Roosters v Eels: Five key points
The Roosters ruthlessly tore apart the Eels on Sunday with a comprehensive 48-10 victory at Allianz Stadium highlighted by a couple of classy individual performances and soured by a knee injury to Corey Norman.
Roosters wanted to avoid second-half meltdown
Roosters coach Trent Robinson has praised his side for not becoming the latest NRL side to blow a huge half-time lead.
The Warriors let a 28-6 lead half-time lead slip against Penrith on Saturday while the Sea Eagles were overrun by Brisbane despite holding a 14-point cushion at the break, but there were no such concerns for the Tricolours as Trent Robinson's built on their 28-4 advantage with the first try of the second half.
"We've seen some funny results this weekend where I think some teams haven't been ready to play 80 minutes," Robinson said.
"We don't usually discuss it, but we discussed it for the first time after the bye to say 'come on, let's have 80'.
"After half-time there was a period there that was critical. The 10 minutes after half-time when you're 28-4 up was going to decide how that looked. We were probably a little bit scratchy on the first sort of defensive set, but then we went and scored a try early and kept the pressure on."
Pearce backed for Origin recall
Robinson backed Mitchell Pearce to reclaim the New South Wales No.7 jersey for the May 31 State of Origin series opener, but conceded Blues coach Laurie Daley would have already picked his team by now regardless of Sunday's game.
"I think he's playing really well. I think he's playing some great footy, his control is really good and he's steering the team around really well," Robinson said.
"I think that'd be decided already. I don't think that would have been decided on a position like that two weeks out. I think they know what they're going to do, and I hope it's Mitchell."
Roosters back-rower Boyd Cordner – who is favoured to take over from Paul Gallen as Blues skipper – also called for Pearce to be given another shot.
"Mitchell is probably one of the best players I've ever played with. I can't speak highly enough of him," Cordner said.
"I'm very happy with the way he's going and I'd love to see him in a blue jersey again, but like Robbo said, I think that's already decided whichever way they want to go."
JWH praised for monster effort
A superficial glance at the scoreboard suggests it was the outside backs who did all the hard work, but deeper analysis will tell you it was the Roosters' big men who did the heavy lifting.
Prop forward Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was immense on Sunday, running for 188 metres in an unchanged 54-minute stint up front that had Cordner in awe.
"Any time you get a middle – especially a front-rower – to have a stint like that, it's massive," Cordner said.
"Especially in today's game and the demand there is in the middle with the amount of work and amount of defence and effort areas they have to get through.
"Sometimes you get a player to play their minutes and most of it isn't much quality, but I thought tonight from Jared it was all pretty much quality. Hats off to him – he played massively."
Eels forwards embarrassed by poor showing
While the Roosters had a field day through the middle, it was a different story for the Eels who were outrun by nearly 700 metres on Sunday.
Nathan Brown was the only forward to crack triple figures, while Tim Mannah (33), Tepai Moeroa (53) and Suaia Matagi (62) all struggled to make inroads.
"All us guys in the middle probably could have muscled up a lot better than we did," Mannah said.
"We just made it really hard on ourselves and just allowed them to roll through us. To be honest, it was embarrassing."
Brown delivers contender for tackle of the year
His pack might have been soundly beaten, but Eels lock Nathan Brown did get one up on his opponents with a bell-ringer on Dylan Napa that was felt all the way back in Parramatta. Brown came out of the line and belted the Roosters prop front on as he opened himself to pop a pass out the back. The force of the tackle saw Napa fall back-first into the ground, although he had the last laugh as his side was awarded a scrum after it was ruled Brown had touched the ball in flight.