NRL Round 2: Joseph Suaalii not the ‘young kid’ anymore as Trent Robinson calls for improvement

Trent Robinson has praised Joseph Suaalii’s display during the Sydney Roosters’ tough 20-12 win over a resilient New Zealand Warriors, while calling for improvement from the Samoan international.

“He’s not here to be the young kid developing anymore- he’s here to nail his role,” Robinson said.

Trent Robinson calls for more improvement from Joseph Suaalii 

Suaalii struggled defensively last weekend during his side’s shock opening round loss to the Dolphins but bounced back in the Roosters’ first win of the season.

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He played a starring role with his strong carries out of yardage repeatedly putting his team on the front foot while he also made better reads in defence. 

“He showed more nous this week, but I also think he can do better,” Robinson said.

“I thought he got himself into positions to do that better this week and now it’s time to execute and nail the big moments.”

Suaalii ensured all eyes were on him at Allianz Stadium on Saturday afternoon with a typically all-action display. 

He finished with close to 200 running metres, six tackle busts, two linebreaks and a try assist that he almost botched when he decided not to pass to a free James Tedesco in favour of going himself following a break down field. 

He was brought down close to the line but managed to spare his own blushes with an offload to Sam Walker who crossed for what turned out to be the match-winner.

However, in a mixed day for the youngster, he was also put on report for a late tackle on Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad that will be sure to come under scrutiny from the match review committee.

“It’s not on,” Greg Alexander said on Fox League after seeing replays of the late hit.

“You can’t hit a man once he’s let go of the ball and once he’s relaxed and Joseph Suaalii hit him under the ribs, under the back.

“He could be in some trouble here.”

The Roosters hold on for  their first win of the season against a resilient Warriors outfit 

The Warriors endured a nightmare start to the game, turning over possession on halfway while having Jackson Ford go off for a HIA that he failed to return from after colliding with Lindsay Collins.

The Roosters immediately made them pay after sustained pressure on the try line saw Tedesco shift to the right and send Jaxson Paulo over in the corner.

Suaalii was then placed on report for a late hit that invited pressure onto the Roosters’ try line which the visitors were able to take full advantage of.

Tohu Harris and Te Maire Martin linking up down the blindside for a set-play that saw Shaun Johnson take an inside pass before offloading for Wayde Egan to score his second try of the season.

In a tight tussle both sides were guilty of blowing opportunities to score with Tedesco dropping a pass when clean through, before it looked like yet another one would go begging with Suaalii. 

“We were okay today in that circumstance [attack],” Robinson said.

“But I’ll be pushing that left edge to do more.

“Egan [Butcher] is learning his role, but between Luke, Sua and Toops [Daniel Tupou]- they had good games but I’m expecting them to improve week on week.

“We need to improve. We definitely need to improve. But it was a step in the right direction.”

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