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Roosters shrug off favourites tag

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25th April, 2019
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Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson denies his Tricolours are the form side of the NRL in 2019.

But when pushed on who is, he admits to being stumped.

“Don’t know. Someone else. Not sure,” Robinson said.

“Who is it this week? Parramatta this week.”

Despite Robinson’s attempt to claim the underdog tag, the premiers are top of the ladder after Jake Friend and Sio Siua Taukeiaho inspired them to a thrilling Anzac Day win over St George Illawarra on Thursday.

It was their sixth straight victory and in the eyes of many, firmly established the Bondi Junction outfit as the team to beat this year.

They aren’t without their problems – for the second week in a row they built up a big halftime lead before letting their opponents back into the contest.

Up 14-0 at the break, tries to Zac Lomax and Matt Dufty reduced the deficit to four before Taukeiaho sealed it with a 77th minute match-winner.

Robinson said not only did they have several gears left in them, they didn’t deserve to be considered the competition benchmark.

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Dragons coach Paul McGregor described the ladder leaders as the “best team in the world”, but Robinson couldn’t accept the favouritism tag.

“I don’t think we’ve exploded out of the blocks at all,” Robinson said.

“But I think we’ve won games. We didn’t nail that game today or last week. We’ve nailed parts.

“I don’t think we’ve been the form team of the competition.

“We’ve been really tough, had some good moments, good foundation work. Even statistically we’re not really high in major areas.

“That’s why there’s scope for improvement.”

After the corresponding game last year the Roosters were 4-4 and many were questioning whether their premiership favouritism was all sizzle and no steak.

They went on to lose just four more games on their way to a grand final triumph.

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They have traditionally been slow out of the blocks and their 6-1 opening run represents their best start since 1999.

“I don’t think we’re cruising. I think we’re hungry,” Robinson said.

“We’re seeing some really good signs from individuals.

“If you take a step back and take a look at that game, the Roosters can improve. We’re going to stay hungry and I’m going to make sure I breathe that hunger into them.”