The Sydney Roosters are determined to make a late-season charge and secure their place in the NRL finals for a remarkable seventh straight year. Currently sitting in 12th place with a 7-8 record, the Roosters find themselves in a similar position to last year when they were 10th after 17 rounds. However, history has shown that they have the ability to turn things around, as they did in 2020 when they went on to win eight consecutive games and finish in sixth place. The team is aware of the urgency to find their best form and kick-start their climb up the ladder.
Five-eighth Luke Keary emphasised the importance of their upcoming clash against their old rivals, Manly Sea Eagles, at 4 Pines Park on Sunday. Keary acknowledged that they are realistic about their current situation but remain optimistic, drawing inspiration from their previous season turnaround. He expressed his belief in the players and coaching staff, affirming their unity and determination to overcome their current challenges.
One hurdle the Roosters face is a growing list of injured players, including Angus Crichton and Sitili Tupouniua, who joined the likes of Brandon Smith and Sam Walker on the sidelines. However, Keary downplayed the impact of this, highlighting that every team confronts injury setbacks at some point during the season. He emphasised their ability to handle the situation and expressed confidence in their ability to return to their best form. The team remains focused on working harder and shifting the energy to achieve their goals.
The return of Brandon Smith and Sam Walker, who are expected to be back in Round 20 when the Roosters face the Melbourne Storm at the Sydney Cricket Ground, is eagerly anticipated. Keary hopes their comeback will bring a much-needed boost of energy to the team. Both players are known for their attacking prowess and their return could potentially provide the spark the Roosters need.
Keary concluded by reinforcing the importance of unity and hard work. While they cannot control the outcome, they can control their effort and support for each other on and off the field. He acknowledged that turnarounds can happen quickly, but also emphasised the need to avoid negative outcomes by making the right decisions. The Roosters are determined to stand united and begin their climb up the ladder with their upcoming match against Manly.