Roosters say off-season drama not an issue

Sydney Roosters’ off season from hell was not to blame for the NRL club’s shocking first-up effort in 2016, according to coach Trent Robinson.

The Roosters were thumped 42-10 by South Sydney at Allianz Stadium on Sunday, after trailing 26-0 at the break.

The home side was completely outgunned in the opening quarter as Souths burst out to a 20-0 lead.

The Roosters’ off season woes, including Mitchell Pearce’s Australia Day antics and Shaun Kenny-Dowall’s court case, dominated headlines through much of the lead-up to round one.

But Robinson denied they were a factor in the heavy loss.

“I definitely wouldn’t put it down to that,” Robinson said.

“It’s been well talked about over the last month what happened.

“But we have trained well enough, we have different guys in different positions.

“The combinations can take some time but some of those weren’t combinations early on; they were simple system errors and hard work errors.”

The Roosters entered the match without the suspended Pearce and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Boyd Cordner.

They also lost a number of key players in the off season in Michael Jennings, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and James Maloney.

Regardless, Robinson was scathing in his assessment of his side’s effort.

“It was 42-10, it is not good enough from us. It is early, we got a good lesson from a team that was hungry to win. We were not hungry enough, we weren’t detailed enough,” he said.

“Whether it was tackling or receiving kicks or whether it was our kicking there were lots of areas we were beaten in today. We had better improve.

“We got our lesson early; it is a big lesson to take in round one, not many teams have taken that.

“We have to prove that we can improve on that next week.”

New-look Manly were the other big losers in round one, going down to Canterbury 28-6 at Brookvale Oval on Friday night.

Brisbane swept aside an injury-hit Parramatta 17-4 the night before in the season opener at Pirtek Stadium.

Canberra beat Penrith 30-22 in the nation’s capital on Saturday, Wests Tigers edged the Warriors 34-26 at Campbelltown Stadium and North Queensland opened their premiership defence with a 20-14 defeat of Cronulla.

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