Roosters coach Trent Robinson says while his club's current wave of injuries is not ideal, he loves seeing the rest of the squad lift in the absence of some senior players to prove they can do it when they need to.
In a huge 36-4 win over Brisbane at the SCG on Thursday night, the Roosters were without hooker Jake Friend (shoulder) and forward leader Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (rib). And after two weeks without halfback Cooper Cronk due to a hamstring niggle, the Test and Origin veteran played just 50 minutes before going off with a recurrence of the same injury.
Robinson said the move was more precautionary, but with the side up four tries to nil and having shown they could adapt without him over the past fortnight, he wasn't afraid to take his marquee man off early.
He also stressed it was not related to a late hit in the back off the ball from Tevita Pangai.
Match Highlights: Roosters v Broncos
"We've had the third week in a row where we've had some changes that have had to happen. I'ts not ideal but I love it at the same time," Robinson smiled.
"If it happens it means you're flexible, guys can play different positions."
Five-eighth Luke Keary has proved time and again in last year's grand final and this year he is a genuine match-winning halfback when he needs to be, while Latrell Mitchell has stepped in as five-eighth, lock Victor Radley as hooker and forwards like Siosiua Taukeiaho, Isaac Liu and Zane Tetevano can carry the side in the absence of Waerea-Hargreaves.
Taukeiaho particularly rates a mention as he strained his hamstring in the second carry of the night but still racked up 207 metres - including 72 post-contact - in just 51 minutes.
"The ability to play without those guys, Jake, Jared then without Cooper, I want the team to be that way," Robinson added.
He did not expect Cooper to miss further game time.
"He just tightened up at half time, there was nothing wrong in first half but it got tighter the game went," Robinson said.
"It was precautionary for us… we trust the movement of the guys who have been playing that way the last couple of weeks.
"For us to take him off after 50 minutes, there's still some recovery to do on that hamstring."
He did not want to be drawn on the hit that left Pangai on report and with a nervous wait.
"I don't think I can say anything about it really because it's on report but enough people saw it," Robinson said.
"We'll see this week, the rules are in place for those; there's been good development from the NRL in the last couple of years [regarding foul play]; I don’t think our procedures are wrong."
Of the game itself, Robinson was rapt with the dominance he saw but still found room for improvement as Brisbane got back into the arm-wrestle in the second half.
"You could see a clear mindset going into game the way we wanted to play, we did play," he said.
"We had to start with some defensive sets on goal line and we defended them well… from about the 10th to 40th min we were really in control of the game. I thought we were carrying well, kicking into good positions.
"Our defensive line was disciplined and aggressive, we moved the ball when we wanted to.
"We've been improving our understanding of how we want to play, especially in the first half, we earned right to move ball a play a bit more footy."