Returning representative back-rower Aidan Guerra believes the Sydney Roosters need to re-discover their desperation as they seek to break a four-match winning streak.
The struggling Roosters have been boosted by the return of Queensland’s Guerra for Friday’s round-nine NRL clash against Wests Tigers.
Guerra suffered a broken jaw in the Roosters’ round-five loss to Cronulla, the first of four successive defeats. It is the club’s worst slump under coach Trent Robinson, who joined the club in 2013.
The 27-year-old Guerra played all three games for the Maroons last year.
His comeback gives him two NRL games to impress Queensland coach Mal Meninga before he selects his side for Origin I in Sydney on May 27.
The loss of Guerra and Blake Ferguson (foot – due back early August) have hit the Roosters hard. One of the pre-season premiership favourites, the 12th-placed Tricolours face a virtual must-win game against the Tigers.
Former Roosters premiership-winning assistant coach Jason Taylor has transformed the fifth-placed Tigers into genuine finals contenders in his first season since moving from Bondi to Concord.
“They’re one of those sides this year that have been very enthusiastic, coming out and really putting it to teams,” Guerra told reporters on Monday.
“We’ve got to prepare ourselves for that, we know that they’re a well-coached side – JT (Taylor) was here last year, so we’re expecting a really fierce battle there.
“They’ve got some strong young forwards and a good halves pairing.
“(For us) it’s just that little bit of instinct or that little bit of effort at the end.
“Other teams have been more desperate than us.
“The close ones are the ones you need to win if you want to be a premiership contender.
“We’ve got a bit of work to do there.”