Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson has defended his decision to persist with Aidan Guerra at five-eighth as they desperately seek a way to break their five-game NRL losing streak.
Despite Guerra being named at his usual position of back-row, Robinson confirmed he will persevere with playing the Queensland forward in the playmaking role – with rookie Jayden Nikorima to again come off the bench against South Sydney at ANZ Stadium on Friday.
Battered by injuries and suspension, Robinson said the value of Guerra’s experience was telling in the opening exchanges.
“It gives Jayden a bit of time to see the game and come into the game when it’s the right time for us,” Robinson said.
The move to have Guerra at five-eighth heaps more pressure on 20-year-old halfback Jackson Hastings as the Roosters’ only recognised playmaker.
“I think having an experienced guy at five-eighth helps,” Robinson said.
“Aidan’s still working hard to find his best footy. But there was a bit of an improvement there on the weekend. He’s had a hand in some of our tries.”
The Roosters are missing Mitchell Pearce (suspension), Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (knee) and Boyd Cordner (pec) and are staring down the barrel of being 0-6 for the first time since their winless season in 1966.
Stretching back to last year, they have lost their past six, their worst run of defeats since their 2009 wooden spoon season.