Roosters still the team to beat: Thaiday
Sam Thaiday is adamant that the Roosters still remain the team to beat in 2015 despite injuries to key personnel.
The Tricolours were dealt a double injury blow during Saturday's 12-10 win over the Broncos when they lost inspirational prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and playmaker Mitchell Pearce during the first half.
Waerea-Hargreaves suffered a season-ending knee injury, while Pearce is facing four to six weeks on the sidelines with a partial hamstring tear and the distinct possibility of not playing again for the rest of the season.
But Thaiday believes the Roosters' grinding victory over Brisbane demonstrated why they are still premiership favourites after they covered the loss of Pearce and Waerea-Hargreaves during the top-of-the-table clash at Allianz Stadium.
"It showed how good the Roosters are to lose two key players early and hang in there to grind out a win," Thaiday said.
"[Waerea-Hargreaves] has been fantastic and probably been one of the form players of the competition.
"Winning without them is a fantastic sign, but over the next few weeks they're going to need players like Dylan Napa and Aidan Guerra to step up and fill that gap Jared's going to be leaving."
Meanwhile, Thaiday says he's looking forward to playing the Rabbitohs again after the defending premiers humbled the Broncos 36-6 in Round 1.
Thaiday was dropped to the bench for four games by Wayne Bennett after producing an ordinary performance on the opening night of the season at Suncorp Stadium.
Off-contract at the end of the year but expected to sign a new deal in the coming weeks, the 30-year-old has endured one of his more turbulent seasons in his 13-season NRL career.
"It's been a big year for me and I've tried to improve myself week in and week out," he said.
"Sometimes it does take a slap on the wrist to get things going again – I could have kicked tins for a few weeks after [the Souths game] but I just wanted to get back out there and play footy again."