Robinson praises physical Roosters
His team scored just one of their eight tries of their 48-4 rout of the Wests Tigers in a tense first half, but Roosters coach Trent Robinson said that was the area of the game that pleased him the most.
In a game the second-year mentor described as a "Roosters performance", the defending premiers drew first blood in the third minute before flexing their signature defensive muscle for the rest of the half as the home side came up empty despite camping themselves deep in Roosters territory.
"I thought we saw some good physical intent from the start. We had a good opportunity off the kick [and] ended up scoring," Robinson said post-game.
"But for the next 15 minutes we were pretty physical in our 'D', we had to defend our line with a bit of aggression there."
The match was delicately poised at 8-0 when both teams went into the sheds at half-time, but the visitors blew the patched-up Tigers away in the second half with a seven-try blitzkrieg.
"Eight-nil was a good scoreline for us at half-time and then we played our style of footy in the second half and got some rewards. It was pleasing to see some of the guys play some different footy again. Some more individual stuff as well," he said.
Skipper Anthony Minichiello bagged a double in the space of three minutes, showcasing his trademark support play and single-handedly thwarting any hopes of a Tigers upset.
By the time five-eighth James Maloney converted Minichiello's second try in the 50th minute, their lead had blown out to a commanding 26-0 advantage.
"Yeah, a couple of support plays through the middle of the ruck. I think the boys had some great combos through that ruck there. I just pushed up in support and got a couple which was nice," the retiring fullback said.
Robinson was typically more satisfied with his skipper's effort on the other side of the ball.
"Fullback's a huge defensive role that 'Mini' does for us. People saw the tries, but he set up a lot of the four points against. So that was a big play from him," the second-year mentor said.
"But then also, if he gets moving around there, it'll drag other guys through. We had some movement around the ball there which was pleasing.
"And his role is to drag guys around and also push up on those plays. If he doesn't turn up, the boys don't get those offloads or spaces. He forced their hand tonight with all the movement that he had around the ball."
The Roosters also welcomed back Origin hero Daniel Tupou from injury, with the NSW winger also getting on the scoresheet with an opportunistic try late in the second half.