Roosters' golden opportunity for revenge
They say revenge is a dish best served cold, but the Roosters will have to settle for lukewarm when they take on the Warriors in New Zealand on Sunday afternoon just 10 weeks since their extra-time classic earlier this year.
The Roosters looked set to end a winless opening month of action when they led 28-26 in Gosford back in Round 5, but a late Shaun Johnson penalty goal forced the game into golden point.
The record books will say the Tricolours lost. But it's the manner of the defeat that cuts deep as ex-Rooster Roger Tuivasa-Sheck finished off a surging bust by Tuimoala Lolohea to dive over for the match-winning try one minute into the first period of extra time.
Tuivasa-Sheck won't be there this time around as he recovers from a season-ending knee injury, but that will do little to ease his former teammates' pain.
"I actually forgot about that until you just brought it up," Roosters big man Kane Evans told NRL.com on a chilly Tuesday morning in Sydney's east.
"I was on the bench at the time and I remember seeing him catch that pass and I thought to myself 'no' and then he was running and I thought again 'no way' and then he palmed off one of the boys and scored.
"It was pretty heartbreaking to see Roger do that."
Teammate Dylan Napa said Sunday's game in Auckland would be a great chance to make up for their Round 5 angst.
"Yeah of course, there's always revenge on the mind," the fiery Roosters forward said.
"Roger scored that try in golden point against us which was pretty disappointing because we've been so used to seeing him do that for us.
"I wouldn't say it was the toughest loss we've had this year but it'd be right up there."
Napa will have added motivation to do well after he missed the Roosters' 46-0 loss to the Storm last weekend through suspension for a high shot on Wests Tigers fullback James Tedesco in Round 13.
The destructive front-rower – who this week has been named at lock for the first time in his career – told NRL.com that he owed it to his teammates after watching the whitewash from the stands.
"It hurt immensely with the scoreline the way it went," he said.
"It was disappointing that I was suspended for the game and I couldn't be out there to help them or even be with them through a game like that. We're trying to stick solid as a team and it hurt not being out there.
"That's the way I play. I push the boundaries and I've paid the consequences."