While wary of a repeat of Kane Evans’s infamous shoulder charge, Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson has given his forwards the green light to go after Canterbury’s big men.
Robinson lit the fire under his pack on Thursday, saying he would not be asking them to temper their aggression ahead of Friday’s NRL semi-final with Canterbury.
The coach acknowledges he is walking a tight thin line this week after the sides’ last clash produced one of the season’s most talked about moments.
Evans’ shoulder charge on fellow giant prop Sam Kasiano prompted the game’s administrators crack down on the technique in a bid to drive it out of the game.
Kasiano and his Bulldogs teammates have admitted the possibility of a square up will be in mind on Friday night.
Robinson said he had made himself clear to Evans about his thoughts on the incident but did not want to quell the fire he plays with.
“I was very clear on my thoughts on that incident,” Robinson said.
“But I also want that fire in the belly of those guys. I want them to be in the contest. I don’t want to dumb that down.
“They need to be ready to play and play at their best but within the rules.”
Robinson said Evans had trod the line of controlled aggression since his well publicised run-in with Kasiano in round 21 and he expected more of the same in week two of the finals.
“He’s played very good footy since then and before that,” Robinson said.
“He’s a competitor. That’s what him and (Dylan) Napa and Sui (Taukeiaho) are – they’re competitors.
“You don’t want to pull that instinct away, to challenge the opposition when they’ve been challenged.”