Just weeks ago, obituaries were being traversed concerning the Roosters‘ chance at making the finals. However, the surge that ended their season with a 26-12 victory against the Rabbitohs might just propel them into the playoffs, if subsequent results swing favourably for them.
Despite having one of the strongest rosters, their poor performance placed them at 14th position in the league after 22 rounds. Four points down from the top eight, the Roosters had scored the second-lowest points. This outcome invited harsh criticism and doubtful expectations about making the top eight. However, the Roosters proved their mettle with five back to back wins, a quite remarkable recovery which echoes their initial seasonal performance expectation.
Head Coach Trent Robinson asserted that they didn’t resort to the crictism as motivation. Despite the narratives having decided the fate of their season, the team focused on what they could change from within. He admitted to being conscious of the criticism but stated that it wasn’t a driving factor.
James Tedesco, the team captain, also bore the brunt of his team criticism, amplified following a challenging State of Origin series contributing to offensive struggles. Despite the rocky run, the fullback settled his score with a significant try during Friday night’s match. His resilience depicted the Roosters‘ late-season rally, displaying their determination to keep their finals prospects alive.
Tedesco maintained that the team had unshakeable faith despite external skepticism. Despite imperfections and hurdles, the squad remained relentless. He adds that the squad retains its momentum, hoping that subsequent results would be favourable, leading to surprising results in the finals.
The Roosters‘ playoff chances are reliant on the Cowboys or Raiders losing. Nonetheless, they’ll be without their veteran winger Daniel Tupou due to a knee injury in the upcoming week. Meanwhile, Joseph Manu, who claimed the Golden Boot title, is likely to return from his hamstring injury, and Billy Smith, who scored a significant try that tipped the score to 20-12, will be present for the next match.
Robinson applauded Smith’s defensive intensity against rival Campbell Graham that prevented much leeway for South Sydney’s attack. His garnishing touch was the try he scored by capitalising the opportunity offered.
Post-match, Smith was reportedly involved in a clash with a guard after accidentally hitting him with the ball during his celebratory moment, a minor concern for a player who has already endured significant hardships off-field. Despite all this, his debut season has been rewarding, and he strives to amplify his impact in future games and major moments, something he’s dreamed of for years. He shared that his journey, built upon constant rehab and weight room efforts, and finally achieving those moments, was a comforting reward for his years of relentless effort.