Roosters fall foul of waiting game
For 10 weeks the Roosters have been waiting for the return of some key players and after their eighth loss of the season on Monday night coach Trent Robinson says they are continuing to play the waiting game.
Few teams in the modern era have been as effective as the Roosters in turning one try into two or three and when they scored the opening try after 32 minutes against the Titans they looked ready to go in for the kill.
On the back of a 38-0 drubbing of Newcastle in Round 9 with a 17 that for the first time this season featured the names of Cordner, Waerea-Hargreaves, Pearce and Taukeiaho in the same game, a Roosters run was only a try or two away.
Trailing 8-6 midway through the second half they had a try to Jake Friend disallowed when Latrell Mitchell was ruled to have caused an obstruction 45 metres further back and handled that setback poorly, conceding three tries in nine minutes to go down 26-6 on the Gold Coast, the Titans equalling their biggest ever win against the Roosters.
Rather than laying blame at a crucial decision that he described as a "poor ruling", Robinson lamented the fact that in waiting for the return of their star players that complacency has crept into the playing group.
"Everybody would have talked about, 'They've got them back and they'll roll into it' and obviously it permeated into what we were trying to do tonight," Robinson said.
"We're the only ones that can fix this. It doesn't matter what you guys (the media) say, whether it's positive or negative, we've got to go out there and get a result.
"We had some positive feedback after the last game and all that, 'We'll be right, we've got our leaders back.' It doesn't work like that, and that's exactly how we played tonight.
"That's not how footy teams work, they've never worked like that, and we're in that mode at the moment.
"We've had some really close games this year where I've been really proud, this was probably the most frustrating."
Boyd Cordner was the Roosters best on Monday night with 180 metres from 17 carries, winger Daniel Tupou proved to be a handful, Jake Friend made an incredible 65 tackles and Dylan Napa got through a mountain of work but Friend said the Roosters are still not getting buy-in from the entire 17.
"We're getting that five or 10 blokes turning up but we've got to get that 17 and everyone has got to have that desire to get a win," Friend said. "That will be the turning point.
"We're well aware of where we're sitting and I just don't think we're putting the effort in to turn it [around]. We're doing our job but there should be more with where we're sitting on the ladder.
"We've got to turn it ourselves and I suppose that's on a few of us senior boys."
Facing the prospect of now having to win 10 of their remaining 14 games to be any chance of qualifying for the finals in 2016, Robinson said that they must somehow rediscover that hunger before Sunday's big clash with the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium.
"It's every minute of every day sitting there thinking about it, that's the motivation we need," Robinson said.
"That's what changes it, not a good conversation or a good training session, it's that feeling that you get every minute of the day that you're sitting 2-8, and we didn't have it at 2-7.
"We need to find it by Sunday. That's our role as coaches but as competitors you have to find that and we've got to find that by Sunday."