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The Sydney Roosters.

After paying tribute to Jake Friend as the "greatest tackler" in Roosters history, Trent Robinson revealed he had addressed his team and spoke to some players individually about adjusting their tackling styles.

Robinson took the action after the NRL confirmed to clubs on Wednesday that there would be no softening of the zero-tolerance approach to high shots.

The three-time premiership-winning coach had proposed a grading system under which players were placed on report for grade one tackles, sin binned for grade two high shots and sent off for more serious offences.

However, after the NRL made it clear that the hard-line stance which resulted in three send-offs and 12 sin-bins last weekend would continue, Robinson said the teams who adapt the quickest would have a competitive advantage.

"There is a discussion that we had again today, just based on the meeting that clubs had with the NRL yesterday," Robinson said on Thursday as he launched Friend's addition to the Roosters Legends Mural in Waverley.

Jake Friend with artist Sid Tapia.
Jake Friend with artist Sid Tapia. ©Sydney Roosters

"They are going to stay the course with any contact or forceful contact with the head leaving the ground for 10 minutes or the rest of the game, so if that's the case then we need to adapt very quickly and individual players must too.

"There are certain players in our game that tackle in a certain way and they are going to have to adapt quickly. Each team has a couple of players like that so the teams that adapt the quickest will have their players on the park."

Robinson said it would take time before high tackles were eliminated from the game, but the process had begun and he backed the efforts of the ARLC in achieving that goal.

"You make subtle changes because that is how human beings change; they can't all of a sudden do a backflip in a couple of days but you start to make improvements in the way that you start to go about your defensive line and your tackle technique," he said.

"Then you just have the individual discussions with players as well but you also don't want to jump at shadows – you want to play the game how we want to play so finding the balance with that is important.

"I believe in where we are going, and I believe in the progress that we are trying to make towards [reducing cases of] concussion and the head high tackle is only a certain part of it.

"It is not going to stop the way that a small guy has to play in our game and tackle in our game but if we can reduce 30 per cent of the concussions by the way that we tackle and the height of the tackle then that is a positive thing."

Friend, who retired earlier this season after a series of head knocks, may be an example of why low tackling alone is unlikely to be a solution.

Was this the crackdown the NRL had to have?

The Roosters will pay tribute to Friend's career at Saturday night's match against Brisbane at the SCG and Robinson said the Queensland Origin hooker had left a legacy at the club.

"It didn't end the way we wanted it to end for Jake, but he will be remembered by the way he played," Robinson said. "He is the greatest tackler that has played in the Roosters jersey, if not our game, and he did it over and over and over again for us.

"I think on average he made 40 tackles per game for 260-odd games. He won premierships as a captain and as a player, so he is a very special guy. He had a rough start and then he built himself into a real man, a real footy player, and he also set his life up outside the game."

Friend has been added to the Roosters' Legends Mural, which includes fellow club captains Boyd Cordner, Brad Fittler, Anthony Minichiello and Arthur Beetson.

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