Booze-free Roosters reaping the rewards

Trent Robinson says he's immensely proud of Blake Ferguson for giving up the drink.

But the Sydney Roosters coach has revealed the born-again winger is far from alone in making the sacrifice.

After a series of alcohol-fuelled incidents threatened his career, a fully focused Ferguson is the form flanker in the NRL after pledging to stay sober in 2018 - and possibly forever.

"I think it was a sacrifice he needed to make and it's paid dividends," Robinson said ahead of the Roosters' showdown with arch rivals South Sydney at Allianz Stadium on Thursday night.

"Those sacrifices you make - not just in a week or the week of a game, but over a long period of time - creates consistency and that's what we've seen so far in those five games (this year).

"That's the by-product of training hard and working hard and making sacrifices."

Robinson takes his hat off Ferguson because swearing off alcohol is "a hard thing for any young man to do".

"That's what separates some people from others. He's got to work for it each week but those sacrifices build strength within your character," the premiership-winning coach said.

Robinson, though, says Ferguson is far from the only player at Bondi foregoing a session in favour of title glory and generally a more professional approach.

"There'd be guys there who won't drink all year," Robinson said.

"And that's because of different reasons; whether it's performance or whether it's beliefs or whatever.

"It's less and less in our game, which is a good thing to see in professional sport."

Unlike in years past, the Roosters don't have a no-alcohol policy in 2018.

It's unnecessary.

"The game's changed on that. It's not the weekly practice, nor should it be," Robinson said.

"Players are professionals. They know how hard it is.

"But they're also men and they've got to understand when and how to do it. The ban-type stuff, it doesn't work.

"Allowing the players to grow and to understand how to use it - if they actually want to at all - it's getting less and less.

"So that's the best way to go about it.

"It's when the personal decision like that (to not drink) is the stronger decision."

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