Roosters coach Trent Robinson was content with his side’s display in Melbourne on Sunday but said they wouldn’t be premiership contenders again until they completed more of their sets, finishing just 24 of 35 attacks.
‘‘We love to see the footy we saw today with lots of support and connections,’’ Robinson said. ‘‘But you have to execute in the 80s [in set completions] for that, we were 70 [per cent] today which is too much ball to the opposition. There is always something to work on but we are getting better.’’
Robinson said his side respected Melbourne’s defence. ‘‘It’s hard to come to Melbourne and win a game 32-12 – you don’t get given games down here,’’ he said. ‘‘They have set the benchmark for defence for a decade.
‘‘We have got a physical pack, we have some big boys who knew they would have to work hard if they were going to get some ground or space in those contacts.
‘‘We knew we had to have high collisions and then work hard when in contact, and I thought Jake Friend did an outstanding job and our forwards followed on from that – it was a real credit to the middle area of the field for us.’’
Robinson praised the change in NRL rules that made the corner post not part of the touchline, thus allowing players to make contact with it while scoring tries. The ruling allowed Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, who had a game-high 199 metres, to drive and score a try while brushing the corner post.
Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was reported in a first-half scuffle after a tackle on Storm’s Bryan Norrie that started a melee and left Norrie and Roosters lock Frank-Paul Nu’uausala with 10-minute sin-bin penalties.
Robinson said he didn’t think his prop would be suspended. ‘‘Not for that – it was pretty harmless,’’ he said. ‘‘It was a lazy arm which slipped up, it shouldn’t have been done but I’m not worried about it.’’