Roosters see improvement despite NRL loss

They haven’t been in this position since 2007, but Sydney Roosters are still optimistic about what lies ahead this NRL season.

After being drubbed 42-10 by fierce rivals South Sydney in round one, the tricolours were pipped by Canberra in a gusty 21-20 loss at GIO Stadium on Saturday.

The Roosters were up 16-6 at halftime, but a Sam Williams field goal sealed the deal with three minutes to go.

It’s the first time in nine years the Roosters have started a season with two losses; they lost five in a row last time.

Yet coach Trent Robinson hasn’t hit the panic button, buoyed by the improving performances of his next crop of stars – namely Latrell Mitchell, Jayden Nikorima and Jackson Hastings.

Mitchell and Nikorima both scored in the loss against the Raiders.

“There was some really good stuff from them,” he said.

“The 7-6-1, all young in their NRL games, some have played two … I think were a big improvement on last week.

“The effort was there and the execution on some things was really really good.

“There was some highs and lows within that game that we don’t want to see again but some things we want to keep.

“We just need to keep fighting on and get better again.”

Skipper Jake Friend said there was plenty to learn from the loss and hoped if the situation came up again, his side would draw on the experience and get the match-winning field goal.

“Just from last week to this week there has been a big change,” Friend said.

“The boys played a lot better and they steered us around really well for a majority of the game, and I think the kicking was better as well.

“There’s plenty of positive signs.”

The Roosters have a five-day turnaround before a tough clash with reigning champions North Queensland in Townsville.

Robinson joked about the “well-organised” draw but said it was something they’d known for a few months.

“I look forward to the challenge against the premiers up there on Thursday night,” he said.

“It’s not well-planned but looking forward to the challenge.”

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