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Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.

In the wake of last Friday's 60-8 loss to the Rabbitohs, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves forced himself through the torture of watching the replay at home.

"You have to sit there and hurt," the Roosters prop said. "It's to turn a page and look forward to this week."

Waerea-Hargreaves won't lack motivation when he leads his forward pack into what he anticipates will be a bruising encounter with Penrith's big men this Friday at Panthers Stadium.

"It'll be physical, but it's semi-final footy," he said.

"This is why we play footy, to play at this time of the year. Both teams will be up for it and will be looking forward to the challenge.

"[Penith are] physical [with] size and really enthusiastic. They're playing with a lot of confidence."

Panthers prop James Tamou believes the Tricolours' embarrassment "has probably made it worse for us" in their qualifying final.

"The Roosters I think still are the best team," he said.

Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.
Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves. ©Robb Cox/NRL Photos

"That probably doesn't help, that scoreline, because they'll be up for the game against us.

"They'll be revving up all week because of that drumming. They'll be running harder, they'll be making it harder for us.

"We've just got to keep it tight. That's where they get most of their yards through the middle."

It was reported at different stages last year that Penrith were chasing Waerea-Hargreaves, but the Kiwi front-rower said he never knew of any real interest and chalked it up to social media rumours.

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The 31-year-old then re-signed with the Roosters until the end of 2023 in November. But the Panthers managed to lure another forward from the Bondi club, Zane Tetevano, into moving out west.

They'll soon be smashing into each other, but Waerea-Hargreaves still has a lot of admiration for Tetevano, who's been great off the bench.

"First of all, he's a great man. He's got a big heart and he's infectious. You want to be around guys like Zaneo," Waerea-Hargreaves said.

"He's got a lot of love and I'm happy for him to go out there and do his thing. But when he was here, he travelled from the Central Coast – that's where he lived – and he would travel an hour and a half every day, two hours on a train sometimes.

"That's just the little effort that he would do personally to come to a place like the Roosters. Much love for him, for sure."

Two important pieces of the premiers' pack will return against Penrith – Isaac Liu and Siosiua Taukeiaho, who were rested last week.

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"I'm feeling good now but I wish I did play that game," Liu said.

"I felt bad just not being there. I wish was there."

Liu also gave plenty of respect to the Panthers' middles.

"It's definitely going to be a big challenge. They've got some experienced forwards there, big boys," he said.

"But again the focus is on ourselves and making sure our forward pack is ready, combinations are right, our connection is good."

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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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