Roosters haven't given up on 2016

With just three wins in 2016, the Roosters are unlikely to be pushing for a spot in the finals come the end of the season, but after three years of unrivalled success, that doesn’t mean they'll stop trying. 

"It's going to be hard, but to rock up and not think we're going to make the eight and not have our standards high would be unprofessional," Roosters halfback Mitchell Pearce said. 

"I know I'm as motivated as ever and I know the boys are [as well] to finish the year as well as we can. If that's a top eight spot, then awesome."

A win against the Bulldogs last Thursday night would have given their faint finals hopes a boost, but after racing out to an early 12-0 lead, the Roosters were overcome by the blue and whites to eventually go down by four points. 

While it wasn't the result he was hoping for, Pearce was pleased with the way he played in what his first game back from a calf strain, setting up the first two tries and playing a part in their third. 

"It was definitely an improvement, but it was another loss," he said. 

"The plan was to go out there and get the result. It's disappointing, especially because we blew a few of those tries, and the defence at critical times wasn't great. 

"I wanted to come back and play well for the team. That's what I'm paid to do. 

"I haven't got the time to work my way back in because the season's nearly over. I wanted to prepare as well as I could to hit the ground running and I was pretty happy with my game."

Last week's match was the seventh time this season the Tricolours had lost a game by four points or less, and according to prop Dylan Napa, it's become an all too common theme. 

"It seems to be the same thing each week; there are good signs but we just keep losing by small margins," he said. 

"Apart from a few [blowout] games this year, I think there's been a golden point, a couple [decided] by one point, two points, four points. 

"It seems to be the theme this year, which is disappointing, but we've tried our best each week. At training we're all putting in and we're not giving up hope."

Perhaps the most disappointing thing was that the Roosters were in such a strong position to win having scored the first two tries, only for the Bulldogs to grab four straight to take control of the contest.

"We got out to a pretty good start against the Bulldogs and we should have used that momentum to go into the second half, but we let in a couple of tries before half-time and the momentum swung," Napa said.  

"Our attitude's right all week at training and everyone is putting in. We feel like we're doing everything right but we're just not sealing off the games, which is disappointing."

This article first appeared on NRL.COM