AAP Rugby

Roosters prepare for end of season surge

By AAP Newswire

Having handled their fair share of adversity and come out the other side, the Sydney Roosters are ready to show what they're really capable of.

That's the view of Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson as his side begins to approach full strength for the first time since round one this NRL season.

With skipper Jake Friend and Sio Siua Taukeiaho back in their line-up for Sunday's clash with North Queensland on the Central Coast, Robinson is close to boasting his full artillery.

He has rested his NSW stars James Tedesco and Boyd Cordner and told them to take the weekend off after their State of Origin series victory on Wednesday night.

But other than that, the Roosters have all hands on deck.

"The first thing for us is not playing with the Origin guys, we want a really strong performance tomorrow," Robinson said.

"We had a lull period, we played well against Melbourne but couldn't finish it off.

"We need to perform again tomorrow. We want to keep being strong and then keep building that footy that we want to see."

Throughout the year the likes of Luke Keary, Brett Morris, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Ryan Hall have spent time in the rehab ward and forced the side into reshuffles.

And their fortunes have reflected their fitness - they won eight of their first nine before dropping three in a row.

They have subsequently recovered with wins against Canterbury and the Wests Tigers in between a two-point loss to ladder leaders Melbourne.

Asked how his side had handled the adversity they had faced, Robinson said: "Fairly well except for a couple of weeks there.

"The attitude of the players has been outstanding, they've never thought 'Oh well I haven't played there before'. They've enjoyed moving around.

"But with that comes a bit of inward focus rather than the flow when you know what everyone else is going to be doing."

Meanwhile, Cowboys back-rower Gavin Cooper will celebrate his 300-game milestone against the Roosters.

But Paul Green's side will be without skipper Michael Morgan after he suffered head knock in Wednesday's State of Origin game three while Josh McGuire is expected to back up.

STATS THAT MATTER

* The Roosters have a 70.3 per cent winning record against the Cowboys (26 from 37), their second best winning percentage against all current teams.

* The Cowboys have lost each of their past three and will be out to avoid four straight losses for the second time this season.