Barely treading water after five straight losses, the Sydney Roosters are being buoyed by their 12-match winning streak last year, according to skipper Jake Friend.
The Roosters’ finals chances are fading fast after an 0-5 start to the NRL season and face a further pressure test against local rivals South Sydney on Friday night.
Friend believes the Roosters have enough quality to recover from their disastrous start.
“We’ve done it before, we’ve done it for the last few years, we’ve strung some games together,” Friend said.
“The confidence after losing five games is down a bit but I think all the boys here believe we can go on another run like that.”
After three straight minor premierships, Trent Robinson’s side must now win 12 of their last 19 games to make the top eight.
The last side to recover from losing their first five matches and make the finals was Brisbane in 1999.
That Broncos side’s early run was so disastrous, it caused club great Allan Langer to retire mid-season, before they went on to win 11 straight to scrape into eighth spot.
According to Fox Sports Stats, only four of the 44 sides to have started 0-5 in premiership history have gone on to make the finals – South Sydney (1957), Parramatta (1965), Eastern Suburbs (Sydney Roosters) (1967) and Brisbane (1999).
With Mitchell Pearce (suspension), Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (knee) and Boyd Cordner (pec) all at least a month off, the Roosters must find a way to win fast.
If the Roosters are to beat the Rabbitohs, they must confront the mental demons inflicted by their arch rivals during their season-opening 42-10 flogging.
“It was tough losing to Souths like we did … I’m sure the boys will be thinking about that this week,” Friend said.