Justin Horo of the Sea Eagles is dumped by the Roosters defence. Photo: Getty Images
ROOSTERS coach Trent Robinson admits there will be growing hype around his side after their impressive 20-4 win over Manly in a trial match at Gosford on Saturday night. But he says the team is still busily trying to establish what they're all about.
"The hype is ... well, that's all it is," Robinson said. "We've just got to keep working hard. We haven't done anything yet. We've assembled a nice squad. We're still working hard on finding out what kind of a team we are.
"We've worked hard as a team to understand who we are. That's been important, getting a really good vibe about the Roosters and being proud of that. Also, some simple principles of footy we've been working on in attack and defence and we saw some of them tonight. It was a nice start."
The Roosters scored four tries to one in a solid hit out and, although both sides were without some of their big names, the Roosters deserved the comfortable win.
"Very early days," Robinson said. "It was two teams that were obviously not at full strength. But for us tonight it was a lot of structure stuff, the work ethic was good from the guys and we stuck to some of our principles. We've got a long way to go to win an NRL game. But there's a good foundation."
Manly coach Geoff Toovey said backrower Anthony Watmough had not suffered any serious damage after injuring a rib in the first half.
"He's very tender in the ribs," Toovey said. "But we've got three weeks off so I'm sure he'll be fine. There's no major damage."
Toovey described his side's showing as "a bit sloppy".
"I thought a few of our less experienced blokes, our young blokes, got found needing a couple of times, particular those first two tries," he said.
"It was a learning experience for those guys. Other than that, I thought the defence from both sides was really good.
"The only thing I'm disappointed with was the amount of penalties in the game. It's funny, it was 7-2 in the first half to them. All of a sudden it was 8-2 to us in the second half. Anyway, I can't figure it out."
Brett Stewart was left out after suffering "a minor strain" at training. And Matt Ballin was out after jarring an ankle midweek.
"That's our last hit out," Toovey said. "We've got three weeks of hard training ahead of us."