Sonny Bill ahead of NRL schedule: coach

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    Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson believes star back-rower Sonny Bill Williams is ahead of schedule in his transition back to the NRL.

    After coming off the bench in the Roosters’ defeat to South Sydney in round one, Williams was on the field from start to finish in the 16-14 win over the Warriors in Auckland on Saturday night.

    “He’s probably further than I would expect him to be after two games,” Robinson said.

    “Just to leave him out there for 80 minutes after a short preparation back in rugby league – I think he’s done exceptionally well, so very happy.”

    Robinson said he never considered giving Williams a spell at Eden Park.

    “I had a lot of faith in what he was doing,” he said.

    “That’s why he played the 80 minutes, which is a great sign for a coach – to have someone like that out there for that time.”

    Williams produced 20 tackles, 11 carries for 89 metres and also two offloads, the second a superb effort that sent centre Michael Jennings clear.

    Only some great defence by Glen Fisiiahi and Kevin Locke prevented Jennings scoring the try that would have kicked the Roosters 10 points clear with 12 minutes to go.

    Robinson praised Williams’ own defensive input on the left edge in combination with Jennings and five-eighth James Maloney, as well as his workrate.

    “I thought he defended really, really well, and he had some tough carries,” he said.

    “He doesn’t shirk the work. He got in there and carried out the yardage for us. He played some nice footy.”

    Williams also featured in a couple of moments involving young Warriors centre Konrad Hurrell that brought the crowd alive.

    Early in the first half, he took exception to being pushed as he was running back into position for a restart.

    The part-time boxer turned and shaped up to Hurrell, only to be held back by Warriors prop Sam Rapira.

    Minutes later, when Hurrell ran at him, Williams pulled off what seemed like a fair strip of the ball, only for the Roosters to be penalised for a two-man tackle.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (6)

    • March 17th 2013 @ 8:53am
      Roosters forever said | March 17th 2013 @ 8:53am | ! Report

      I’m a huge Roosters fan and I’m already tired of the SBW hype. Please stop with the hype, we have other great players in the team as well.

      • March 17th 2013 @ 10:31pm
        Ra said | March 17th 2013 @ 10:31pm | ! Report

        Roosters do have a greater roster, but they gave you very little to crow about last year. Now they are feeling cock-a-hoop and got the biggest of the biggest rooster in their coop so why stop crowing now?

    • Roar Guru

      March 17th 2013 @ 10:17am
      ScottWoodward.me said | March 17th 2013 @ 10:17am | ! Report

      I believe the Roosters first try can be attributed to SBW as he was so heavily marked that Maloney was able to put Jennings into a gap. It doesn’t show up in the stats but that is the value of him.

      • March 18th 2013 @ 1:05pm
        BlakeW said | March 18th 2013 @ 1:05pm | ! Report

        Jeez Scott, that’s half the game plan for this year – don’t give it away!

    • March 18th 2013 @ 2:56am
      Silver_Sovereign said | March 18th 2013 @ 2:56am | ! Report

      sonny bill will come good after a few more games. hes probably annoyed at himself for picking the roosters to have his comeback, a good team might have sped up the process

    • March 18th 2013 @ 2:56am
      Silver_Sovereign said | March 18th 2013 @ 2:56am | ! Report

      sonny bill will come good after a few more games. hes probably annoyed at himself for picking the roosters to have his comeback, a good team might have sped up the process

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