Roosters feel the early-season heat - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roosters feel the early-season heat

By David Beniuk 29/03/2010 07:42:17 PM Comments (0)

Sydney Roosters boss Steve Noyce says player welfare is a concern, with five of the NRL club's first seven games to be played in the daytime during the hottest part of the season.

The Roosters have already played their first three matches in soaring afternoon temperatures with coach Brian Smith suggesting they were a factor in Sunday's record 60-14 loss to Canterbury.

Smith said his side's preparation had been "light and fluffy" out of necessity, and that resulted in the team playing that way.

"Obviously playing in the heat that we have, especially in the last two weeks, we're all certainly mindful of that player welfare issue but I think it's probably been a very unseasonal period," Noyce told AAP on Monday.

"The flipside is from a commercial point of view you get free-to-air cover which is good for your sponsors.

"It's always that balancing up but obviously player welfare always has to be the number one consideration."

The Roosters' schedule contrasts markedly with a club like St George Illawarra, whose first six games are all on Friday nights.

"All that's a bit of a lottery and the better you're going, like St George Illawarra, the better opportunities you get so it's all about striving to get better and then it's funny how the things then work in your favour," Noyce said.

Roosters players will attempt to bounce back from Sunday's thrashing quickly, with their next match against Brisbane this Friday night.

"It's beyond physical, it's mental as well," second-rower Aidan Guerra told AAP on Monday.

"We had three hot games in a row on a Sunday, that could have played a part on people mentally and definitely physically."

Hooker James Aubusson said the Roosters players weren't getting down on themselves after the club's biggest ever loss to the Dogs.

"I think a lot of the boys just think we've got four points on the board out of a possible six and, even though we lost by so many, they didn't take any points off us and the Bulldogs have only got two," he told AAP.

"We've got next week to put another couple on the board and then we'll be fine."

Asked if the side could take heart from the Wests Tigers bouncing back from a similar defeat, ironically to the Roosters, Aubusson said: "I take heart in ourselves. We've got a good team here.

"I suspect everyone will turn around and want to redeem themselves."

The Roosters players experienced their first loss under Smith, but that didn't mean they copped a first spray from the veteran mentor.

"He's as strong as a rock and we saw that in him in his halftime speech and his fulltime address," Aubusson said.

"The main message was just go away, get ready for next week, what's done is done."

Meanwhile, Guerra has denied an on-field dressing down from winger Anthony Minichiello was directed at him.

Minichiello appeared to air his frustrations at Guerra and halfback Mitchell Pearce after a try to Jamal Idris in the 50th minute at ANZ Stadium.

"It was just a general blow-up and that happens on the field," Guerra said.

"You're not going to go over and whisper in someone's ear, it's going to be pretty loud because it's a footy field, it's got to get the point across pretty quickly.

"We were just pretty awful and he was just pointing that out."

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