Roosters pack to fire up against Dragons - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roosters pack to fire up against Dragons

By David Beniuk 02/10/2010 06:47:54 PM Comments (0)

From no-names to grand finalists, the Sydney Roosters' unheralded pack will face a desperate onslaught from St George Illawarra in Sunday's NRL grand final.

Virtual unknowns when the competition kicked off, the likes of Daniel Conn, Martin Kennedy, Frank-Paul Nuuausala and Mose Masoe have emerged to help the Roosters all the way to the decider.

The forwards looked to be in serious trouble when they lost one of their most promising members, Anthony Cherrington, for the year in the pre-season trials.

And veteran prop Jason Ryles was needing to make the tough transition from a stint in Super League.

"Mose and Jared (Waerea-Hargreaves) and Marty, for such young guys they've established themselves so well and they've proven all the critics wrong," Conn told AAP.

"Some of the young guys that Smithy's put some faith in, they've repaid him tenfold.

"The confidence they've got, it's quite scary.

"I think they've still got one more game left in them, that's for sure."

Conn was without a contract at the end of 2009 after three years at Gold Coast and knocked on coach Brian Smith's door looking for a chance.

"I wasn't playing very consistent footy and I met up with Smithy and he pretty much just gave an opportunity," the 24-year-old said.

"He didn't make me any promises, he just said if I came down here and worked hard we'd be a part of something special and he was right."

Smith asked his pack to become more hard-nosed two weeks ago and they responded with a brutal effort against the Titans.

But they know the likes of Jeremy Smith and Neville Costigan won't be taking a backward step for the Dragons.

"(Brian Smith) was spot-on but I think he also added we've still got a bit to go even after the performance on the weekend," Conn said.

"If we're going to take the title you've got to be pretty hard-edged for that full 80 minutes.

"We know the Dragons can do that but we're going to have to really test ourselves."

Unlike many of his team-mates, the big raps were already there for 21-year-old Kiwi international Waerea-Hargreaves, considered the key to the Roosters' more physical approach.

"He's half-mad, that bloke," Conn said.

"He's one of those blokes you definitely want there on game day on your side.

"He puts in ... there's some unreal people there.

"It's pretty special because a lot of the boys have only been together this year.

"If we keep this similar playing group we're destined to be a pretty strong force for a couple of years for sure."

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