History won’t win us the game: Aubusson
Sun 05 Jun, 2016, 7:00am
By Martin Gabor, National Correspondent , NRL.com
They might be sitting in 15th spot on the NRL Telstra Premiership heading into Round 13 but the Roosters can get their sputtering season going when they take on their ‘bunnies’ the Wests Tigers at home on Sunday afternoon.
The Tricolours have won 11 of the past 12 meetings between the two sides including the last seven straight. Their lowest score in that streak is 30; the cumulative score between the teams in that period reads 289-84 in their favour.
Yet according to Roosters veteran Mitchell Aubusson, history will count for little when the teams go head-to-head on Sunday afternoon.
The Bondi-based club will head into the game after back-to-back losses while the Tigers are riding high after wins against Newcastle and the Broncos, and while the Roosters might’ve had the recent wood over this week’s opponents, Aubusson knows a lot has changed since then.
“I didn’t even know that stat until you said it. It’s a good number but we can’t rely on that going into this weekend,” Aubusson told NRL.com.
“They’re coming off a really good win against Brisbane and are full of confidence. They’re going to be a vastly different side to the one we’ve faced in the past.”
For Aubusson, stopping the in-form Elijah Taylor is going to be one of the keys to victory on Sunday afternoon.
“I saw bits and pieces of the Broncos game while I was away. He played really well and I’m sure he must have gone close to winning man of the match that night,” Aubusson said.
“He’s brought a big spark into their team. He’s a guy who’s hungry to play first grade so he’ll be one of a number of their guys that we’re going to have to look out for.”
Despite their own struggles in 2016, the Tigers could mathematically jump into the top eight with a win if other results go their way.
Elijah Taylor told NRL.com the onus was on the Tigers’ forwards to stand up against a Roosters team that boasts a stack of international talent up front.
“Their forward pack is going to provide a huge test for us this weekend,” Taylor said.
"Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Dylan Napa and the rest of their big pack will be tough to stop.
“As a forward pack here at the Tigers, we’ve got to do our best to win the ruck battle. If we win that battle then we’re a chance. If we don’t, it’s going to be a very long day.”
Teammate Chris Lawrence said while the Roosters haven’t hit the heights they had reached in the past few seasons, he was well aware of the threats they posed across the park.
Following his side’s gutsy one-point win in Brisbane last week, Lawrence said it was imperative for the Tigers to maintain the standards they had set themselves while north of the border.
“They’ve been struggling this year but they’ve still got a great side and they’ve shown in patches what they can do,” Lawrence told NRL.com.
"They’re going to want to hit back in a big way after a couple of losses so we’re going to have to be ready for that. They’re a team we haven’t really been able to beat in recent years so it’ll definitely be a big challenge for us.
“We spoke about backing it up last week with back-to-back performances. It’s important for us – regardless of the result – to put consistent performances together and that starts this weekend.”
Wet weather, big aggro roosters pack, running straight and hard up the centre of the field, and targeting wests-tigers smaller players.
will be liking watching a wrecking ball, smash into the side of a building.
Here’s hoping wests-tigers will be able to limit their progress.
Now or never.