101 points in 2 games: Rampant Roosters now line up Eels
Bring on Parra.
That was the message coming out of the Eels' home at Bankwest Stadium on Monday night as the reigning champs handed out a 42-6 thumping over Canterbury.
With a James Tedesco hat trick and a Luke Keary masterclass the standout performances in a seven-tries-to-one demolition, the Sydney Roosters set the stage for a highly anticipated showdown this Saturday with the current competition leaders.
While the Eels remain the only unbeaten team after five rounds, since the shutdown ended the Roosters have now racked up 129 points with only 18 conceded.
It started with a 28-12 win over Souths followed by the 59-0 thumping of the Broncos.
But just when you thought complacency might be their biggest danger, Tedesco's return after missing the Broncos massacre sparked another pointscoring avalanche.
TEDDY'S CAREER BEST
When the world's best player says he's now hit career best form because of the new rules, well, you just sit back and enjoy.
Tedesco's performance was phenomenal as he crossed for three tries for the first time since 2016, while he also had two try assists, five linebreak assists, 12 tackle busts and ran for 194m.
"These new rule changes are really suiting me," Tedesco told NRL 360.
"It's a quicker game, middles are getting more tired and it just allows me to create that space up the middle and then lurk on the edges when I want to."
Even for his coach, Trent Robinson said: "It is great to watch.
"Forget about being his coach, just watching him move around the park … the camera doesn't always get to see how he moves around and what he does.
"It is just exceptional footy."
Brett Morris was again outstanding running for 205m, scoring a try and two try assists, while Angus Crichton scored a double in a really solid hitout but was placed on report for a late shot on Lachlan Lewis.
Victor Radley and Boyd Cordner were also tremendous.
KEARY TAKES CHARGE
Coming into this season without Cooper Cronk and having young Kyle Flanagan taking over the No 7 jumper was always going to put more pressure on Keary.
But the way he is handling the assignment speaks of the player he has become.
Already a three-time premiership winner at 28, and usually that's the age when the top class playmakers really come of age.
If you were picking a NSW Origin team today it would be hard to go past a Keary/Tedesco combination.
Keary absolutely orchestrated the first half dominance and every time he seized an opportunity Tedesco was there on the spot.
As Dean Pay said: "I think the new rules have helped them.
"There is a distinct different play-the-ball speed from ours to theirs and that is what they earn.
"Off the back of that you have got Tedesco and Keary … they are a quality team."
There's been a stack of talk about how well the Eels are going after winning their opening five matches for the first time since 1986.
But the way the Roosters are travelling right now they deserve to be rated the team to beat, this week and this year.
The TAB has them $1.50 favourites with Parramatta at $2.60 for Saturday night, while the Roosters have come into $4 favouritism in premiership betting, with Brad Arthur's men on the second line of betting at $4.50 and, at this stage, deemed the team most likely to try and prevent the Roosters from becoming the first team since the Eels in 1983 to win three straight titles.
While the Roosters' have built the foundations for this dynasty on defence, it's fair to say they look even slicker this year under the new rules.
They play so flat and fast and with so much energy with Keary and Tedesco never resting.
On the back of their ability to seize the moment, players in motion really pulled the Bulldogs apart with Crichton, the Morris boys, Joey Manu and young Flanagan having a field day.
On Saturday it's going to be a huge test for both teams but the Eels would have watched Monday night and realised what got them home against Penrith on the weekend will need to go to the next level.
After their morale boosting win last round over the Dragons, this was always going to be a step up for the Dogs.
While they got smashed up in the opening quarter they really showed some grit to hang in and stop the scoreboard getting too embarrassing.
Against lesser opposition it wouldn't have been nearly as lopsided.
Kieran Foran and Will Hopoate were deserving of a special mention with Foran rewarded with their only try coming off a Hopoate assist.
The good news to take home was they now play the Sharks on Sunday who lost to the Dragons.
Originally published as 101 points in 2 games: Rampant Roosters now line up Eels