Roosters coach Trent Robinson was happy with his side's preparation and effort but lamented a lack of execution at the end of both attacking and defensive sets as they succumbed 26-16 to the Rabbitohs at the SCG on Friday night.
The other big factor was the precision wet-weather ball control of Souths kicker Adam Reynolds, who had the ball on a string in pinning the Roosters in their own end and kicking for two tries.
"One side did it better than the other with the ball control," Robinson said.
"We started the second half very much like we started the first... we cost ourselves with possession.
"We were defending fairly well but on last plays Adam Reynolds out-kicked us. He put us under some pressure on those last plays. They had four of their tries on the end of sets and that was disappointing from us.
Match Highlights: Roosters v Rabbitohs
"As soon as we earned the right we executed... then we came out and didn't earn the right in the second half.
"There was no sustained pressure on their defence and we had minimal opportunities because of the way that we had some errors then the way we defended their last plays.
"Their energy on the end of sets, that's where they got us, definitely. The amount of plays we had to defend, we kept turning them away.
"It was definitely the end of sets where we need a big improvement. We defended well but couldn't turn them around in that second half."
Robinson wasn't about to be drawn into the running battle between fiery Roosters centre Latrell Mitchell and a few of his rivals, including Dane Gagai, Cody Walker and Alex Johnston.
"There were some physical plays there. For all of us, we all would have liked to play a bit better," Robinson said.
"To a man we would have liked to compete a bit more with carrying the ball. Our support was low.
"We're very happy with the way we prepared… we got outworked tonight."
Friend scoots over from close range