Fast-finishing Roosters building for 2017
Roosters coach Trent Robinson described Sunday's 22-10 win over the North Queensland Cowboys as his side's best game of the year, and less than 24 hours later the club's skipper reached the same verdict.
The Roosters were ruthless across the park, treating their fans to a near faultless 80 minutes to throw the defending premiers' top-four hopes into disarray.
While the Roosters remain in 15th spot on the Telstra Premiership ladder, they have now claimed the scalps of both of last season's grand finalists and are starting to play the sort of football that earned them three straight minor premierships.
Sunday's win is the sort of performance that will leave Roosters fans frustrated, but captain Jake Friend said his side's renaissance was better late than never.
"For us I think it's our best performance this year," Friend said.
"It's really pleasing to get that sort of football on and I think for us we've known that we can play like that but we just haven't got it going this year.
"It was really good to see all the boys play like they did, and really good for some of our young boys to feel that sort of game.
"There is no pressure now, and while you want to win every week, the pressure's off so we can play a bit more footy.
"We played a really good style of footy. Our defence was the main thing. To hold them to only two tries is a big thing, and then some of the boys attacked really well on the back of that."
Friend admitted it would be hard to watch this year's finals series from his lounge room given their recent success, but was confident that the next few weeks could set his side up for a return to the top eight in 2017.
"We're disappointed where we are, and it has been a hard season, but it is what it is," he said.
"We can only get out what we can for the rest of the season. For the next three weeks if we can keep putting in good performances and finish the year on a high, then I think it will be really good for us going into pre-season and into next year."
For boom rookie Latrell Mitchell, the next three weeks are a chance for him to add to what has already been a dream debut season in the NRL.
The 19-year-old is on track to play every game this season and is firming as one of the leading contenders to take out the coveted Dally M Rookie of the Year Award.
Mitchell is the leading try-scorer for the Roosters with 13 so far in 2016 and he's also ranked top five in terms of metres gained, offloads and tackle breaks.
While he's played the bulk of the year in his preferred position at fullback, the former Holden Cup star has played the past month on the right wing with Blake Ferguson replacing him in the No.1 jersey.
Given how draining the fullback role is in the modern game, it isn't surprising to see the youngster shifted out to the flank, especially considering that's where he was expected to play most of 2016.
"Fergo is doing a good job so I'm not in a rush to get back there just yet," Mitchell said.
"It's a long season and I'm sort of feeling it, but week-in-week-out footy, you can't beat it."
Mitchell grabbed a try against the Cowboys on the weekend, but the biggest highlight was the opportunity to play against his childhood hero Johnathan Thurston.
"I didn't chat to him during the game, but afterwards… we had a little chat," he said.
"He's been my idol since I was growing up so playing against him again was freaky. I was just spinning out."