Pa­tience will be re­quired

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NRL -

THE Syd­ney Roost­ers have never liked tak­ing baby steps.

Ruth­less to­wards re­sults and win­ning pre­mier­ships, the Bondi-firm de­mand suc­cess last week — not to­day.

Coaches, even club leg­ends, are sacked and 11-year club­men can be moved on, if the Ws don’t come.

The premier­ship favourites lost yes­ter­day to the wooden spoon favourites, the Wests Tigers.

The Roost­ers played like they were try­ing to run be­fore they could walk. De­spite hav­ing never played a minute of NRL to­gether, the spine of Cooper Cronk, Mitch Cor­nish, Jake Friend and James Tedesco were ex­pected to click, gel and pun­ish the Tigers.

The gun half­back Cronk couldn’t have done much more to get the Roost­ers home. He kicked a 40/20, shoved his for­wards into po­si­tion and was fever­ishly busy in de­fence. The swag­ger was also there, but Smith and Slater weren’t. And it showed.

Tigers coach Ivan Cleary’s home­work on Cronk paid off, with his out­side men slam­ming the door on al­most ev­ery at­tack­ing play that re­sulted in the footy get­ting to Tedesco.

“Sooner rather than later,’’ Roost­ers coach Trent Robin­son said, when asked how long will it be­fore his at­tack­ing com­bi­na­tions click.

“They’ve had enough time to­gether, but as you saw we didn’t ex­e­cute well enough.’’

By no means would Robin­son be pan­icked. But in the end, it showed us all — even the East­ern Sub­urbs hi­er­ar­chy — that the hottest ros­ter in the NRL will need some­thing the club has never been good at tak­ing.

Baby steps.

Roost­ers' Cooper Cronk.

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