Roosters exposed without Ricketson - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roosters exposed without Ricketson

01/06/2005 06:42:09 PM Comments (0)

The Sydney Roosters go into Friday night's NRL blockbuster with Manly at Aussie Stadium exposed as virtually a lost cause without suspended captain Luke Ricketson.

The Roosters have a paltry 25 per cent winning rate without Ricketson - a worse record than even Newcastle's minus Andrew Johns.

The startling statistics provided by league guru David Middleton reveal Ricketson to be more important to the Roosters than Johns is to Newcastle and Cronulla playmaker Brett Kimmorley is to the Sharks.

Concerned Roosters coach Ricky Stuart said his team faced a monumental challenge overcoming Ricketson's absence and continuing their revival with a fourth straight win on Friday.

"We don't go well when we lose Ricko. He's a leader on the field," Stuart said.

"Over the years we haven't had great success with Ricko not playing. Last year's grand final is one game which comes to mind.

"He's out for two games and we have to get on with life and play well without him."

Since 1998, the "benchmark" Roosters - who have featured in four of the last five grand finals - have won only four of their 16 matches when Ricketson hasn't played.

They've lost 11 and drawn one, with the most heartbreaking result last year's 16-13 grand final loss to the Bulldogs when Ricketson was out suspended.

In comparison, the Sharks have won 12 out of 18 games without Kimmorley at a 66 per cent success rate and the Knights have racked up 20 victories from 55 matches, a strike rate of 36 per cent, without Johns.

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