Waerea-Hargreaves disappointed by Fifita exclusion
Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is disappointed he won't face the might of suspended Sharks prop Andrew Fifita on Monday night.
Fifita was suspended for a grade one contrary conduct charge for his challenge on Maroons forward Gavin Cooper in State of Origin III after he took exception to the North Queensland back-rower's treatment of Blues teammate Matt Moylan.
Cooper was put in a headlock by Fifita while the Queenslanders celebrated the debutant's maiden Origin try which was cause for an all-in kerfuffle and the latter's eventual sin-binning.
Waerea-Hargreaves doesn't fault Fifita for standing up for the much smaller Moylan but was disappointed to miss out on facing Cronulla's own firebrand himself.
"You always enjoy going up against your top fellow players. It's always a good test and a good challenge going up against players like Andrew who's in a team like the Sharks," Waerea-Hargreaves said.
"It still should be exciting either way. We're looking forward to going out there and putting on a hell of a performance. Who better to do that against then the Sharks?
"They've won 13-straight and are playing some fantastic football so we'll have to go out there and give it our all."
If one team can appreciate the Sharks' recent run of victories it's the Roosters, who only 12 months ago were in the midst a run of 12-straight wins.
While 2016 hasn't been as kind for the Roosters (three wins in 16 games to sit at 15th on the NRL Telstra Premiership ladder), Waerea-Hargreaves remained determined on ending the Sharks' run.
The Roosters' clash with the Sharks will also kick start a brutal run home.
Not only do they have to face the ladder-leading Sharks again in Round 25 but also the Broncos (twice), reigning premiers North Queensland, Melbourne and the Dragons.
"It's a hell of a journey ahead," Waerea-Hargreaves admitted.
"For us that's the road we want to take. Obviously we have no choice but it's a hell of a test.
"To play the best going into the back end of the season, it's going to be a positive thing for us. We have spoken about it, and we say bring it on."
Skipper Jake Friend said there's no more excuses for his side with Aidan Guerra and Blake Ferguson's Origin duties now complete and Boyd Cordner one game back from a nagging foot injury.
"We have a tough run so it's about testing ourselves and shifting our structure back to where we know it can be," Friend said.
"We have been good in patches and been in positions to win but we haven't done it. There's no more excuses. We need to stop looking at the bigger picture and worry about what's in front us."
This article first appeared on NRL.COM