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Roosters Respond to Resilience, Records and New Roles

Outside back triumvirate Josh Morris, Daniel Tupou and Matt Ikuvalu have praised their teammates on their ability to adjust to adversity and touched on a number of milestones as well as a possible post-career role for the veteran centre. 

With positional changes made midway through the match, coupled with a number of younger squad members making their mark on the side, the trio reinforced the club's mentality and belief in one another. 

“People have written us off as soon as Luke (Keary) went down (In Round 3) but here within these walls we’re not writing ourselves off," Morris said. 

“Whoever comes into the side is going to be well prepared and ready to go so we’re confident every week that we go in that we can get the job done."

Round 8 Media - Josh Morris

“The boys are pumped but we know we have another task ahead of this Saturday," Tupou said of the side's 34-10 win over the Dragons

“That’s where our focus is at the moment, but we’ll take Sunday’s win, we’re pretty happy about that performance."

“It was awesome, especially on Anzac Day," Ikuvalu said after coming on the field as 18th man with Joseph Manu reverting to fullback and Brett Morris to centre.

“I’ve been 18th man before but didn’t really get on. It was a weird feeling the first time but the second time I just wanted to take in Anzac Day. I wasn’t really getting ready on the sideline, but as soon as Teddy (James Tedesco) went down I got up and got ready and started getting around the game.

Thinking about it now, it’s really special, doing it here at the Roosters. I'm glad to be on that list.

Daniel Tupou On equalising Bill Mullins' try-scoring record

“That’s Joey Manu for you. Not trying to pump his tires up but he can play anywhere in the backline really; five-eighth, centre, wing, fullback. He’s just one of those players that can do the job for you.

“To see the boys get through a really tough battle in the first half, it really set us up for that second half to come out firing."

Two milestones were achieved after Sunday's emphatic Anzac Day Cup win, making the day all the more memorable - Josh and brother Brett playing their 100th NRL match together and Tupou equalling Bill Mullins' try-scoring record, sitting in third place on the Club's all-time tally.

The left side combination had nothing but praise for one another after the match. 

"It's pretty cool," Morris said. 

"It would have been nice to have a few more together but 100 is a nice achievement. We certainly like playing alongside one another.

Round 8 Media - Daniel Tupou

"It seems like there's a new record each week. When you've played in the game as long as we have those milestones creep up on you and sometimes you don't even know or think about it. It was nice to do that on the weekend.

“Toops is awesome to play alongside. What he gives the team out in the backfield - and he’s been doing that for a very, very long time - is invaluable.

"The way he can take those balls in the air and finish off plays on the weekend, he’ll go down as one of the great outside backs of the Roosters. He deserves all the credit he gets."

“I didn’t know about it until after the game," a humble Tupou added. 

“Thinking about it now, it’s really special, doing it here at the Roosters.

“But the credit goes to JMoz (Josh Morris). He’s the one who gave me the ball to go and score the try so credit goes to him. I’m glad to be up on that list."

I’ve been 18th man before but didn’t really get on. It was a weird feeling the first time but the second time I just wanted to take in Anzac Day. I wasn’t really getting ready on the sideline, but as soon as Teddy (James Tedesco) went down I got up and got ready and started getting around the game.

Matt Ikuvalu On coming on the field as 18th man

For 34-year-old Morris, there has been no indication of hanging the boots up just yet, but with twin brother Brett citing his interest in eventually becoming a Head Coach, Josh couldn't help but weigh up a mentoring role post-career. 

“That would be nice, wouldn’t it? Brett, hire me!” he joked.

“It’s something that we have both enjoyed probably over the last four or five years, being able to mentor younger players and try to teach them whatever we’ve learnt over the last fifteen or sixteen years.

“As a career post-football, I’d certainly be interested in it, I’ll make the call halfway through the year (regarding retirement).

"I'll see how the football is going, how the body is going and how I’m feeling physically. But I’ll still enjoy the cliché of playing one week at a time."

Round 8 Media - Matt Ikuvalu

Heading up the M1 to take on the Newcastle Knights at Macdonald Jones Stadium on Saturday night, Tupou and Ikuvalu stated their intentions for the side to continue their winning ways but indicated there is still improvement left for the Red, White and Blue. 

“We still have a lot to improve on," Tupou insisted.

"We’re taking it one game at a time, we’ll take our lessons from Sunday and learn and improve for Saturday."

“It’s a massive challenge, especially at the Knights’ home ground," Ikuvalu added. 

“The fans always turn up for them and they always turn up at their home ground so hopefully I’ll get a game and it should be a good one."

 

 

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