Waerea-Hargreaves' timely New Zealand return
Travelling across the ditch to face the Warriors this weekend, Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves has expressed his desire to take part in New Zealand's three-Test series in England at the end of the year having recently cleared the air with Kiwis coach Steve Kearney.
Overlooked for New Zealand duty since playing in all seven of the Kiwis' Tests in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, Waerea-Hargreaves said Kearney has offered him advice so that he can re-enter calculations for the Test series at season's end.
Afforded the opportunity to take on incumbent Kiwis Manu Vatuvei, Shaun Johnson, Ben Matulino and Simon Mannering this weekend, Waerea-Hargreaves's visit home has come at an opportune time.
"I've been able to discuss a few things [with Kearney] in terms of things that I need to work on and Steve said to continue what I've been doing, he pointed a few tweaks here and there, and hopefully I'll be there at the end of the year," Waerea-Hargreaves told NRL.com.
"It's one of my main goals but in all honesty for the time-being I'm trying to focus on what I have to do at the Roosters by doing my work, my job consistently and try and do it well. There's always room for improvement but I'm happy with my progress at the moment and I'm building towards further consistency."
Individually, but also in a team sense, Waerea-Hargreaves sees their upcoming Warriors clash as a litmus test for his Roosters team who were outplayed by the Sharks last weekend.
Despite dismantling the Storm 24-2 in Round 12, the Roosters backed it up six days later by producing 20 errors in their 10-4 defeat to Cronulla – their first loss in a month.
Waerea-Hargreaves said it was a matter of the Roosters failing to earn their opponents' "respect".
"The Warriors are probably a good team for us to get back on track. Last week was a bit of a wake-up call telling us we're not there yet. We'll be right, mate, and we'll come out on Saturday and play a big game," Waerea-Hargreaves said.
"We didn't turn up [against the Sharks]. It was very disappointing because obviously we didn't rock up and play the style of game we wanted to. It just wasn't our day and it's a credit to the Sharks. They played a solid style of footy and they stuck it to us."
"We were trying to score off every play. You have to earn the respect of teams like Cronulla. They are such an 'in your face' side. You have to earn the right to go through the middle first before trying to score tries through the backs which we didn't do."