Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Freddy Lussick have welcomed the newfound responsibility and challenges that face the squad through the rigours of the NRL seasons, as the Roosters continue to aim up in the face of adversity.
Speaking to the media ahead of the Tricolours' match against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks on Saturday night at the storied Sydney Cricket Ground, Waerea-Hargreaves expressed the pride he had for his teammates after the side's win against the Warriors on Easter Sunday.
“I’m really proud. Showing the resilience amongst the squad, the belief is high and strong," he said.
"We’ve got that attitude of the next man stepping in, and you’ve just got to adapt. We have that belief amongst everyone and if anything, us older boys get excited about these younger guys debuting like Sammy Walker and Benny (Marschke).
“It’s exciting the new challenges for us as leaders of the Club. We speak about it all the time, everyone has a part to play in leadership.
“We’ll stay tight and united and keep going forward for sure."
Lussick echoed his front rower's sentiments, praising the defensive contributions from the side after a tough period in the second half that saw the Roosters repel multiple charges from their opponents.
Round 5 Media - Freddy Lussick
“The body has pulled up a bit sore, it was a good win with the new halves combination and the boys played really well," he said.
“Benny (Marschke) got his crack, I’m really happy for him, and he gave me a bit of a breather. I’m really happy for Benny.
"Drew (Hutchison) and Sam (Walker) had their first game together in the NRL so I’m looking forward to seeing how we build upon it this week.
“We dug in there and felt at home with our defensive structure. We definitely came away with some positives from that."
Despite the constant chopping and changing of the lineup, JWH says he and the fellow senior contingent are excited to see the development of the new generation of Roosters, highlighting the performance of Sam Walker.
“He’s a pretty calm dude," Waerea-Hargreaves said.
"He gets around quietly but he’s obviously been around footy a long time. He knows footy inside out, he’s been around it with his old man and uncles there.
"He’s got a very calm head on his shoulders, he didn’t overplay his hand last weekend and that’s what you want to see, especially for us old boys.
“You want to see a young halfback make his tackles and get his kicks in the corners and he did that really well. It’s a credit for himself and we’re looking forward to another challenge this week."
We have that belief amongst everyone and if anything, us older boys get excited about these younger guys debuting.Jared Waerea-Hargreaves Roosters Front Rower
As Easts host the Sharks this weekend, the Club will celebrate the first player milestone of the year, with Angus Crichton playing his 100th NRL match on Saturday night.
“He’s very physical, he’s a humble man and he goes after what he wants to do," said Wearea-Hargreaves of Crichton.
"Having him in our team is definitely a positive and he was enormous on the weekend."
“Gussy’s really good to have," Lussick added.
"He sets really high standards at training and he set a really good platform leading into the Sharks game this week."
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