Key factors that ruined Roosters’ season
Boyd Cordner looks like a tired footballer who should not be playing State of Origin next month.
The NSW Blues captain needs a long break, despite being named in the Blues' squad on Sunday.
You look around the premiership and compare his impact and energy levels to other edge forwards like Liam Martin and Billy Kikau at the Panthers, Jaydn Su'A at the Rabbitohs or Hudson Young and John Bateman at the Canberra Raiders.
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This is not a criticism of the 28-year-old Roosters champion because, fully fit, he is still the best in the world in his position.
A series of head knocks and episodes of concussion appear to have caught up with the Kangaroos and NSW skipper.
Go back to the replay of Josh Papalii's first try at the SCG on Friday night, exactly four minutes and 31 seconds into the game (watch in player above).
Watch Cordner miss the tackle before Papalii crashed through Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Sio Siua Taukeiaho to touch down.
The Roosters co-captain just flung his right arm out. You could see he was reluctant to put his head anywhere near the Raiders front-rower.
The fearless pre-concussion Cordner would have gone in much harder and tried to smash him.
This could be the result of head knocks.
It is natural to be hesitant and more cautious in areas of the game where there is potential for another heavy bump.
All up he missed three tackles against the Raiders on Friday night, ones he would normally make.
There has been much talk at the Roosters this year about concussion.
No side has been affected as much.
It could explain why the 'Bondi wall' collapsed at the back end of the season.
They've conceded 111 points in their last three games.
This compares to 47 points in their first FIVE matches.
Their four most senior players - Cordner, Luke Keary, Jake Friend and James Tedesco - have all been on the receiving end of heavy knocks and time out.
It is natural instinct even for even the bravest of footballers to be wary and tentative after coming back from serious concussion.
Cordner has also had to deal with his cousin passing away after an accident on a football field this year.
No doubt NSW coach Brad Fittler is desperate to have Cordner to lead the Blues.
He has led magnificently for his state since the retirement of Cronulla Sharks warhorse Paul Gallen, bringing home the trophy for the last two years.
No doubt Fittler will put the welfare of his players ahead of anything else.
You just get the impression the last thing Cordner needs right now is the brutal punishment of three Origin games in a fortnight.
There are many contributing factors as to why the Roosters fell short of a historic premiership three-peat that no club has managed to achieve since Parramatta in 1983.
It's not just about Cordner or Keary or concussion.
The biggest issue was the absence of three great players - Cooper Cronk, Latrell Mitchell and Victor Radley.
Without Cronk's playmaking skills, Latrell's ability to burst open a game and Radley's toughness, it was always going to be a massive challenge.