‘It’s a nightmare’: HIAs, send off rock Roosters in absurd NRL carnage against Bulldogs

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The Sydney Roosters have been left in tatters after a horrific opening half against the Canterbury Bulldogs at Accor Stadium.

With the Bulldogs celebrating the 20-year anniversary of their last premiership team in 2004, the Roosters came to the party in the worst way possible.

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The Roosters lost a captain’s challenge in the opening 25 seconds before the Bulldogs scored three unanswered tries to open up an 18-0 lead against the premiership fancies.

And from there, it only got worse.

Halfback Sam Walker was forced out of the game after an accidental knee from Stephen Crichton when he fell off a tackle after Viliame Kikau had passed to his captain.

Minutes later, Roosters skipper James Tedesco was knocked out after he got his head into the wrong position as he attempted a cover tackle on a rampaging Kikau.

There was plenty of concern for Tedesco, as he was assessed by doctors.

He was immediately ruled out of the match as well, although he was able to walk to the change rooms.

In the 27th minute, the news got even worse when star signing Dominic Young was sent off after an ugly high shot on Bulldogs fullback Blake Taaffe.

“If he’s hit him square in the head here, he’ll be off,” Steve Roach said in commentary.

“That’s hit him right on the chin. You watch the replay. In today’s game, he’s blindsided him, come in and got him right on the chops. That’s a send-off honestly.

“I know he’s coming in to try and make the difference, but on a much smaller bloke, swinging arm, hitting him on the chin.

“Gee, they’re going to be under the pump now the Roosters even more so if this is a send-off.”

And referee Grant Atkins had no choice, giving the Englishman his marching orders.

“There is no Sam Walker for the Roosters, there’s also no James Tedesco — it’s a nightmare for the Sydney Roosters,” Warren Smith said after Young was sent off.

Roach added: “I don’t think the referee had any option there.”

At halftime, Yvonne Sampson called it: “Potentially the worst 40 minutes the Tri-Colours have ever experienced.”

Fox NRL sideline reporter Tiffany Salmond posted: “Did someone put a curse on the Roosters tonight? Everything that could go wrong is going wrong!”

The wild opening overshadowed the fact both clubs had players returning after a four-year drug ban.

The Bulldogs selected Bronson Xerri, who started in the centres, and the Roosters had to activate their 18th man Michael Jennings.

The 26-0 halftime score was certainly unexpected as well and was heading that way from the early onslaught from the Bulldogs.

Incredibly, Kikau had over 150m from just seven runs, including two line breaks and a try assist in his best game for the club.

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