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'Why not?': Roosters undeterred going against 112 years of history

The Roosters must do what's never been done to defend their titles after a historic flogging, but as Sonny Bill Williams asserted, there's a first time for everything.

Not once in the game's 112 years has a team won the competition after conceding 50 points in a match.

Despite Friday's 60-8 drubbing to South Sydney - the biggest defeat to their rivals - the Roosters remain upbeat leading into this Friday's qualifying final against minor premiers Penrith.

"Just like people said you couldn’t run a four-minute mile … Someone has to do it, so hopefully we can be that team," Williams said.

"We have to face reality. No one's done that before. No one's won three competitions [in a row] in the 21st century.

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"Why not? But at the end of the why not, there's the work. I wouldn't want to do it with any other group of men."

James Tedesco isn't concerned about the record books either.

"I'm not really thinking about statistics. It's good, it's good for us. If the odds are against us we'll take it," the star fullback said.

Get Caught Up: Round 20

"We'll change those stats hopefully ... I think as two-time premiers, everyone is going to come after us and wants to knock us off.

"It's been that way all year and everyone will keep doing it. It's nothing we're not used to. It could be a good wake-up call for us, getting that thrashing by Souths.

"Now everyone is switched on and ready to go and play their best game. I'm pretty positive."

Roosters: Round 20

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They know there's no use in looking too far ahead because, in Williams's words, "a little Mount Everest is waiting out west".

The forward said the Tricolours don't need to make any drastic changes to beat Penrith, who are searching for a 16th straight win.

"When it comes to our principles and structures, I think you keep them in place, keep them intact," Williams said.

"It's I guess the little things – the effort, getting back onside, putting pressure on their playmakers, things like that. It's the little things that probably punters don’t see on TV that make a big difference.

"That's the type of stuff that we were looking at this morning [Sunday] and that's what we need to lay the foundations of our game."

While the Panthers don't boast as much playoff exposure as the Roosters, Tedesco isn't sure that necessarily gives his side an edge.

"That can be a positive [for Penrith] as well because they're just young and playing footy and enjoying their footy at the moment and can take that into finals," he said.

South Sydney's defence wraps up Roosters star James Tedesco.
South Sydney's defence wraps up Roosters star James Tedesco.

"I guess we do have that experience, but we can't rely on that either to get us a win. We just have to play our best footy. We know how good of a team we are."

Williams, meanwhile, said he's just about in peak physical condition having played the past four matches since rejoining the Roosters after the Toronto Wolfpack's withdrawal from the Super League.

"The joints, believe it or not, are feeling OK. I guess the more I seem to do, the better I seem to feel," the 35-year-old forward said.

"I got out another solid 50 [minutes] on the weekend which was nice. Hopefully I get some more minutes this weekend."

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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