Billy Slater lifts the lid on cocky Roosters act before loss to Dolphins
The NRL great called out the team for their attitude before round 1.
NRL legend Billy Slater has called out the Roosters for their attitude ahead of their shock defeat to the Dolphins in Round 1. The Roosters headed into their opening clash against the tournament newcomers with plenty of backing from the NRL world as many predicted they could lift another premiership.
However, the Roosters came crashing down to earth after a shock 28-18 loss to the Dolphins in their opponents' first-ever match. The 32,177 crowd at Suncorp Stadium was expectant before kick-off about what might happen, but few would have predicted the upset that unfolded as the Wayne Bennett-coached outfit stood tall.
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The Dolphins honoured the spirit of Arthur Beetson in their debut match, and they did him proud having stunned the competition. And Melbourne Storm legend Slater has revealed that the Roosters' attitude leading into the first game of the season could have been their downfall.
Speaking on The Billy Slater Podcast, the Maroons coach said he heard a number of players praise the team's chances this year and it may have got to a number of them. " It's dangerous practice when you hear players speaking about, 'we've got the best roster in the competition', and that's what I heard from some of the Roosters players over the summer," Slater said on his podcast. " They got a real reality check."
Slater added that the Roosters were complacent leading into the season, which was never a good sign of a top club. He compared the Roosters to Craig Bellamy's approach for the Storm and his record of never losing a Round 1 game as an example of how you have to take every match seriously.
" I think it's probably a little bit of that, a little bit of complacency. I've got no doubt the Roosters were complacent going up there to Brisbane.
"They were totally outplayed, and outplayed in the effort areas of the game.
"If you look at the Dolphins roster, they bought effort players. They've got effort players and consistent players within their team, and that's the sort of performance you're going to get more often than not.
"I think (the Roosters) were totally blindsided."
Wayne Bennett praises players after Dolphins victory
The Roosters have also been left licking their wounds after Round 1 with Victory Radley leaving the field in the first half of Sunday's clash after an accidental poke in the eye from teammate Egan Butcher. He returned but came off worse for wear after a tackle on Dolphins back-rower Kenny Bromwich and failed his HIA.
Lodge also failed an HIA in the second half and both players will undergo NRL concussion protocols. Roosters coach Trent Robinson said immediately after the game he was unsure of the return date of injured stars Joseph Manu (facial fracture) and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (back), classing them as "maybes".
"They are training OK but they are not one hundred per cent. They will be in the discussion (on Monday)," Robinson said. The Roosters host the New Zealand Warriors on Saturday.
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