Roosters players look on dejected during their Round 1 loss to the Rabbitohs.

Roosters embrace challenging start

His team might be winless after five rounds of the Telstra Premiership, but Roosters coach Trent Robinson isn't panicking about the club's worst start to a season since 2007. 

While there have been teams to start the year 0-5 and still make the finals – most recently the Broncos in 1999 – no side has lost their first six and gone on to play at the business-end of the competition. 

The Roosters will need to beat arch-rivals the Rabbitohs on Friday night if they are to steer clear of that predicament, but Robinson believes the derby showdown is not a must win scenario. 

"There are different ways to take it, and we're a fairly tight bunch of guys," Robinson said. 

"The staff and players, we work well together and we understand we're not where we want to be. We understand we want to win some games, but we're positive about the future…so we just get on with it. 

"We learn our lessons, we take a couple of days to feel sorry for ourselves and then we go about trying to plan to beat Souths. That's how we've approached it."

 

Robinson described the current situation as "a great challenge", identifying improvement amongst the playing group as one of the key goals for the rest of 2016. 

"People have seen me the last three years, but before that you've had the challenges that have set you up for these types of times in your coaching career," he said. 

"It's exciting, coaching. You want to win games but you [also] want to get the best out of your players, and that's where we're at the moment. We haven't quite done that and that's what we're still trying to work towards.

"We've got a bit less experience at the moment but we're still trying to get the best out of them. We've improved that, but we've still got to get that better."

With a bit of luck the Tricolours could easily be 3-2, but losses by one and two points, as well as last weekend's golden point heartbreak have consigned them to last place on the ladder. 

The Roosters mentor admitted star duo Boyd Cordner and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves were still three or four weeks away, but says their absence opens the door for other players to stand up.  

"Characters build in these times, there's no doubt about that. I'm seeing good signs behind the scenes in the group. But you've got to go out there and prove it."

Friday night's clash could be made even more difficult with reports Rabbitohs halfback Adam Reynolds could be set to make an early return from a fractured jaw suffered against the Tricolours in Round 1.

Robinson was full of praise for the South Sydney No.7, and says his team is ready for whichever halves pairing is named. 

"Adam's a really good player and an important player for their team," the 2013 premiership-winning coach said. 

"If he's back, he's back. We'll be ready if he is, but if he's not we'll be ready for [Luke] Keary and [Cody] Walker."