AAP Rugby

Depleted Roosters still the team to beat

By AAP Newswire

All the talk's about Sonny Bill Williams but Sydney Roosters have already proven they're capable of snaring a historic title hat-trick sans any more superstars.

The Roosters are quietly building towards the NRL's first premiership three-peat despite having almost half of their 2019 grand final-winning team on the sidelines.

The Tricolours will enter Saturday's clash with Gold Coast at the SCG without injured stars Brett Morris, Daniel Tupou, Victor Radley, Angus Crichton and co-captain Boyd Cordner along with retired great Cooper Cronk and South Sydney defector Latrell Mitchell.

Yet Trent Robinson's men are still sitting pretty inside the top four, leaving the coach thrilled with the Roosters' evolution and resilience.

"We've adapted well very early on in the season, the new season. I've liked the way we've moved from week to week, depending on the squad and what the task is at hand and what the role that's going to be needed," Robinson said on Friday.

"I've also liked the freedom they've played with."

With millions of dollars worth of talent to return in the run to the finals, Robinson has warned the Roosters' title challengers that his side will only get better.

"We've still got a long way to go in development," he said.

"I feel like there's real progressions that we want to make over the next month. That started last week and we want to progress that again tomorrow.

"So we still want to attack the season. We're right in the belly of it so we're looking to do that tomorrow."

That doesn't bode well for the battling Titans, who have lost their past five encounters with the Roosters.

What bodes well for the Roosters is that Robinson is not worried by the series of concussion cases that have sidelined Cordner.

"Boyd's progressing really well. It was too short obviously after last week to play him this week but he's in a good state," Robinson said.

"What happens here when he's not going through all the training at the moment, there's a real freshness that comes and he's in the middle of that.

"So I'm not concerned about Boyd in the short, medium or long term. I love the way he plays and having the ability to play that way consistently needs an amount of freshness and re-training.

"So we're getting that done and he'll be ready to go very soon."