Roosters coach Trent Robinson says an unflattering 0-7, 226-104 record against top-five rivals in the past nine months will spur his Tricolours through one of the NRL's toughest runs to the finals.
Defending premiers Melbourne loom large on the Roosters' radar this Thursday, with the Storm having won their past three clashes in one of the modern game's great rivalries.
It's a worrying record that rings across the Roosters' past seven clashes - all ending in defeat - against the NRL's highest flyers.
Particularly when four more top-five showdowns with Melbourne, Parramatta, Penrith and South Sydney loom over the next 10 weeks.
Only the Eels face the game's genuine premiership contenders more often leading into the finals.
Since last September's stunning 60-8 thrashing from arch-rivals South Sydney, the Roosters have lost each of their clashes with top five sides – going down twice to the Panthers and Rabbitohs, and once each to Canberra, Melbourne and Parramatta.
Three of the Roosters' four losses to fellow title contenders this season have been plagued by injury – with Luke Keary, Lindsay Collins (Rabbitohs), Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Siosiua Taukeiaho (Storm), Drew Hutchison and Victor Radley (Eels) all in-game casualties.
Robinson alluded to the Tricolours' brutal injury toll when quizzed on the record that sees their famed defence concede twice as many points as they score in recent heavyweight clashes.
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A reference to back-to-back premiership wins went unspoken too by the champion coach, but he concedes external question marks over the Roosters "will drive us".
"Questioning us in bigger games, I don't think we're a team that has trouble with big games," Robinson said on Tuesday.
"I think we know how to play them.
"But we haven't nailed that this year against those teams. We had Penrith last game, Melbourne towards the start of the year and Parramatta a couple of months ago.
"We've had our challenges this year. But we believe in what we can produce. We've got to go out and prove that.
"I can't stand here and talk about it. It's about us putting it on the pitch because we believe in our quality. But people questioning our quality is what will drive us as well."
The Roosters will travel to Newcastle on game day due to Sydney's COVID-19 outbreak, with the Storm flying in on Thursday as well after returning to Melbourne this week.
Robinson reported a clean bill of health for NSW Origin stars James Tedesco and Angus Crichton, who are on a five-day turnaround from Sunday's win for NSW.
The pair will join their Tricolours teammates for Wednesday's captain's run while rookie half Sam Walker is also good to go after an extended break to recover from shoulder issues.
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Hutchison, too, has made a welcome recovery from the broken ribs and punctured lung which saw him hospitalised multiple times after copping knees in the back from Parramatta's Dylan Brown.
The off-contract playmaker has been named in Robinson's extended reserves with an eye to getting game time over the next few weeks.
"He's back to full training," Robinson said of Hutchison.
"It would be nice to have a game for North Sydney to get him back into the rhythm but that probably won't take place over the next couple of weeks.
"But it's a good opportunity to get back in there and start playing footy soon for us. He was playing very good footy before he got injured."