Sonny Bill Williams watched the injury-hit Roosters down a gallant Dragons side on Thursday night, before conceding how big a task he has in front of him to get a spot in the reigning premiers' squad.
The Roosters jumped to fourth on the ladder after finishing strongly to topple the Dragons 24-16 in Wollongong.
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Williams joined the Thursday Night with Matty Johns show via video link after the final whistle to chat about the game and his quest to help the Roosters win a third straight NRL premiership.
The All Blacks legend touched down in Sydney last week after signing a short-term deal with the Tri-Colours, but made the startling admission that he might not even get a game - such is the quality in depth at the Roosters' disposal.
“I think tonight just shows the depth the club has and for me I’m under no illusions,” Williams said.
“It’s not like I’m coming into a side that came 13th the year before. They’re coming off two back-to-back (premiership) wins.
“It’s a great club and I’m looking to help out wherever I can. The challenge for me as a 35-year old that was on holidays is to try and make the squad, try and make the team.
“That’s my main focus.”
Williams admits the pace of the game will take some getting used to, with the new six-again rule for ruck infringements resulting in a much quicker contest.
The 35-year-old is being closely monitored by the club's medical staff and strength and conditioning team, with the round-17 grand final rematch against Canberra looming as his likely first game back in the NRL since the 2014 preliminary final loss to South Sydney.
He says judging by the quality the Roosters have at their disposal, however, his spot in the 17-man squad is anything but a given.
“Just watching that game it was a class game,” Williams said about the win over the Dragons.
“The quality of it was unreal and it’s definitely advanced in the last five years since I played. That’s a challenge itself.
“The body is starting to feel a bit better. I was lucky to have a little gym set up here.
“I’ve been training a couple times a day. I think when I get out I have a couple of week’s preparation and then I might not even play.
“I’m coming back to give it the best crack I can.”
Fast-finishing Roosters topple Dragons
Although promising in stages, the Dragons were overcome by the undermanned Roosters, who moved up to fourth spot on the NRL ladder.
The defeat came hours after star Saints prop Paul Vaughan was stood down for the next fortnight by the NRL.
Level at 10-all at half-time, the Roosters had enough class left on the field to snatch the win with three tries to one after the long break.
With 15 minutes to play the Dragons were down by six when a lazy defensive play brought it all undone.
A spiralling bomb from Luke Keary was left to bounce and James Tedesco was on the spot to feed it to Joseph Manu to score untouched.
Keary then sealed the eight-point win after bursting through a hole for the game's final try in the 75th minute.