco made a reference to South Korean Netflix series Squid Game as he passed her sister on the street.

The NRL integrity unit subsequently announced plans to investigate Tedesco and handed down its findings on Friday, proposing the 28-year-old pay a $10,000 fine and undergo education and training programs.

The league’s breach notice did not mention the alleged racist remark, instead claiming Tedesco “behaved in a drunken and disorderly manner and also brought the game into disrepute”.

Manu To Stay Put

Manu, who comes off-contract at the end of 2022, was being chased hard by the Warriors.

The club was prepared to table him a $1 million-per year offer — around a $250,000 increase on his current Roosters salary.

However, according to Channel 9’s Danny Weidler, Manu has informed the Roosters he won’t be testing his value on the open market, effectively turning down a mega payday to stay loyal to the club he’s won two premierships with.

Stat Attack: Manly boast speed edge but Roosters have experience

As the teams prepare to meet in Friday night's sudden-death semi-final, Telstra Tracker data has provided some key statistical insights.

While none of the Roosters back five have been clocked at more than 33.8km/h this season (with centre Adam Keighran the quickest of the lot), the star Sea Eagles trio have routinely surpassed 35km/h.

In Saab's case, that's merely a cruising speed given the 20-year-old winger has reached a personal best of 38km/h in 2021. Only Melbourne Storm flyer Josh Addo-Carr (38.1km/h) has gone quicker.

Taukeiaho out as Sea Eagles, Panthers, Eels welcome back stars

Taukeiaho lasted just two minutes in last Saturday night’s 25-24 elimination final defeat of Gold Coast before hobbling to the sideline. He underwent scans on Monday and has not been named in the 21-man squad to play the Sea Eagles.

Forward Nat Butcher returns from a knee injury and will replace Taukeiaho on the interchange, where he will start alongside halfback Sam Walker, who kicked the match-winning field goal in a nine-minute cameo against the Titans.

Sea Eagles v Roosters: Rival hookers under a cloud

Manly will be keen to re-establish their finals credentials after an embarrassing 40-12 hiding at the hands of Melbourne. It will be a long week for the Sea Eagles to prove they are not a side that will wilt for a second time in row. 

One thing is certain. Manly will want more ball than the 39% possession they had against the Storm - or 10 sets fewer than the 39 Melbourne enjoyed.

The weight of possession against Des Hasler's men could be seen by the fact Kenny Bromwich (28) was the Storm's highest tackler, while Manly's best Jake Trbojevic had to work a lot harder (48).

Twin farewell: Reliable Morris wants elusive title before retiring

But on Monday afternoon he was thanking both men, along with his devoted mother Karen and siblings, for contributing to a 15-year journey that began at the Dragons and will finish at the Roosters this season.

Morris followed suit with his brother Brett to confirm he'll retire after the Roosters' last finals game in an announcement that was made without his wife Elise and children Cali and Jesse in attendance, who remain in lockdown in Sydney.

NRL fines Roosters, Robinson over abuse of match officials

According to the NRL statement, it proposes a $10,000 fine for alleged abuse of match officials during the match, a $20,000 fine for comments made by Robinson following the Roosters' loss to South Sydney and a suspended $10,000 fine will also be activated, if the club is found to have breached NRL Rules regarding public commentary on match officials. 

As far as the fine for on-field abuse, the NRL has announced Roosters officials are alleged to have made abusive comments towards on-field match officials and the stand-by referee during the match.

Butcher cut down as Roosters carve up Dragons with late flurry

After three tries within 15 minutes, either side of half-time, gave the Dragons the ascendancy as they turned a 14-0 deficit into a 16-14 lead, the Roosters responded strongly to remain in fourth spot on the ladder. 

The win was soured by the loss of Adam Keighran (failed HIA) and Nat Butcher to a suspected serious knee injury. Dale Copley, Sam Verills, Siosiua Taukeiaho and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves were also struggling at different stages of the match.  

Another starring display from James Tedesco got the Roosters rolling in the first half.