The Sydney Roosters NYC side head west to Homebush this weekend in a bid to record their first victory of the 2015 Holden Cup season when they face the South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium.
Head Coach Adam Hartigan has been forced into a change in his backrow with Isaac Crichton suffering a leg injury that sees him unavailable for selection this weekend, which allows Ryan Turner his Club debut after being named 18th man in Round 1.
Turner will be partnered in the backrow by Alex Lyons who comes into the side following Vincent Leuluai’s move to the front row alongside Richard Skelton.
Their opponents, the Junior Bunnies, are also coming off a Round 1 loss after going down to the Brisbane Broncos last Thursday night at Suncorp Stadium.
Add to that the elimination of both sides in last year’s opening week of the 2014 Holden Cup Finals Series and Sunday afternoon is set for a mouth-watering battle between the arch-rivals.
Jackson Hastings and Latrell Mitchell will be two players to keep an eye out for in Hartigan’s side with both representing NSW in the U18s grade last season. Hastings also made his NRL debut in Round 26 against this weekend’s opponents, the Rabbitohs, last season.
The five-eighth will continue to work on his combinations with Mitchell and his new team mates in the U20s spine, Zac Nicholls and Connor Watson. New to the Club in Season 2015, Nicholls was impressive throughout the Pre-Season program with Watson one of the best on-field in the sides Trial win over Manly with two tries.
The Skipper Paul Momirovski and suspended hooker Grant Garvey, who were also members of the 2014 NSW U18s, told Roosters Online that depsite last week's "disappointing loss" this Sunday wouldn't be a game that any of his players would struggle to get up for.
"The loss was disappointing, definitely," Momirovski said.
"There were positives to come out of it however. We were in it for more than half the game and probably havent played together as much as we would have wanted to being the first year this group has come together."
Quizzed on how they would find their way back to the winners list this weekend, the U20s Skipper was on the front-foot.
"This weekend's match won't be hard to get up, it's Souths," he said.
"As well as that we're coming off a loss and we want to get our first win, which will drive us even more to get the two points."
"We've come together this week as a playing group and talked about taking more ownership, it isn't just on the Coaches to come up with a plan. Our attitude at training has improved and we're going to use these early Rounds to focus on moulding ourselves as the Team we want to be, not worrying about anything or anybody we can't control."
Momirovski was one of three in this weekend’s side to spend the Pre-Season alongside the NRL Squad and under the watchful eye of Trent Robinson, which Hartigan is certain will begin to shine through.
"Paul's leadership is his strong point and his time with the NRL boys only helped this," Hartigan said.
"His composure is a huge asset to our side and something that other boys look upon and draw from when he and our senior players take the lead."
"We weren't good enough last week but I have every confidence in our group continuing to grow with their youth a positive for the future."
South Sydney Rabbitohs v Sydney Roosters
Sunday, March 15
Gates Open: 1.40pm
NYC Kick-Off: 1.45pm
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