Boyd Cordner concedes the Sydney Roosters may be underdone going into next week’s World Club Challenge against Wigan.
Boyd Cordner admits the Sydney Roosters may be underdone heading into Saturday’s World Club Challenge against Wigan, but fear of losing to the Super League Champions on home soil will drive the NRL premiers.
The Australia and NSW back-rower was one of 10 members of the grand final-winning Roosters side who played against a mostly inexperienced Newcastle outfit in a pre-season trial on Saturday in Wyong.
The Roosters cruised to a 32-4 victory with Cordner, Anthony Minichiello, Sonny Bill Williams, Michael Jennings, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and James Maloney among those who got at least 40 minutes under their belts.
However, with Mitchell Pearce, Jake Friend and Daniel Tupou involved in the weekend’s Auckland Nines, coach Trent Robinson won’t get the chance to field his first-choice side together before the Wigan game.
Cordner conceded it’s not the ideal preparation to face a Wigan team who’ve already started their season and beat the Warriors in a trial last Wednesday.
He’s also fully aware how much the game means to the tourists, with 1100 fans making the long journey from north-west England hoping to see their team repeat their shock victory over Brisbane at ANZ Stadium 20 years ago.
“We’ve got pretty much the same team as last year so we haven’t got to build up any new combinations, but it would have been nice to get another game in before the World Club Challenge,” Cordner told AAP.
“I am not sure how much of an advantage it will be that they have a couple of games under their belts, it’s a game of footy at the end of the day.
“We have a few blokes playing in the Nines and from what I’ve seen it’s pretty quick so that will help their match fitness.”
Wigan arrive in Sydney on Monday having spent the whole of last week in New Zealand.
On Tuesday they’ll train with South Sydney after their former coach Michael Maguire allowed Shaun Wane’s team to use the facilities at Redfern Oval to ready themselves for a game has gripped the attention one of the great rugby league towns of the world.
Cordner experienced the first hand the passion of the fans when he took part in a Q&A session at the DW Stadium during the Rugby League World Cup and was booed for suggested Wigan will miss Sam Tomkins, who will play in the NRL for the Warriors this year.
“They are a great team with some world class players and will be playing for their town and their country,” he said.
“They have great support and really get behind their players. We know how much this game means to them and how much they are going to be up for it,” he said.
“But it’s the same for us, we won’t be any less motivated, it’s on our home ground.
“We’re determined to carry on from where left off in the grand final.”