Roosters squad set to be boosted - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roosters squad set to be boosted

By Joshua Alston 05/09/2010 03:54:39 PM Comments (0)

Sydney Roosters coach Brian Smith is hopeful his depleted side will be boosted by the return of four key players ahead of their first semi-final against the Wests Tigers next Saturday night.

After qualifying sixth following an unconvincing win over also-rans North Queensland on Saturday, there were plenty of tired bodies in the sheds following a rough night in the hot and humid Townsville climate.

Smith was forced to scratch fullback Anthony Minichiello (hamstring), hooker Jake Friend (calf) and forward Mose Masoe (shoulder) before kick-off and was also without suspended forward Daniel Conn.

But in a boost for the Bondi club, Smith is hopeful of having all four back for their clash against the Tigers at Sydney Football Stadium.

"Mini wasn't right," he said.

"Mini will have to show us that he is right early in the week this week.

"We would expect that he would be and we would expect that Jake will be.

"We'll have Daniel Conn back from suspension and big Mossie will be right as well.

"He had a bit of a shoulder problem, I'm not sure but he's probably the most doubtful of the three."

Resting those players for the Cowboys game may yet prove to be a masterstroke by Smith with many of the players who did take the paddock struggling to get through the night in the muggy conditions.

With the Tigers having the luxury of an extra days rest before the clash, Smith said the main focus would be on getting the players' energy levels back up to scratch and then working on arresting a worrying slump in attack that is plaguing the club.

"The first thing we're going to need to do is recover from this game and try to get ourselves ready," he said.

"The Tigers are one of those teams that when they're on, they're hot.

"So we'll need to be good indeed to control that.

"Obviously controlling the ball is a big factor in minimising the amount of time you have to defend.

"We've got plenty to work on."

Skipper Braith Anasta refused to blame the conditions at Dairy Farmer Stadium for the Roosters lacklustre performance against the Cowboys and agreed there was plenty to do to prove last year's wooden-spooners could truly push for the premiership in 2010.

"My head's spinning," he said after the game.

"It was a tough night for us, it was definitely very hot and humid out there and something we hadn't experienced in quite a while.

"But it was no excuse for the way we played, I thought we played pretty average.

"We've got quite a bit of work to do this week.

"We're satisfied, but we would like to probably be a little bit more happy with our performance."

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