Roosters regain momentum
A 12-game winning streak came to a shuddering halt last week at the hands of the Storm but the Roosters got their title hopes back on track in a dominant second-half blitz against the Bulldogs.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson said the Bulldogs made them uncomfortable but paid tribute to the way his side were able to fight their way out of trouble after being on the back foot early.
"It had obviously been a long time since we lost so it hurt [last week]," Robinson said.
"Especially the Friday night, stewing on it for Saturday, Sunday... We probably trained a bit more than what we wanted on the Monday and Tuesday but they wanted to get it right."
He said his players hadn't said much throughout the week but made a statement in the way they trained then backed it up on the field against the Bulldogs.
"I thought the Bulldogs, they made us uncomfortable and it was hard to get metres," he said.
"They were dragging us back and making us come off our line and it was hard to get the job done tonight but the boys stuck on task."
He said fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck had to work hard for everything he got because the Bulldogs did a great job on him in defence while hat-trick winger Shaun Kenny-Dowall also had a great game.
"But there's lots of guys on nights like that that you have to fight hard to win a game and they had the same, they had guys pushing our limits as well so [while] it wasn't a clean game, there was lots of errors but there was a lot of guys fighting for a win there from both teams."
Starting props Sam Moa and Dylan Napa also laid a great platform but it was hooker and captain Jake Friend and back-rower Boyd Cordner who were the standouts, according to Robinson.
"That was a huge game from [Cordner] in the middle. I got him off there at the end but they were all around him... They moved well around him, he knew when to pass and when to carry."
It will be a tough ask to travel up to Suncorp against the Broncos in a preliminary final next week after the sides shared the spoils one apiece in two close regular season games already this year.
"We've had two really tight games, a golden point game and a two-point game against Brisbane," Robinson said.
"They're up the top there with us, they're confident. It's hard not to look at the path when you know you're playing the Dogs but then you know you've got Brisbane. You can't do it too often but you do think about that next game as well. It's pretty exciting to go up there and play Brisbane. It'll be tough."
Robinson added halfback Mitch Pearce would have played against Canterbury had it been a grand final but was worried about getting him through three straight weeks with his hamstring.
"Knowing that he had to get through we obviously decided that we didn't know if he had two or three weeks in him in the physical state he's in so we decided to just hold back and get a full week's training out of him next week," Robinson said.