Fifita signing coup an extra feather in the cap as Roosters reopen premiership window


With David Fifita is now confirmed as heading to the Roosters for season 2025, it is a coup for the club and a wonderful opportunity for him to finally enjoy some premiership success after battling away with the Gold Coast for four long years for in just one finals match in 2021.

Still just 24, the big man also left a sinking Broncos ship at the end of 2020, after a wooden spoon year that saw the club at rock bottom.

Now the masters of salary cap management have their man and potentially the final piece of the puzzle they need to once again become serious contenders in 2025.

David Fifita could be the signing that makes all the difference for the Roosters in 2025. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

With the retirement of Luke Keary and the pending departures of Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Joseph Suaalii and Joseph Manu, along with the uncertainty around Angus Crichton in red, white and blue next season, there were a few extra coins in the Chook kitty to lure one of the NRL’s most dangerous big men.

Whilst the Sharks, Storm and Panthers have been the cream of the NRL crop thus far in 2024 and a few others are sniffing about auditioning for credibility and hopeful of a Sea Eagles, Broncos, Dolphins or Bulldogs premiership, Fifita’s signing is a potential game-changer for the Roosters which could take them to a title.

If they don’t get there this year, that is.

A deep dive into the numbers the Chooks are clocking up this season suggests they are as close as any other to the top three and potentially about to enter a new ear of sustained premiership contention with the arrival of the Queensland powerhouse.

The Tricolours look mighty good at full strength and better than some may have predicted. From a production point of view, they currently sit seventh in average points scored points and fifth for tries.

While a sometime meaningless statistic if teams fail to use possession with the purpose required to score heavily, the Roosters could not be accused of the same in regards to completions; sitting a respectable seventh at 79.3 per cent and achieving the happy medium between holding the ball and actually doing something with it.

The Chooks lead the league in supports, with an average of 56.6 per game and occupy seventh spot in post contact metres with just over 590 per game.

An average of 34.6 tackle breaks has them placed fourth behind the Panthers, Sharks and Storm respectively and 10.4 offloads per game has Trent Robinson’s men also sitting in the top five in the NRL.

Trent Robinson has his Roosters heading towards the finals and looking to sharpen up in two important areas. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Fourth in both try assists and line-break assists, the Roosters have been impressive in the red-zone, whilst also using the dummy-half run well with an average of 11.4 per game that places them third in the competition.

The deeper you look, the more impressive the statistical Roosters become, with all-run metres and kick return metres two of the few attacking areas where Robinson will be keen to see them lift from the mid-pack and into the elite.

But before you toddle off to the local betting shop or open an app with the intention of staking a wager on the Roosters to win the 2024 Grand Final, just hold your horses.

You see, they don’t tackle as efficiently as the coach would like, missing 34.6 times per game and needing to tighten up in that area.

Making an average of 11.4 handling errors per game to rank fourth in the league is not helping their cause either and the 6.6 penalties being conceded per match might not be catastrophic, but certainly something Robinson will also be addressing.

Sam Walker has been at the core of most of the Roosters’ better performances in 2024. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Whilst an argument could be made that the Chooks have beaten up on a poor St George Illawarra and a simply lost and injured South Sydney, more important has been Sam Walker’s significant influence since being effectively absent across rounds five, six and seven.

His return to the team and excellent form has been highlighted in a stunning fortnight of wins against the Dragons and Broncos. The difference between the Roosters’ best and mediocrity grows ever more connected to his presence.

With Walker in full flight, Robinson’s men look a danger to the top three, if their tackle efficiency, error rate and discipline can improve.

A little more polish in those areas will reopen their premiership window after a few lean seasons by their standards since their 2019 success and with the arrival of Fifita, they could be on the verge of a new era where the trophy cabinet becomes even more crowded.

It could potentially be one of the signings of the decade, yet the Roosters have more than a fighting chance off the back of Walker’s composure, that they could still mount a serious challenge to Penrith’s supremacy in 2024, especially considering just how many things they are doing well this season.

Either way, the future looks bright for the Sydney Roosters with David Fifita a seismic acquisition for their roster.

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