When the Sydney Roosters face the Warriors this Saturday they need only beat the NRL’s most error-prone side to turn around their ailing fortunes.
But coach Trent Robinson’s men shouldn’t get ahead of themselves, given they’re currently ranked second in that department.
Wastefulness and complacency cost the fifth-placed Roosters dearly in their 10-4 upset loss to Cronulla on Sunday.
Dropped balls and turnovers aplenty bumped the tri-colours’ error count up to a whopping 20 – the team’s highest since round one when they also made 20 in their 28-4 trouncing of a lacklustre North Queensland.
It means that after 13 rounds they’ve committed the second-most errors (141) in the competition ahead of lowly Newcastle (140) and Gold Coast (139) and behind only the Warriors, who are in a league of their own on 152.
It’s a far cry from the Roosters outfit that humiliated Melbourne 24-2 a week ago on the back of only nine errors and a solid 82 per cent completion rate.
Robinson on Sunday pasted his team’s inability to complete anymore than 53 per cent of sets against an unforgiving Cronulla side bristling with the confidence that comes with the long-awaited return of injured skipper Paul Gallen.
It makes for discouraging reading for the 2013 premiers as they prepare to travel across the ditch without their State of Origin contingent.
Forward Jared Waerea-Hargreaves said set completion would be firmly front of mind this week in training, after they found out the hard way that looking for shortcuts and trying to score off every play often doesn’t work.
“That’s definitely one of our main focuses,” Waerea-Hargreaves told AAP.
“It’s something that you try and focus on every week, but Sunday was just ugly.
“It’s something we’ll address this week and prepare as well as we can to focus on playing well against the Warriors.”
Waerea-Hargreaves was keen to see the positives in facing the Warriors at Mount Smart Stadium, traditionally a successful fortress for the seventh-placed New Zealand side.
He saw a “great challenge” in the likely absence of Michael Jennings, Mitchell Pearce and Boyd Cordner in the Blues camp.
Despite an underwhelming Origin I performance, winger Daniel Tupou’s strong form in the NRL has made a good case for his retention while five-eighth James Maloney is also an outside chance of selection.
“We’ve got to tighten the group here,” Waerea-Hargreaves said.
“It’s sticking together, and we’ll possibly have some debutants in our side.
“I’m looking forward to going home and seeing some family, and playing in front of a home crowd for me.”