Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Since 2013, the Sydney Roosters have been the NRL’s most successful team, having won three premierships, four minor premierships and only missing the top four twice and the top eight once over the past nine years.
Last season marked the second of two occasions the Roosters have missed the top four throughout this period, as the tricolours ran fifth in 2021 and were eliminated from the competition after a big loss against the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles in the second week of the finals.
It is also important to note that during the 2021 NRL season the Roosters had nine players ruled out for the entire year through injury, three of which would retire.
This undoubtedly had a significant impact on the club’s chances of winning the competition, and the fact that they managed to finish as high as they did is a credit to their depth and leadership, which was acknowledged when James Tedesco was named the Dally M Captain of the Year.
However, individual accolades are not what the New South Wales and Australia fullback is looking for, as Tedesco was interviewed by the Roosters media team earlier today, speaking about how crucial certain returning players are to the squad and the importance of defence.
Monday Madness 🙌
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— Sydney Roosters 🐓 (@sydneyroosters) March 7, 2022
“It’s so good to have him [Keary] back,” Tedesco said.
“Obviously we missed him a lot last year. He takes control, he’s our halfback and he leads us around and he communicates so well.
“He and Radley, they haven’t played together for two years and with them on the field together it’s going to be key for us to be successful this year.
“We’ve probably let ourselves down in defence and execution over the last few years.
“It wasn’t as good as it was in 2018 and 2019, and we’ve got to get back to that level and get better.
“Our defence as well is a big part of success so we’re looking forward to that challenge.”
The Roosters will commence their 2022 NRL campaign this Saturday afternoon against the Newcastle Knights at home and are one of the favourites to win the competition.