Coach Trent Robinson says the Roosters need to improve ahead of their round one clash with Souths despite their emphatic World Club Championship win.
Coach Trent Robinson says the Sydney Roosters risk going into their NRL premiership defence underdone despite their convincing World Club Challenge win over Wigan.
The Roosters cruised to victory against the Super League champions on Saturday at Allianz Stadium racing to an 18-0 lead, before ending up 36-14 winners.
Hours earlier, their round one opponents bitter arch rivals South Sydney had blitzed St George Illawarra in their Charity Shield encounter to lead 38-4 before a number of their stars were rested and the Dragons fought back for a 38-20 scoreline.
Souths were too good for a new look Roosters outfit in the first round of 2013, but with 16 of their premiership winning 17 likely to face Souths and the Rabbitohs missing young gun playmaker Luke Keary the Roosters will likely start favourites.
But Robinson insisted the tricolours have plenty of work to do before the season opener on March 6.
“We are still a bit short,” Robinson said.
“I saw Souths play and they look like they are ready to go, and I thought we were confident but still short of a run, so hopefully we will make up that time before round one.
“We were awkward in our combinations but we were physical.
“Mini (fullback Anthony Minichiello) organised our line really well so we sort of knew what was coming, but we still need to improve on that.
“Our defence was good but not good enough yet.
“We have better football ahead of us.”
Souths coach Michael Maguire was typically pragmatic ahead of the new season.
“We pride ourselves on defending,” Maguire said.
“I think we gave them too much ball. We probably had one or two sets in the last 13, so they put a lot of pressure on us.
“They are the areas that we need to look at when we go back to training and make sure we fix.”
The Dragons looked well off the pace and have a very important two weeks ahead of their round one clash with Wests Tigers on March 9.
“It was a disappointing start for us,” Dragons skipper Ben Creagh said.
“I don’t think we were committed enough to start the game and that won’t be good enough during the season.
“We’ve got a bit of work to do over the next two weeks to get that right”.
Compounding the Dragons woes is a knee injury to fullback Josh Dugan who looks set to miss at least round one.
The Tigers have won both of their trial games, starting with victory over a below strength Penrith a fortnight ago and finishing with a 28-22 win over Cronulla on Saturday.
Brisbane also have some work to do after being thrashed 48-4 by the Warriors in Dunedin on Sunday with Shaun Johnson starring for the home side against a near full-strength Broncos outfit.
Manly defeated Parramatta 28-24, with Jorge Taufua also facing time on the sidelines after picking up a shoulder injury.
Newcastle defeated Canberra 34-10 and North Queensland accounted for the Gold Coast 28-12.
Penrith defeated NSW Cup side Newtown 52-4 but are likely to be without key recruit Jamal Idris for round one due to a hamstring tear.