'Unspoken' pact behind Waerea-Hargreaves' epic effort
Trent Robinson says an unspoken understanding between he and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was behind the prop's powerhouse 80-minute demolition of Penrith's much-vaunted forward pack.
Waerea-Hargreaves was simply unstoppable throughout the Roosters 32-6 thumping of the Panthers, clocking up 244 run metres from 26 carries, with nine tackle busts and 39 tackles to boot.
The Kiwi front-rower has come in for criticism at times the season over his performance. But with fellow big men Dylan Napa [ankle] and Sio Siua Taukeiaho absent [wife expecting], Waerea-Hargreaves shouldered an incredible load to claim man of the match honours.
"He's got a big motor and he deserved to play the 80 minutes," Robinson said of the decision to leave Waerea-Hargeaves on the paddock for the full game.
"Even at the end there we could have easily got him off but to play 80 minutes as a prop is a real big tick and he deserved it.
"You don't ask it openly. There's a look at halftime and Jaz knows what I'm thinking because we've done it a fair bit.
"You look and you just sort of know. You know if you're going to leave them out there. It's unspoken but there's a non-verbal communication that goes on there."
Waerea-Hargreaves was the star but there was no shortage of support from backline maestros Blake Ferguson and Luke Keary, and up front as well with Boyd Cordner and Victor Radley also performing strongly.
While a five tries to two thumping of competition fancies Penrith will put the rest of the NRL on notice, so too will Robinson's view that the Roosters can still go to another level.
"I said to the boys after the game that I thought it was our best performance so far, it's laid a platform for where we need to go," he said.
"But I don't think it was out of the box. I don't think it was extraordinary play that go us there.
"It was consistent, quality intense footy from 17 guys. It was something that we can repeat often."