Today Sam Bourke takes a look at the optimism in the water out Bondi way, as the Sydney Roosters loo...
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The combined total for their two games last year against Wests reads 78-0, but two of the Roosters? standout performers in 2005 say they are expecting a torrid affair on Sunday afternoon against the in-formTigers at Aussie Stadium.
Stuart Webb and Adrian Morley ? two of the club?s most consistent performers over the opening three rounds ? believe the pumped-up Tigers now have the belief to topple the Roosters after their giant-killing performance against Canterbury on Sunday.
?They played well on Sunday ? nobody expected them to challenge the Bulldogs ? so they?ll be full of confidence,? Webb said this morning at training.
?It?s going to be a tough game, we?re back at home and we don?t want to lose two in a row, so hopefully we can get a big crowd out there to support us.?
Morley ? who rocked the foundations of Aussie Stadium with a bone-crunching hit on Shane Webcke in Friday?s game ? said the side was well aware of the threat the Tigers pose to a side still tinkering with a string of new on-field combinations.
?We all saw how they played against the Bulldogs, so there?s no doubt there they will give us a very tough game,? Morley said.
?The competition is so even now, you have to turn up every week or you?ll get beaten.?
Coach Ricky Stuart called an impromptu video session this morning for the 17 players who took on the Brisbane, to dissect their uncharacteristically poor defensive effort against the white-hot Broncos.
Webb conceded the Roosters need to improve dramatically on Sunday or risk another embarrassing scoreline against the Tigers ? who put 37 points past the defending premiers.
?They have a lot of points in them, so we need to make sure we?re all switched on,? he said.
?Brisbane were just too good around the ruck ? our defence wasn?t up to scratch to hold them ? so we can?t afford to do that two weeks in a row.?
The addition of Finch ? the Roosters? player of the year in 2004 ? is a massive boost for Stuart, who has been frustrated with the side?s kicking game over the opening rounds.
The newly-named five-eighth pulled through Friday?s game without incident, although he admitted his hands were still ?fairly sore?.
?They came through the game well, it was good to have my first hit-out, so I?ll be looking to get even more involved against Wests,? Finch said.
?Ricky was very disappointed with us ? not with our effort, but our execution ? we didn?t do the little things right.
?But we?ll get stuck in at training this week and we know we?re a lot better than what we showed against Brisbane.?
Anthony Minichiello Joel Monaghan Iosia Soliola Ryan Cross Amos Roberts Craig Wing Brett Finch Jason Cayless Stuart Webb Anthony Tupou Adrian Morley Craig Fitzgibbon Luke Ricketson
Chris Flannery Richard Fa'aoso George Rose Ben Hannant