Roosters want fast start to end round-one curse
James Tedesco has issued a warning to the Sydney Roosters' early-season opponents, with the NRL club putting an emphasis on a fast start and beating their round-one curse.
Favourites for their opening-round matches in every season dating back to 2018, the Roosters have walked away with just one round-one win in that time.
The four season-opening losses include a shock defeat to Wests Tigers at the start of 2018, as well a 20-6 humbling from the lowly-ranked Newcastle to start 2022.
And the Roosters have decided enough is enough.
It's part of the reason why coach Trent Robinson gave minutes to part of his first grade team in their opening trial, before running out all fit players against Manly last week.
That second trial ultimately ended in defeat, but the Roosters are clear they would rather disappointment now than on March 5 against the Dolphins.
"It's probably become a trait of ours to start the year slowly," Tedesco admitted.
"We have earmarked that we want to start the season strong. We have a bye in round four, so we want to get the year off to a good start.
"We weren't happy with that trial, but sometimes that was happening in round one. And we were scrambling for the first three rounds trying to work out what went wrong.
"We played the trial, we were disappointed with it. But it's a positive we have a couple of weeks to learn from it and make sure it doesn't happen in round one."
The Roosters know they have the chance to be genuine premiership contenders again, with recruit Brandon Smith labelling their roster the best in the NRL this week.
But Tedesco has pointed to last season as to why a fast start is crucial.
The club were beaten by fellow-finalists South Sydney in round three, and then upset by the out-of-form St George Illawarra on Anzac Day and Canterbury a week later.
It left them out of the top four for all but one week of the season, and needing to win the majority of their post-State of Origin matches to make the finals.
By the time the Roosters reached the finals they were injury-ravaged, and with no second chance available were knocked out by the Rabbitohs.
"We needed a couple of wins at the start of the year to get us in the top four," Tedesco said.
"And we were still scambling for top eight with four or six rounds to go.
"Usually I have a week off, but I had to play every game because we were still fighting for a spot. That shows the importance of getting the wins early."
THE ROOSTERS' ROUND-ONE WOES:
2013: Souths 28 bt Roosters 12
2014: Souths 28 bt Roosters 8
2015: Roosters 28 bt Cowboys 4
2016: Souths 42 bt Roosters 10
2017: Roosters 32 bt Titans 18
2018: Tigers 10 bt Roosters 8
2019: Souths 26 bt Roosters 16
2020: Panthers 20 bt Roosters 14
2021: Roosters 46 bt Sea Eagles 4
2022: Knights 20 bt Roosters 6