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Taukeiaho has the kicking tee in hand ... just in case

When the other forwards head to the showers after Roosters training, Sio Taukeiaho puts a ball under each arm and grabs a kicking tee.

"I'm still available," he tells despite the fact Latrell Mitchell doesn't seem to be missing much lately.

Mitchell has 64 goals from 16 matches, which is second on the NRL list to Cameron Smith (70 from 17).

Taukeiaho doesn't even make it into the top-50 since he's only kicked two from four attempts.

"Who knows whether Latrell might go down or not. I've got to be ready," he said.

"It's what happened last year in the semi-finals against the Rabbitohs. He was suspended and I had to take over."

Try of the week: Round 18

Mitchell failed to clear his name at the NRL judiciary after the qualifying win over Cronulla when he was charged with a crusher tackle on Josh Dugan. Paul Momirovski came in at centre against South Sydney.

"It's always good to have a back-up kicker, as games can get pretty close in finals. I'm more than prepared to be that back-up," Taukeiaho said.

"I have been doing some training – not as much as Latrell – but I'll put my hand up if Latrell can't do it for whatever reason."

The other fall-back for the club in last year's finals series was Blake Ferguson but he is no longer at the Roosters.

Whether he kicks or not, Taukeiaho is a vital part of Trent Robinson's plans for the remainder of 2019.

He averages 160 metres and 13 hit-ups per game. He's made nearly 800 post-contact metres in just 15 games, or in other words he drags defenders an extra 55 metres per game when he's tackled.

Tackle of the week: Round 18

The 27-year-old is into his fifth season with the Roosters and already has a premiership to his name.

"It's an awesome club. It's awesome playing for the Roosters," the Otara Scorpions junior said.

Bouncing back from a three-point loss to the Cowboys with a 38-point win over the Knights highlights what excites Taukeiaho about his club.

"That's the kind of footy we want to be playing, especially at the back end of the season heading into the finals," he said.

"We get a lot of people coming up to us and saying 'Can we go back-to-back?' and I say 'Yes because that's our main focus, to get the NRL premiership'.

"If we approach every week with the mindset we had last week against the Knights – be brutal in defence, get our heads up – then we will be able to beat other teams and go back-to-back.

"We need to keep it up that's all."

Taukeiaho admitted the team took the Cowboys too lightly and paid the price.

"We weren't right in our attitude," he said.

"But it's not hard to rise each week if you get your attitude right, whatever your result from the previous game. The way you train throughout the week shows the way you want to play."


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