Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sydney Roosters vs Newcastle Knights

The second game for NRL Finals Week 3 is between Sydney Roosters and Newcastle Knights. The opening bounce is set to commence at 7:45pm with the game to be played at Allianz Stadium. The favourite for the match is home team Sydney Roosters. View our preview and teams for the game between Sydney Roosters and Newcastle Knights.

The last remaining spot in the 2013 grand final will be decided when Sydney Roosters take on Newcastle Knights.

After two surprise losses in rounds 23 and 24, Sydney bounced back to their best with a comprehensive victory over South Sydney in the final round of the regular season, in which they claimed the minor premiership in the process, before last week, defeating Manly 4 – 0 in what was a magnificent clash and highlighted the Roosters defence – which has been their biggest asset all year.

With the week off to their advantage, the Roosters look well placed to make it three successive victories over Newcastle this year after accounting for the Knights 28 – 12 in round 20 and 24 – 6 in round 9.

Newcastle snuck into the year’s finals (finishing seventh) after wins against Brisbane and Parramatta in the final two weeks of the regular season but has taken full advantage of their opportunities by defeating Canterbury comprehensively in week 1 of the finals, before travelling to Melbourne, where they hadn’t won since 2004, and as outsiders, claiming the scalp of the Storm.

With nothing to lose and four straight wins behind them, they’ll present plenty of problems for the Roosters.

It was Newcastle’s hardened and experienced forward pack that laid the foundation for the recent success but up against the Roosters pack, that have been dominate all year and who will welcome back key forward Jared Waera-Hargreaves from suspension, the Knights will have to lift again.

The Roosters have kept Newcastle to only three tries in their two games this year and after momentary lapses in the last few rounds, the Roosters have displayed in their two most recent matches that their defence is back to its best.

With the likes of Sonny-Bill and Boyd Cordner set to ask plenty of questions in attack on the edge of Newcastle’s ruck, the Roosters should pack too many guns.

Instead of taking the short price about them here, jump on the $2.50 for next week’s grand final which is now on offer.

The Sydney Roosters reportedly sacked a sports nutrition company after learning six players had returned blood tests with elevated readings for the banned substance Human Growth Hormone.

In a Fairfax Media report, it is alleged details of the players’ blood test results were found on the phone of an organised crime figure after being seized by law enforcement officers.

The firm, Nubodi, was hired by the club last year in an attempt to finetune detox diets for the players, the club’s chief operating officer Brian Canavan confirmed.

Canavan said Roosters players were tested for human growth hormone without the consent of club officials or staff.

Boyd Cordner, Sam Moa and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck were three players named in the Fairfax report who had elevated HGH levels.

The trio were later re-tested by the club, with those blood tests not returning elevated levels of HGH.

There is no suggestion any player has acted improperly.

“We were very unhappy that the extended (blood) testing was conducted. It was done without our knowledge,” Canavan told Fairfax.

The Roosters, who finished the season as minor premiers and are favourites to take out premiership in a fortnight, informed the NRL’s integrity unit of the unusual test results midway through this season.

Sean Carolan, who runs Nubodi, denied the inconsistent growth hormones among some tested players was a result of taking illegal supplements.

HGH is banned by ASADA as it is used to strengthen connective tissue which reduces the probability of injury.

The Roosters face Newcastle on Saturday night in a preliminary final, with the winner to progress to the grand final on October 6.

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