Prior praises physical Sharks pack
On Monday night the Sydney Roosters came up with one of the most dominant forward displays of the season to smash the Melbourne Storm.
Their effort through the middle was so strong that it had Storm coach Craig Bellamy labeling his charges "physically weak".
But on Sunday afternoon the Roosters well and truly got a taste of their own medicine against a resurgent Sharks outfit that refused to take a backward step.
"We really muscled up in defence on their big boys in Hargreaves and Moa," Sharks prop Matt Prior said after the impressive win.
"We stuck it to them and didn't take a backward step this afternoon. I'm really proud of the boys' effort"
The first 30 minutes of the encounter in particular featured some of the most bruising collisions seen so far this year in the Telstra Premiership.
With both packs full of representative level talent, the big men weren't holding back as they tried to gain the ascendancy in the opening stages.
"It's definitely to be expected playing the Roosters," Prior said.
"That's what they're known for, their physicality. And we matched it with them in the forwards and got the win through that which is great."
It was a physical battle that the Roosters would eventually lose – something they rarely do – and soon after they went looking for their metres on the outside. It's a tactic that disappointed their coach Trent Robinson who criticised his team for trying to score off every play.
"I thought they gave us a fair leg up with a few errors," Prior said.
"But I guess we capitalised and we were good in defence. We just hung in there the whole game and it was good to get the two points."
On top of the hugely influential return of Paul Gallen and Chris Heighington, Prior singled out Wade Graham and Michael Gordon for individual accolades after the win.
"I thought Wade Graham had a blinder I thought he was outstanding for us and I thought Michael Gordon was also outstanding," Prior said.
"I'm really proud of all of the boys but those two especially, they led from the front and were in everything."
Currently sitting in twelfth position on the ladder, Prior said the result came at a critical time in the season.
"We've got a bye next week so it was a big game tonight for us to get the two points and then we've got another two points on the bye," he said.
"I guess we'll have another couple of days off later in the week to get our bodies right for the back half of the season and just rip in and go from there."