A tumultuous season in Bondi looks to be coming good at the right time – but nobody in the Roosters camp is taking it for granted.
Injuries, suspensions and some mediocre form at times in the first half of the year have kept the Chooks off the pace and out of the top eight for chunks of their campaign – but now, with just a month left to play, nothing’s out of the question. Including the top four.
If you want to look at how locked in the Roosters are right now, it was the actions of Jared Waerea-Hargreaves both during and after Thursday’s win over the Broncos.
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First, the veteran prop gave Sam Walker an on-field spray over a play (on a set that led to a Roosters try, no less), and then made it clear to his teammates after the game that they were far from their potential, despite the quality of this win over Brisbane.
Waerea-Hargreaves’ actions had the full endorsement of his coach.
“Jared’s coached as many players as I have, so that’s his role (on the field),” Trent Robinson said after the game.
“We care about the way that we play the game and we feel like we can get better. It’s not just about finishing a game going, ‘What happened, how can we get better?’ On the field, these guys are coaching each other.’
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“We’ve got more in us and the coach isn’t going to decide that. We know how we’re going to play, it’s those guys on the field nailing it.”
A couple of weeks ago the top eight was up in the air. Now, they’re eyeing off an extra chance in the finals.
The Roosters leapfrogged arch-rivals South Sydney into seventh place after the win, albeit the Rabbitohs have a game in hand against the lowly Warriors on Saturday.
But should other results go their way, Robinson’s team will find themselves out of the top four only via for and against.
“Our best is yet to come because of what we’re talking about with Jared. Jared wants more, Teddy talked about it after the game to the team,” Robinson said.
“It’s not about a negative point of view, but we feel we’ve worked hard enough this year and tried different things that it’s time to play better.”
They were far from their best in a 20-10 win over a weakened Manly last week, and looked to step it up a gear as they ran in six tries against a team with top four aspirations of their own in the Broncos.
“The last month has been good, and improving, but we’ve got to keep going,” Robinson said.
Tedesco reiterated that the team was extremely disappointed after the win at Brookvale, and although last night was an improvement, there was a long way to go.
“It was better – but again, we’re still striving for better,” he said.
“We’re still chasing that 80 minute performance – we’re getting better and better and we’re learning a lot of lessons along the way.”
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