Sydney Roosters Head Coach Trent Robinson says his side are primed to take on the Gold Coast Titans with the return of Angus Crichton and Sam Walker and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves playing his 250th NRL match.
With the side enjoying the bye in Round 13, Robinson emphasised the benefits for his squad to rejuvenate and refresh themselves heading into the second half of the NRL season following a turbulent and resilient first twelve weeks.
“It’s quite important,” he said.
“Other teams are doing fifteen games, we had the first bye so we had twelve games straight and it was important to get some recovery, get some time off, get some freshness back in and then get ready to go again.
“It was a good rest last week, and we’ve had a really good week of prep. You get to take more of a bird’s eye view when you have a few days off and you’re not thinking about what happened in the last game and the game ahead.
“The continual assessments there make you realise that it’s a really important time and you really look forward to that period of the season because it brings on different players in different positions, and it shows the mettle of the Club during this time."
It’s a credit to him. To play 250 games in the style he plays in, hats off to Jazz.Trent Robinson On Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
A number of welcome additions to the side include young halfback Sam Walker, who was rested in the side's Round 12 win against the Canberra Raiders, as well as Angus Crichton, who served a two-match suspension through Round 12 and State of Origin Game I.
Robinson says the pair's return this week is greatly welcomed after spending time on the sidelines.
“I felt like he did need it," Robinson said of Walker's rest.
“Lachie (Lam) and Joey (Manu) did a really good job there to fill that role and that’s been the beauty of different guys playing different positions. It allowed him to basically get over the ankle and shoulder injuries he had been carrying and get back to the full week’s training that he did this week.
“It was disappointing that he (Crichton) had to miss last night.
“He would have liked to have played and it showed how strong they (NSW) were last night and it’s a tough side to get into.
"All he can do is get out there and play the game that he’s been playing all year for us. We’re looking forward to getting him back on the paddock for us."
With the Tricolours travelling up to the Gold Coast on Saturday afternoon, the side's first match in the second half of the season will be against an unpredictable Titans side.
Robinson expects his side to play their style of game in order to claim the all-important two competition points and gave a fitting tribute to Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, who plays his 250th NRL match.
“We’re looking forward to getting away,” he said.
“We enjoy our travelling trips after last year and getting away together. It’s important we go up there, build our game right from the start and go after the team in the way that we want to play.
“They’ve got some variation in the way they want to play and they’ve recruited towards that so we’ve got to go up and do our job well.
“He’s exactly as you would expect, he’s a man’s man. He’s a real leader of men and he’s really important in keeping the energy high. He loves bringing young guys in and developing them in the forwards.
“It’s a credit to him. To play 250 games in the style he plays in, hats off to Jazz.”
Coach's Media - Round 14
Robinson also touched on James Tedesco's workload through the Origin period and Sam Verrills' return to training as he recovers from a semi-detached retina.
“He’s taken some niggles into the game but he’s pulled up quite well today," Robinson said of Tedesco's effort in Origin I.
“We had a couple of our staff who were with them, so they’re going to fly to the Gold Coast and we'll meet them there tomorrow. We’re expecting him to play.
“At some point, we will (rest him), once it accumulates a bit more but we expect him to back up early and once he needs to get a bit of time off he will.
“He (Verrills) got cleared for contact this week. He’s got one more appointment to tick off with the specialist but he’s tracking well.
"It’s been good to get him back into some full training after the last couple of sessions."
More on Roosters.com.au