Roosters coach Trent Robinson offered no excuses following his side's 20-14 loss to Penrith while taking aim at the end-of-set options from new halves pairing Luke Keary and Kyle Flanagan.
Robinson lost centre Angus Crichton to illness pre-game to compound the resting of Boyd Cordner earlier in the week, before Matt Ikuvalu (concussion) and Sitili Tupouniua (knee) left the field in the second half with injuries.
Rather than use the mid-game reshuffling as an excuse, and the Tricolours' recent trip to Europe for the World Club Challenge, Robinson lamented the last-play options from his side.
"I thought it was disappointing, we went into half-time at 12-6. Early in the season you need to finish your sets well. We didn't have one good end to set in the first half," Robinson said.
"We had kicks back across where they made half-breaks off, we had Jake Friend kick it on the last, James Tedesco kick it on the last.
Friend puts in on a plate for Taukeiaho
"We had a 20-metre restart they scored off. You can turn a bad set into a good set but we turned average sets into poor sets.
"There wasn't one good end of set and eventually that costs you. I didn't think we were attacking great for the most part of the game but you finish the sets well."
Robinson was also left disappointed by the stints from his interchange men before half-time.
"We started really well and looked like us and then just at the end there [of the opening stint] the starting guys began falling away and we didn't nail it going into halftime," he said.
Aubusson scores first for the Roosters
"The second half was stop-start and just snowballed. There were errors from our kicking, our ruck and then it went to the right edge.
"We didn't get it back into control at any stage there. I thought our defence was holding on for a fair bit and then it let us down."
Robinson said Ikuvalu remained in good spirits after suffering a nasty head knock in the second half when he landed hard on the Panthers Stadium surface.
He expected Tupouniua to be sent for scans for a medial ligament concern.
Crichton has a chest infection but tests for coronavirus came back negative and he is expected to return to training on Monday.
"He's obviously avoided what it could've been," Robinson said.
"They didn't think it was [coronavirus] but they needed to get the test back and it wasn't."