Friend calls for consistency
Experienced Roosters hooker Jake Friend has called for the NRL's recent crackdown on the shoulder charge to remain consistent if they are to eradicate it from the game.
Six players were charged at the weekend by the Match Review Committee for shoulder charges, including Friend's teammate Aidan Guerra.
While he didn't see the specific incident in question when the Roosters played the Eels last weekend, Friend was hopeful the governing body would stick to their guns and not keep the players guessing.
"If they're going to go with the stance, they've got to stick with that. It'll be interesting to see what happens if it occurs this weekend and how they go about it," Friend said.
"You have to remember you can brace yourself for contact as well and that's not a shoulder charge. Whilst it might look like one, it's simply for impact, you're bracing yourself – it's just common sense I guess.
"I'm not really sure what the answer is. But hopefully whatever way they go, it's consistently ruled upon and no one can feel like they've been unfairly treated.
"Depending on how Aidan goes it'll be tough to lose him. He's been playing really well so he's someone you want in your team at this time of the year. It will impact the finals if it keeps going this way too, but as long as it's fair I suppose."
Resigned to losing Guerra for the next fortnight, Friend added the Roosters won't let it impact their preparations ahead of their top of the table clash against the Broncos on Saturday night.
"This time of the year you want to be playing good teams leading into the finals and get a grasp of where you are," he said.
"The boys are all really pumped and looking forward to this game. Brisbane has been playing really well and we know it'll be a tough game."
While Friend appears destined to be the next Queensland hooker once Cameron Smith retires, the 25-year-old Noosa Pirates junior kick-started the all-important clash's banter early when describing his preference to living in Sydney.
"I'm Roosters through and through. As soon as I came down here I have preferred the Eastern Suburbs lifestyle," he said.
"We have the harbour and Bondi and they have Brisbane river, so I'll take what we have down here over Brissy any time."