Off the field, the Sydney Roosters are enjoying the slower pace of tropical Mackay, but Captain James Tedesco insists his side needs a fast start on it in their quest for victory against the Gold Coast Titans.
After touching down in Mackay on Wednesday afternoon, the Roosters have been out and about experiencing the laidback lifestyle up north, and their skipper is looking forward to re-experiencing the atmosphere at BB Print Stadium on Saturday night.
"We Need to Start Strong" - Tedesco
“We were excited to come up here early and spend a few days here,” Tedesco said.
“Our last games here we were in and out but we’ve been able to get some time to enjoy Mackay. We had brekky this morning and walked around the town a bit, we enjoyed the Mackay life so it’s been good to enjoy each other’s company up here.
“The ground is awesome, it’s in great condition and we had some great wins here last year. I want to enjoy the atmosphere, enjoy the game and hopefully get a win.
“Hopefully, most of them are cheering for us and not against us but we are against a Queensland team so we might get a bit of heckling, but it’ll be nice to have the crowds nice and close.
“It’s been great weather so far and we’ve had our first session today and we’ll get ready for Saturday.”
After two disappointing performances over the last fortnight, Tedesco believes that his side needs to start fast in order to compete against a dangerous Titans outfit - one that will be looking to break a three-match losing streak of their own.
With plenty of threats across the park, Tedesco had one message for his side; execute for 80 minutes.
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“It’s massive," he said of the match.
“We obviously haven’t been happy with our previous performances. It’s been disappointing with two losses, we’ve sort of been in the game until the last minute but we haven’t started very well.
“A key for us is to start the game in the first 20 minutes and start really well to put us in a good position.
“They’ve got a lot of key individuals in their team playing some really good individual footy. It’s about stopping those guys and making sure they don’t get on a bit of a roll and momentum because that’s when they score points off the back of that.
“The ground is awesome, it’s in great condition and we had some great wins here last year. I want to enjoy the atmosphere, enjoy the game and hopefully get a win."James Tedesco Roosters Captain
“We’ve got to stop some key guys and that will go a long way for us to win the game. It’s going to be an 80-minute game and we need to start fast but to finish strong as well.
“We’ve worked on a lot this week and talked a bit about how we want to play, we’ve just gotta go out and execute now."
While the Red, White and Blue may be playing in Queensland, there will be a familiar face when they come up against former Premiership-winning forward Isaac Liu.
Tedesco says he's looking forward to coming up against his former teammate, and also touched on the side's success in the sunshine state earlier in the season, which he is looking to replicate starting on Saturday.
“Ice is a great man," he said.
"There’s a lot of love and respect for him at the Club. He played 200 games for the Club and he’s a great player and a great bloke.
“It’ll be good to come up here and play against him but we’ll see him and catch up after the game with him as well.
“We had success there coming up to North Queensland and Brisbane having two good wins.
“I think that time together definitely helps us get that closer bond and connection going into games, so having that connection off the field definitely helps us play good footy on the field.”