Patience key to big Roosters win
Patience isn’t necessarily a quality you associate with a 46-12 win, but Roosters coach Trent Robinson said it was the key to his side’s victory over the Warriors on Sunday afternoon.
Travelling to Mount Smart Stadium, where the Warriors had lost only once all season, Robinson had stressed the need for a start which was more reliable than remarkable.
His side delivered just that, engaging the Warriors in a grinding contest to lead 16-6 at half time, before blowing them off the park with five second-half tries.
"I thought we set up the game well in the first half and then really put it away in the second half. It was a really good performance from our guys," said second-year NRL coach Robinson.
"You want to start well, especially against the Warriors who have been starting well this year.
"We knew we had to start well and you have to apply pressure before you get your rewards, and I think we did that.
"I thought we backed up the last three weeks, we have built over that period and our first real big test was going to be coming here [Auckland] with the position the Warriors were in."
It was the second week in a row where the Roosters produced a second-half blitz, following on from last week’s game against the Tigers where they scored seven of their eight tries in the second period.
And while the stats will show that the second 40 was where the damage was done, Robinson said it all starts with quality build up in the opening exchanges.
"You never know how long that [pressure] is going to last, but that opened up for us at the start of the second half as it did for us last week," he said.
"You don’t set out to have one of those games. You have a structure to play the type of footy that hopefully will turn out like that.
"That’s what happened today, but we were ready for going down to the last minute as well.
"At the start of the second half we got that [reward] and there was a lot of movement around the ball."
Retiring skipper Anthony Minichiello, who likely played his last ever game on New Zealand soil, started the Roosters’ roll with a try on the opening set of the second half and credited his side's forward pack for getting over the top of their opponents.
"We set up the first half nicely, I thought our goal-line defence in the first half was pretty good," Minichiello said.
"They scored a try off a kick but in the second half we scored a try straight away and had some great combos in the forwards, we sort of just rolled on there."
The Roosters had also received a huge boost prior to kick-off, with Auckland-born superstar Sonny Bill Williams returning from injury, along with hard-working hooker Jake Friend.
"Sonny was pushing hard for last week, but when he went to the specialist it was a no-go," Robinson said.
"Then he had a big trip to Samoa where he did some really good things for the NRL and for Samoa, promoting education in schools.
"He then had to back up on Tuesday and get on a plane again Friday. It was a big week for him and it was up to him whether he played, he could have even had the next two weeks off, but he made the call that he wanted to come back this week which for him was pretty important.
"It was good to see him back along with Jake as well.
"We have a good squad there – 22 guys who have really set the season up and we had our best 17 on the park today which is good."