We don't want effort questioned again: Moa
Roosters coach Trent Robinson was forced to question his players' efforts the last time they played the Melbourne Storm, but prop Sam Moa says there will be no chance of that happening again when the sides meet on Saturday night.
The Roosters were well and truly humbled by the Storm 46-0 back in Round 14; the first time in 18 years they had been held scoreless by the Victorians.
It was as one-sided a contest as you're likely to see, with the Storm dominating in every major statistic. Melbourne made 11 line breaks to none, completed 95 per cent of their sets and ran for over 2,000 metres.
The Roosters, meanwhile, missed 32 tackles, produced nine errors and completed only 71 per cent of their sets with ball in hand.
Robinson was left to question the effort of some of his players after the match - his inquiries echoed by Roosters captain Jake Friend - as they tried to comprehend the record-breaking loss.
"We don't want to get questioned on our effort ever again," Moa told NRL.com.
"No player wants to have their effort questioned, and I think we've had improved performances since that last Storm game.
"They gave us a good old-fashioned hiding so of course it is added motivation this time around."
Seemingly stung into action, the Roosters responded to their coach's post-match critique, and have produced some of their best football of 2016 in recent weeks; albeit to no avail.
The Tricolours have been in the contest until the 80th minute in each of their past four contests, eventually falling to the Warriors, Bulldogs, Eels and Sharks by a combined 22 points over the past month.
While they've yet to taste victory since the Storm game, Moa said there was no way anyone could question their effort in any of those matches.
"I think if you look at our performances on the back of that you'll see a lot more effort in the way we've played," he said.
"It's disappointing not being able to win, but we're starting to play the football that we want to produce."
Moa rates the Storm as one of – if not the best – team in the NRL at the moment, and is looking forward to taking them on in their own backyard for the first time since last year's epic 17-16 showdown.
Star quartet Mitchell Pearce, Boyd Cordner, Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Dylan Napa were all missing from the Round 14 clash and Moa is confident their inclusion could lead to a different result this time around.
"I think they're the best team – them and the Sharks – going around at the moment," he said.
"It's going to be a hard task, but like I said, we love these challenges and we've got a good record against the Storm so we can't wait.
"We love playing against the Storm, so it'll be a good contest. They've got a few Kiwi boys in the side so we're really excited for this weekend.
"We've got pretty much our best side back, but we're not getting too far ahead of ourselves. We haven't won a game for a while, but we'll go down there and play with a lot more heart than five weeks ago."
This article first appeared on NRL.COM