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Jared Waerea-Hargreaves says the Roosters' goal-line defence is returning to the standard of their premiership-winning 2013 season.
Roosters hooker Jake Friend says he's certain the premiers' Kiwi trio of Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Frank-Paul Nuuausala will be out to prove a point this week following their shock dumping from the New Zealand side for last Friday's Trans-Tasman Test.

With a combined 41 Test caps the trio were surprise omissions from the Steve Kearney-coached squad that fought valiantly before succumbing to the Kangaroos 30-18 at Allianz Stadium, and Friend says he expected his teammates to come out firing against the Tigers for their Round 9 clash at the same venue.

"I'm sure they'll be coming out to prove a point this week," says Friend.

"They've been playing well all year and I expect them to play good again this week and hopefully with a little bit of extra aggression and to prove a point.

"It'll be good to see."

Firebrand prop Waerea-Hargreaves will be particularly keen to make an impact after media reports last week suggested the Roosters bookend has a propensity to go missing in big games for his country, and that is what resulted in him missing the cut for the Kiwi squad.

Confronting him will be a young Tigers pack with a habit for knocking off rivals with big reputations, though Friend says the Roosters would not be taking the likes of the in-form Aaron Woods and recent New Zealand debutant Martin Taupau lightly.

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"They've got some big boys and we expected them to be tough and aggressive," says Friend.
"We've watched a bit of their video and they're going to take it to us.

"It'll be a good battle with our middles and theirs and we're looking forward to it."

Having made a bright start to the season on the back of a disappointing 2013 campaign where they finished second last, the Tigers are mirroring the Roosters' rapid turn-around that saw them go from 13th to premiers in the space of 12 months.
This time last year the Roosters announced themselves as genuine premiership contenders with a gritty win over competition heavyweights Manly on their own turf, but Friend says his side is wary of having their pants pulled down by a Tigers outfit that has already claimed wins over the Rabbitohs and Sea Eagles this year.

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"They've been impressive, especially against some of the top teams, so we're expecting a tough battle and looking forward to it," says Friend, who was confident the Roosters momentum from two last-start wins would not be slowed by the enforced week off for the NRL's rep round.

"We'd been working hard for a couple of weeks so I don't think the break will interrupt that form and we're hoping that it'll carry on and we'll be a bit fresher for the break.

"It was what we needed at this point of the year."