Hat-trick challenge for Roosters31/01/2019 - Author: admin
The Roosters have one more challenge to overcome, it just happens to be a wounded Melbourne side, after identifying an intense three game period to test their premiership worth.
The Roosters are beginning to grow some momentum after wins in away games against Manly and North Queensland in recent weeks and face Melbourne on Saturday before a bye. Hooker Jake Friend said the side had spoken about the importance of a hat-trick of wins before the side is split by the representative period. ”We talked about it a little bit,” Friend said. ”It was a tough block and we’ve got one more tough game to go.
”We didn’t speak about it that much but we did talk about the three teams being up there as the benchmark of the competition.
”We spoke about doing as good as we could against them and to get two wins has been great.”
The Roosters’ stellar start to the season has seen them climb to second on the premiership ladder with just two losses. In form back-rower Mitchell Aubusson dismissed thoughts that the club had a softer start to the season. ”We don’t choose who we play,” Aubusson said. ”We couldn’t face those challenges until they came up. Now we’ve met those challenges and we have one more to go. It’s going to be a big test. We can’t wait to see where we are at.”
Defence has been key to the Roosters resurgence. They have leaked just 94 points, less than 10 points per game. It is a massive turnaround compared to last season where they finished the year as the second worst defensive side in the game, leaking 26 points per match. ”The biggest change has been our defence,” Aubusson said. ”It comes down to each individual. The results are showing. We weren’t too good on it last year, it was one area we needed to fix. We haven’t scored that many points, we’re backing our defence a bit. It does give us a lot of confidence knowing that.”
They play a Storm side who have hit an unusual early season dip in form. The Storm were brave but lacked their usual polish against a determined Manly side in a 90-minute thriller on Monday night. Despite their unusual lean trot, Aubusson said the Storm were still a danger side. ”They had a brutal game on Monday night,” Aubusson said. ”I don’t think there is an easy time to get Melbourne. You can’t underestimate them.”
A nice run off a Mitchell Pearce pass had Aubusson scoring the match-winning try for the Roosters in their 12-8 win against North Queensland last week.
”We’ve been working hard on that at training,” Aubusson said. ”I was lucky enough to get across the line and help the boys get a win.”
The Roosters have won their past three games against the Storm at Allianz Stadium.
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