Have a look inside the Roosters’ Kiwi torture camp
IT WAS the three-day torture training camp which has been described as the Sydney Roosters’ “unity rock”.
Fresh from a poor 2016 NRL season, the Chooks went to Queenstown in New Zealand and reset their values.
There would be zero tolerance for off-field indiscretions, while co-skipper Jake Friend described the camp as the time which “brought everyone together”.
Players were pushed to their limits as part of a threeday trek designed to test their resilience. They were forced to climb hills and do sit-ups in a freezing lake.
They had to huddle together at night, given barely enough blankets to keep warm.
It took place just before Christmas in the final days before the team broke up for the holiday period, but the unity it provided set them on course for Saturday night’s preliminary final.
“It was pretty cold and miserable at times,” Friend said.
“They all finished it. The reward of that brought everyone together.
“The boys put a lot of effort and a lot of hard work into the month leading up to the camp.
“That Queenstown camp capped it all off. It was a point of difference for a team with a few new blokes to go and do something like that and all finish it. That sort of stuff brings a team together.”
When times have been tough this season, the players have often spoken about the hardships they overcame during the three days.
“The boys can go back and use some of that,” said Friend, who missed the camp because of his Kangaroos commitments.
“There was plenty of hard training as well at the camp.
“It was a different sort of camp, trekking and all that sort of stuff.
‘‘It was hard at times from what the boys have told me.
“That’s been a little part of the journey this year.”
Friend said not having to prepare for an opponent this weekend had allowed them to focus on ensuring they were able to compete for 80 minutes when they played off for a grand final spot on Saturday.
“We’ve been in and out of games and had some bad periods,” Friend said.
“Those back end of the games we go back to our footy and coming up with wins time after time is important to us.’’
BUILDING BONDS: The Sydney Rooster season training camp in Queenstown,