Gordon exit exposes Chooks' Achilles heel

Dec 12, 2017 - 4:55 AM The Sydney Roosters may be NRL premiership favourites however Michael Gordon's exit has exposed their Achilles heel.

The veteran fullback was on Tuesday released from the final year of his Roosters deal in order to take up a two-season contract with the Gold Coast, leaving the Tricolours without a recognised goalkicker for 2018.

After losing two of the competition's best sharpshooters in James Maloney and Gordon over the past three seasons, their lack of a kicker shapes as a major chink in their armour.

Gordon is recognised as one of the NRL's leading goalkickers, boasting a career success rate of 81.3 per cent (596 goals from 733 attempts).

He was brought in by Robinson this year to address his side's kicking woes and his affect was profound.

In 2017, the Roosters proved the masters of the clutch, winning 12 games by six points or less - an all-time competition record, according to Fox Sports Stats.

They also won seven games by two points or less - an equal competition record.

Several of those wins can be attributed to Gordon's trusty right boot with the 34-year-old kicking 72 of 92 attempts (78 per cent).

Sio Siua Taukeiaho and Latrell Mitchell shape as the most likely to pick up the Roosters' kicking duties though neither are tried and true.

Taukeiaho boasts a strong career success rate of 77 per cent, though he is relatively inexperienced - kicking 30 of 39 attempts.

Likewise, Mitchell has a strike rate of 62 per cent (21 from 34), though he did boot an encouraging nine of 11 attempts in 2017.

None of Robinson's recruits are recognised goalkickers with Cooper Cronk (one from six) and Reece Robinson (13 of 27) shaping as unlikely options.

However this hasn't stopped bookmakers from installing the Roosters are short-priced $5 favourites for the title with Cronk and James Tedesco's affect on the team expected to be pronounced.


Careers success rate of the Sydney Roosters' goalkicking options for 2018

* Sio Siua Taukeiaho - 30/39 (77 per cent)

* Blake Ferguson - 16/23 (70 per cent)

* Latrell Mitchell - 21/34 (62 per cent)

* Reece Robinson - 13/27 (48 per cent)

* Boyd Cordner - 1/4 (25 per cent)

* Cooper Cronk - 1/6 (16 per cent).

Source: AAP

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