ydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson isn’t banking on the imminent returns of Boyd Cordner, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Mitchell Pearce to help rescue his side’s sinking NRL season.
The Roosters will likely welcome back Cordner from a pectoral injury for their Anzac Day clash with the St George Illawarra.
Waerea-Hargreaves could also return from a knee injury for that match, in what would also be his first game of the year.
Pearce will be free to play again when his eight-match ban expires the week after against Newcastle.
The representative trio will be under pressure to produce immediately if the Roosters, currently 1-6 and anchored to the bottom of the NRL ladder, are to salvage something from their year.
It is a prospect that displeases Robinson, who has led the Roosters to three straight minor premierships.
“That (they are due back soon) is the frustrating thing, it sounds like that should be the good thing, but it is the frustrating thing: we want to be winning without those guys. We don’t want to rely on them,” he said.
“They shouldn’t be walking back in and feel that pressure. We should be the ones getting the job done before they get back.”
It is the Roosters worst start to a season since 1966 when they lost all 18 games and co-captain Jake Friend knows his side has to go on a winning run sooner rather than later.
“We have to scratch out those wins in those tight games,” he said.
“We are not writing the season off. This is not where we want to be. If we can just get that little bit of class we can go on that run we need to.”
Robinson is also acutely aware the Roosters’ season is slipping away.
“One from seven – that is not good, it is not good at all. The hard parts of the game we are doing well, the classy parts to get into good position we are not,” he said.
“We have to pick up wins as we go but we are not doing that at the moment.”