Roosters' minds on their middle
Roosters forward Aidan Guerra says there are no secrets about where each side will try to win on Friday night – up the middle – but admits his side needs to control their emotions better after giving up a 22-0 lead last time they met the Bulldogs.
The Roosters played a powerful middle game throughout their 12-match winning streak into the finals before coming unstuck against a Storm side that was able to slow down the ruck and the Roosters' quick play the balls and frustrate the Tricolours out of the game.
Guerra said the forward pack will be ready for the Dogs' big men come Friday night.
"They're going to try and kick our front door down and we're going to try and do the same to them," Guerra said.
"Both sides are a little bit wounded as everyone is at this time of year but we're excited. We're excited about the prospect of playing a final at home. It really is sudden death. That's pressure that we've put on ourselves [by losing last week] and that we're going to have to deal with."
The two teams last met in Round 21 in a game notable for some huge momentum swings when the Roosters raced out to a 22-nil lead before conceding 28 unanswered points, then scoring another three straight tries to eventually win 38-28.
Guerra said the lesson to learn from that night is for his side to contain their emotions when things start to slip, admitting they lose their heads on occasions.
"There's a lesson we can take out of [their comeback last time] – that was actually pretty good for our temperament throughout the season to have them try and change the tempo of the game," he said.
"It made everyone sort of lose their heads a little bit in that game and that was a lesson that we took. It taught us to have control of our emotions. It's going to be a different game out there so we'll just wait and see.
"It's semi-finals, everyone's going to be playing their best footy so we're expecting them to come out and do exactly that."
He said it was no surprise the Roosters were hurting after their unexpected opening loss but added they needed to put it behind them quickly.
"It's that time of year where you you've got to hurt when you lose those sorts of games but you can't dwell on it. We'll be focused in on how we can beat the Bulldogs, not why we got beaten by the Storm," he said.
"We missed a chance on Friday night against the Storm to secure our spot in the prelim and now we're taking the hard road but we're pretty focused on this week. We've got to beat the Bulldogs, no two ways about it."
However Guerra rejected suggestions the Roosters forwards would have a point to prove, again insisting they needed to forget about the Storm game.
"We had a bad night at the office against the Storm and we're not dwelling on that. We need to move forward and focus on our best footy. Against the Bulldogs that's going to be tough because they're a good outfit through the middle of the park there and there's no secret that's where we like to go through. We'll just focus on that."