Big money for Roosters ahead of Cronk arrival
THEY didn't win the premiership this year or even reach the grand final.
But the influence of new signing Cooper Cronk has made the Sydney Roosters the shortest-priced pre-season NRL premiership favourites in a decade.
Coach Trent Robinson's side, with Cronk calling the shots at halfback, has tightened from $6 into $5 over the weekend to be outright TAB favourites for the 2018 title.
The Roosters are the shortest-priced pre-season favourites since Manly in 2009, when they came off their 40-0 grand final win over Melbourne the previous season.
The Roosters hold more than 20 per cent of money invested on the 2018 premiership with the TAB.
In a sign of pressure for Robinson's men to produce, the bulk of the money has come since the club signed Cronk to a two-year, $2 million deal.
"The Roosters at $5 are the shortest pre-season premiership price with the TAB since the Manly Sea Eagles were $4.50 in 2009," the TAB's Matt Jenkins said.
"In the past decade we haven't seen many teams as short as the Roosters, which gives you an indication of how well they are fancied."
The biggest bet on the Roosters to win next year's minor premiership has been $20,000 at $4.75.
They are $4 minor premiership favourites and Roosters enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves described his club's expectations as "massive".
"There's a couple of new faces and a couple of new signings, it is exciting," he said.
"I'm ready to go again in '18. I've got a month off (after representing New Zealand at the World Cup).
"I will hit the ground running on the fifth (of January). I want to try and build a good foundation for the start of the season. Build off 2017."
Newcastle, with former Roosters halfback Mitchell Pearce on deck, are the seventh-most supported team in the market, crunching from $34 to $29 for the title and paying $2.75 to make the top eight.