Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson is demanding more after the depleted premiers survived an almighty scare from an inspired Gold Coast to escape with a vital 18-12 NRL win at the SCG.
In an action-packed game laced with drama, the Roosters overcame their crippling injury toll to preserve their place in the top four thanks largely to the heroics of classy centre Joseph Manu.
Already missing eight players from their 2019 grand final-winning outfit and with superstar signing Sonny Bill Williams holed up in quarantine, the Roosters lost tryscoring ace Josh Morris to a calf strain before Saturday's kick-off.
Fortunately the back-to-back premiers had Manu, whose leaping 58th-minute try from Luke Keary's crossfield kick and miracle first-half trysaver on Phillip Sami saved the Tricolours' blushes.
"Incredible. To go from right centre to save that try right in the left corner - a magic moment," Robinson said
"Keary's great kick, he made that kick. There was no one else really going to make anything happen on that, drag it in, put it down.
"So I was really, really happy with him but I want him to understand how to dominate a game just that bit more.
"He was ready for that, but he had a forward pass for a try there for Matty (Ikuvalu) so that eight or a nine could have been a 10."
Robinson also wants the rest of the Roosters to find that clinical edge, saying he was disappointed his side couldn't turn their 12-point second-half lead into a more comfortable victory.
"You want to keep winning during these periods (of injury troubles) but I want more," he said.
"I want more them what I'm seeing. I want to see an average game turned into a good game. Go from a six (rating) to a seven.
"That's the attitude that I want.
"So I'm happy with what we're doing and the games that they're trying to play but I want them to learn a lesson about the fight in their mind to take it to another step.
"We needed to do that today and we didn't."
But some credit must go to Gold Coast for such a plucky display.
Proving they can be a finals force next year when prized recruit David Fifita arrives from Brisbane, the Titans' competitiveness belied their 14th-place standing on the ladder.
Despite twice being down to 12 men after having Brian Kelly and Keegan Hipgrave sin-binned for professional fouls, the Titans threatened a huge boilover for much of the match.
They could have - and probably should have - bagged four first-half tries but had to settle for only one after blowing two and seeing Manu pull off his incredible rescue act.
Manu's play and the Titans' lack of finishing polish ultimately cost them the two competition points.
"We've come so far forward. I was sitting in England this time last year watching (that) game here with the Roosters and they blew our side off the park," Titans coach Justin Holbrook said.
The Roosters beat the Titans 58-6 in the corresponding match last season.
"We've come a really long but we're still short of quality oppositions," Holbrook said.
Australian Associated Press