Opening month a distant memory for Roosters

Their unbeaten opening month to the start of the 2017 Telstra Premiership is now a "distant memory" for the Roosters who gave their worst performance of the season in Thursday night's 32-8 loss to the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.


From David Mead's opening kick return as a Bronco at the end of the Roosters' first set the visitors' defence looked uncharacteristically porous with Bronco ball-runners poking their noses through at will in the opening 15 minutes of the game.

After just 16 minutes the Roosters had missed 18 tackles and conceded eight points with their total number of missed tackles blowing out to an embarrassing total of 47 by the end of 80 minutes.

It was a far cry from the team that responded to many pundits' predictions that they were a genuine premiership contender by winning their first four games in decisive fashion before dropping a tough battle against the Sea Eagles last Friday.

But if they were looking for excuses for such a lacklustre opening back-rower Mitchell Aubusson certainly wasn't prepared to use them, instead vowing that they would return to the team that sat on the top of the table after a month of footy.

"Those four are a distant memory after the last two weeks," Aubusson told NRL.com. "It's up to us to bounce back now.

"We know that we can win games, we proved that in the first month of the competition but just haven't been up to standard the past two weeks.

"It is a long race this thing, it is a long, long race and we will bounce back I've got no doubt about that. It's just another challenge for us and we've worked too hard to let it slip."

Coach Trent Robinson was far more stinging in his appraisal, flabbergasted that his team couldn't keep pace with a Broncos team that chanced their hand more than they had in any of their previous five games this year.

In addition to their 47 missed tackles the Roosters made 11 errors to the Broncos' six and were on the wrong side of an 8-2 penalty count, Robinson admitting that there were elements of their performance that he doesn't want to see again.

"We've been fairly good, even last week's loss was a good battle, but there were some signs tonight that I definitely didn't like," Robinson said.

 

"That was poor. I haven't seen that for a long time, even at training.

 

"I haven't seen us deliver as poorly as that so some of the signs tonight were disappointing and we have to change it very quickly.

"I thought we handled it poor early. They got a jump on us and obviously had a focus on moving the ball a lot more which they haven't done for five rounds which they did well tonight and we didn't handle it well."

In a well beaten team co-captain Boyd Cordner was again outstanding on the Roosters' left edge and said that the growing missed tackle count made it difficult for them to mount any kind of resistance in the second half.

"In the second half the game was in the balance there early and the Broncos played really well and we sort of beat ourselves there a bit with the missed tackles," Cordner said.

"That just wasn't acceptable and the Broncos playing the way they did they capitalised and made it really hard for us.

"We were having to come off our own line a lot and I can't remember getting a good-ball set there in the second half.

"It's disappointing but we know that's nowhere near our best and there's a lot of improvement there and we're going to have to turn it around quick smart."