With Sonny Bill Bouris a confirmed starter for the Roosters this year, and Michael “AV” Jennings a short priced favourite to do the same, not only are the planets aligned positively for house prices in the Eastern Suburbs given that pedigree, but Roosters fans must be smirking into their lattes and pinots.
While I can’t possibly believe the rumour that one of Sonny Bill’s new contract stipulations is that the team play in open neck buttoned-down shirts and sports jackets, his presence has been enough for me to pick the Roosters as the biggest improver over 2012, and a team we will be seeing in the 2013 NRL finals. He talks the talk and loves the moolah, but he also walks the walk. His ability, professionalism and quality of performances are finely matched in whatever sport he seems to choose, making him the anti-Tomic in some respects.
But now we have the prospect of blistering speed of “AV” on the left side of the park and Shaun Kenny Dowall on the right side, whose on-field right-foot step matches his off-field left-foot step into Bondi Ink. With Pearce and Maloney in the middle directing play (well, Maloney, anyhow), and Sonny Bill popping balls to Minichiello flying up the inside, this team has the right attributes to make the most of a young roster and a new coaching structure.
Having said all that, AV will probably go and sign with the Titans, though I wouldn’t bet on it. But as an observer, and if he were asked, Dr NRL would suggest possible signs of dementia should he not choose the Bondi option. A young and talented team brimming with playmakers should be quite attractive to him, not to mention the proximity to home. Having rid themselves of serial ball-dropper BJ Leilua and with the cap increasing into the near future, the Roosters could easily afford to accommodate the Panthers’ reduced contribution after 2014.
A top 8 prediction for the Roosters would then become a minimum expectation for the club, more like 4th, 5th or 6th. Don’t laugh! And in the finals, who knows what can happen …