Roosters rue their loss of mojo
Lost mojo in defence, rather than a contentious last-minute no-try ruling against centre Mitch Aubusson, is what cost the Roosters according to coach Trent Robinson as Cronulla staged yet another record comeback to pip the premiers 30-28 at Allianz Stadium.
Having overcome a horror week and a 22-point deficit to post a remarkable upset against the Broncos last week, the Sharks caused the biggest boilover of the year in reining the Roosters in from 24-0 three minutes before half-time to again register the greatest comeback in their 47-year history.
Despite running in three tries in the opening 15 minutes against a Sharks outfit without a coach, their star playmaker or two Origin reps in Paul Gallen and Luke Lewis, the Roosters found themselves behind in the 78th minute when Jeff Robson dummied his way over from close range having conceded five tries in 40 minutes.
The lapses in the Roosters typically water-tight defence, rather than a no-try ruling that denied Aubusson the match-winner due to insufficient evidence to overturn the original on-field decision despite referee Gavin Morris being apparently unsighted, that Robinson was left lamenting after the match.
"We lost our mojo in 'D'," said Robinson.
"It was really disappointing after such a good start, such a controlled start and then they started to play some offload footy at the back-end of the first half which gave us a bit of a sign, and they did that in the second half and opened us up.
"We just didn't combine well enough and talk well enough and we were all over the shop by half way through that second half."
Despite the fact video referees Steve Chiddy and Steve Folkes were unable to over-rule Morris's on-field decision on whether Aubusson had grounded the ball in the frantic final moment, Robinson, who is a member of the NRL Rules Committee, threw his support behind the current requirement for referees to give an opinion on a ruling before referring a decision upstairs, even on something they cannot see.
"I didn't see him get it down...I don't know if [the referees] had good sight either," said Robinson.
"I think they took a bit of a punt there, but I think they got it right. I couldn't see him get it down, so I don't think that was a poor decision.
"I think they got it right and I think the idea of them making a call is a good idea as well."
Roosters skipper Anthony Minichiello, who did not return after the break due to a small hamstring tear, said he expected to be fit for the Roosters next clash in Round 19 against Penrith, while Robinson was also hopeful Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, a late scratching with a hamstring injury also, would be right for their Saturday afternoon showdown with the Panthers in two weeks time.