Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
After winning two straight premierships in 2018 and 2019, the Sydney Roosters were eliminated in the second week of the finals in 2020, and will looking to get back on top this year.
Sydney is almost a top eight guarantee in 2021; however, where they finish exactly could be decided by these five games.
ROUND 3 – SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
In what is arguably Rugby League’s biggest rivalry, the Roosters take on the Rabbitohs in round three.
These two sides are the only two foundation clubs still playing in the NRL and faced off in the competition’s first-ever Grand Final in 1908.
Sydney will be out for revenge following their last fixture against the Rabbitohs, where the Bunnies dominated the game, winning 60-8.
Unless the Roosters can get one over their archrivals soon then that result will haunt them for years to come.
ROUND 6 – MELBOURNE STORM
Ever since the beginning of the NRL era in 1998, the Roosters and Storm have been the two most successful clubs in the game and their matches against each other are a great reflection of that fact.
When they met in round eight of the 2020 NRL season fans were treated to an absolute barnburner that the Storm managed to win 27-25 in extra-time, many consider this fixture the game of the season.
Both are firm premiership contenders and are sure to put on a Grand Final like performance.
— Sydney Roosters 🐓 (@sydneyroosters) March 9, 2021
ROUND 7 – ST.GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
The Roosters and Dragons are set to once again participate in their annual ANZAC Day clash in a guaranteed draw.
As the Dragons are not looking too good heading into this season, a win over the Chooks on ANZAC Day seems to be their only attainable achievement.
Expect St.George Illawarra to rise to the occasion in what is often referred to as the biggest regular-season fixture.
If the Roosters underestimate the Dragons in this one then they could be embarrassed in front of one of the biggest crowds they will get this season.
ROUND 12 – CANBERRA RAIDERS
Since the 2019 NRL Grand Final tensions between the Roosters and Raiders have been high, following the controversial “six again” call.
A 24-20 victory to Canberra in the Grand Final rematch kept the hype high before the next game between the two caught the attention of the sporting world as Sonny Bill Williams made his return and the Roosters won 18-6.
They would clash one more time in 2020, as the Raiders eliminated the Roosters from the finals in an upset 22-18.
Fans will be anticipating another classic matchup between Sydney and Canberra in this one.
ROUND 15 – PENRITH PANTHERS
In round 15, the Roosters will go up against their finals bogey team and the defending minor premiers in the Penrith Panthers.
Penrith beat Sydney as underdogs in the 2003 NRL Grand Final and 2014 Qualifying Final and then got another win in the 2020 Qualifying Final.
The Roosters will be looking to get one back over the Panthers and beat last year’s runners up to make a statement.