The Sydney Roosters are desperate to avoid a second straight disappointing NRL exit but are confident they have the fresh legs can carry them through to the title.
Should Trent Robinson’s men go down to Brisbane in Friday’s preliminary final, it would mark consecutive years in which they have finished first but fallen a game shy of the grand final.
Since 1999, just six minor premiers have failed to make the first weekend in October and another premature exit would be seen as an underachievement for the Tri-colours.
But coach Robinson says his side is in better shape to make a charge at this year’s premiership than during their ill-fated 2014 campaign.
He said his troops ran out of fresh legs last year which led to them crashing out against eventual premiers South Sydney in the preliminary final.
This year Robinson has made a point of resting his big name players post-State of Origin including Mitchell Pearce, Boyd Cordner and Aidan Guerra.
Robinson said they had learnt their lessons from last season and were well placed to capitalise on it this year.
“We’re on our own path, a bit different to what we had last year and the feeling of fatigue that we had,” Robinson said.
“We’re still fresh, our staff are fresh. There’s no excuses.”