James Tedesco put his body on the line for the Roosters.
James Tedesco put his body on the line for the Roosters.

Monday Buzz: Brutal reason Roosters are NRL benchmark

The Sydney Roosters had only a five-day turnaround before their game of the year against the previously unbeaten Parramatta Eels on Saturday night.

The players could have been given a low-intensity preparation - recovery from Monday night, a video session, some light ball work, a team meeting, a day off and a captain's run.

This isn't how coach Trent Robinson operates. On Thursday he wanted to do some extra defence work on the edges.

Big Lindsay Collins is one of the form middle forwards in the competition.

He's got the football and is running it with the same power as game day. Teammate Victor Radley lines him up.

Now this guy can hit as hard as Trevor "The Axe" Gillmeister or old Easts legend Bunny Reilly.

The hit on Collins is no different. Radley goes crrrrrash.

It causes a whiplash effect and knocks Collins out of the game against the Eels with a neck injury.

Friendly fire at its most ferocious.

This story tells a lot about the Sydney Roosters, their back-to-back titles and their quest to win the first premiership three-peat since Parramatta 37 years ago.

 

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Lindsay Collins. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
Lindsay Collins. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

 

Victor Radley. Picture: Scott Davis/NRL Photos
Victor Radley. Picture: Scott Davis/NRL Photos

 

Training is brutal and preparation is everything. It has to replicate game-day force.

As much as he was upset about losing Collins for such a big game, the coach wouldn't have it any other way.

"You practise what you want to do in the games," Robinson told me yesterday. "You can't ruin their bodies before the weekend but you've got to condition them for a game of footy.

"You don't want guys to get hurt but you can't ask them to go easy at training then ask them to be physical on the weekends.

"They hit each other hard and often.

"It's just part of our game that players are going to get hurt at different times."

The Roosters are remarkable and the benchmark in the competition.

We talk about them so often as the latte-sipping salary cap millionaires. The glamour side of the NRL with Luke Keary, James Tedesco and Boyd Cordner.

But this team is as brave as it is brilliant.

Courage is its DNA.

 

The Roosters are as brave as they are different. Picture: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
The Roosters are as brave as they are different. Picture: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

 

Cooper Cronk ridiculously played a grand final two years ago with a broken shoulder and a couple of painkillers.

Every week we write up Tedesco as the number one player in the competition because of his freakish attacking qualities.

Then on Saturday night he fearlessly put his body on the line to try to stop a runaway Maika Sivo.

It was so gutsy and so courageous. That Sivo scored didn't matter.

 

James Tedesco put his body on the line trying to stop Maika Sivo. Picture: Dan Himbrechts/AAP
James Tedesco put his body on the line trying to stop Maika Sivo. Picture: Dan Himbrechts/AAP

 

Make Sivo got the better of James Tedesco on this occasion but the Roosters fullback inspired his teammates. Picture: Dan Himbrechts/AAP
Make Sivo got the better of James Tedesco on this occasion but the Roosters fullback inspired his teammates. Picture: Dan Himbrechts/AAP

 

James Tedesco receives attention after being knocked down by Maika Sivo. Picture: Dan Himbrechts/AAP
James Tedesco receives attention after being knocked down by Maika Sivo. Picture: Dan Himbrechts/AAP

The game's best player finished up on the sideline, the same as Collins.

But he showed his teammates that he was prepared to put his body on the line in any situation.

And that is the secret to this club's greatness.

The Roosters are tough and they are in this together.

Originally published as Monday Buzz: Brutal reason Roosters are NRL benchmark



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