Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson is set to persist with Aidan Guerra as a makeshift five-eighth as the NRL club continue to battle the early-season blues.
The Roosters are 0-4 ahead of Sunday’s clash with the Warriors in Gosford.
Despite Guerra’s inconsistent efforts at pivot in last week’s loss to Manly, in which he joined Jackson Hastings in the halves at the expense of Jayden Nikorima, Robinson is set to maintain faith with the Queensland forward’s ball-playing abilities.
Nikorima was named at pivot by Robinson on Tuesday, but captain Jake Friend said Guerra was likely to start there at Central Coast Stadium in order to shore up the Roosters’ leaky defence which has conceded on average more than 30 points a match.
“I think Aidan will start there again, and possibly Jayden will come in (to the game) a bit earlier,” Friend told AAP on Wednesday.
“We will go in with that bigger team, and especially against the Warriors that is a good move getting Jayden into the game when there are a few tired bodies around.
“With his speed and skill, when he is fresh will be a bonus for us. I’m sure when he does come on he will make an impact.”
With Mitchell Pearce sidelined until round nine due to suspension, Nikorima had started in the halves in the Roosters’ opening three games to start his NRL career.
The 19-year-old Nikorima said he wasn’t taking his benching as a demotion.
“It was about taking some pressure off myself and seeing how the game goes,” Nikorima said.
“It is up to Robbo whether I start or not. It is still my first year and I am learning and trying to adapt to the game.”
The Roosters’ goalkicking has been very poor this year and cost them dearly in the round-two loss to Canberra and the defeat to Manly.
Hastings, who was an accomplished goalkicker in under 20s and NSW Cup, is expected to assume the goalkicking duties against the Warriors after overcoming a quadriceps injury.
“It was a quad niggle but hopefully he will kick (goals) from the start this week,” Friend said.