Robinson: Expectations high at Roosters


Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson insists expectations are high at the club this year, despite the loss of two key players in the off-season.

The Roosters head into the 2016 NRL season and this weekend's World Club Series in England without James Maloney and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, who featured heavily in the Premiership-winning team in 2013.

New South Wales State of Origin star Maloney departed for Cronulla Sharks, while New Zealand international Tuivasa-Sheck returned home to Auckland to play for the Warriors.

While the Roosters did gain Joe Burgess (Wigan Warriors), Ryan Matterson (Parramatta Eels) and Jayden Nikorima (Brisbane Broncos) in the off-season, they are expected to be without key forwards Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Boyd Cordner for the opening 10 rounds due to injuries, however Robinson is upbeat about the team's chances this year.

Asked if the Roosters could cope without Maloney and Tuivasa-Sheck, Robinson told Omnisport at the World Club Series launch in Manchester: "We're confident in the squad that we've got and we need to prove that this year.

"We've got some new combinations there - there's always high expectations at the Roosters. We expect to do well and we expect those combinations to do well and probably develop throughout the season."

The Roosters will lock horns with Super League outfit St Helens at Langtree Park on Friday, with one notable absentee.

Embattled captain Mitchell Pearce is undergoing rehabilitation after he was stood down by the Roosters following footage of him engaged in lewd behaviour involving a dog emerged last month.

It has been an unwelcome distraction for the Roosters, though Robinson attempted to downplay the effect it has had on preparations.

"There's always ups and downs in a season or in a pre-season and we've got to make sure that we handle those well," said Robinson, who is unsure when Pearce will return.

"We lost Boyd Cordner, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves isn't playing, but they're all excuses. You've got to make sure you deliver and our time has come on Friday night to start that."

Of the negative headlines blighting the NRL in recent seasons, Robinson added: "We've had a good record - we've tried to build a really good culture at the Roosters and we'll continue to do that."