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We'll be fine without Jared: Maloney

Roosters pivot James Maloney says his team will be just fine without the suspended Jared Waerea-Hargreaves. Copyright: NRL Photos/Renee McKay. Credit: NRL Photos/Renee McKay. Copyright: NRL Photos/Renee McKay.

Roosters five-eighth James Maloney says his side will be fine without suspended enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves for its Round 5 grudge match against the Bulldogs on Friday night.

Waerea-Hargreaves took the early plea for his high shot that forced Manly lock Glenn Stewart out of the Round 4 Grand Final rematch after around 20 minutes with concussion and will serve a one-match ban this weekend.

"He's a bit of a leader of our forward pack so we'll miss him but we've got plenty of talented guys there," Maloney told media ahead of the game.

"I think Sammy [Moa] and Frank[-Paul Nuuausala] are playing good football, no doubt they'll step up and lead the way.

"Kane Evans and Dylan Napa have been pretty impressive and they seem to be developing well for us."

Waerea-Hargreaves is no stranger to the judiciary, having served a six-match ban early last year for a high shot - also against his former club Manly - on George Rose.

"It's a week without him, we've done that quite regularly recently. We'll be fine and we'll see him back the week after!" Maloney laughed.

The Roosters do welcome back Sonny Bill Williams from a three match suspension for a Round 1 shoulder charge on Rabbitoh George Burgess. He comes in as a straight swap into the 17 for Waerea-Hargreaves and joked earlier in the week that he thought the prop should have received the same three match punishment.

"That was very good by Sonny, I loved it. It gave me a laugh!" Maloney said.

"I think he's very excited to get back out there with the boys, it's great having him out there, he offers us plenty as everyone knows. To have him back out will be great."

Asked about any extra feeling involved when Williams comes up against his former club in the Bulldogs, Maloney said: "I don't think Sonny reads too much into it but I suppose there are still fans [that feel strongly about his departure from the club].

"If that's what the media drives to get a crowd it's all good you know, it makes for a good rivalry. Hopefully we get plenty out there and it makes a good atmosphere and we get the two points."

Maloney conceded discipline was something the side needed to work on after being on the wrong side of an 11-2 penalty count against Manly. He insisted, however, that it didn't cost them the game.

"Ball control and obviously the penalties both contributed [to the loss], it makes it hard when you're doing the defensive workload we had to do then trying to put your attack together and dropping ball and giving them easy yards onto our line.

"It made it hard and they played well but at the end of the day the penalties didn't cost us, it was well within our reach if we did a few things differently."

On his own form, the incumbent Blues five-eighth said he felt he'd been a bit quiet to start the year.

"I'm developing, I'd like to improve a few things that I'm working on... having a bit more impact on the games and how they're turning out.

"I've probably been a bit quiet in a few early weeks so that's something I've been working on."

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