In the world of the NRL, all teams have bad games, and this time, it was the Roosters turn to play poorly – with the club unable to score a single point, as they lost 18-0 to the Penrith Panthers at Allianz Stadium .
It was Michael Jennings who was the star player, scoring two tries for the Panthers – all due to a little talk with captain Luke Lewis at the All-Stars camp.
2011 is a year that Jennings would no doubt want to forget, but Lewis is pleased to see that Jennings is starting to regain his top form.
“Me and Jenko have had a bit of a talk and I said to him that I really need him by my side this year and help me lead the team,” Lewis said.
“I wanted him to take one of those forward steps and be one of those players people we can count on when we need some points.
“I just said to him that everyone looks up to him, and he’s done it really well.”
Lewis is not the only one to notice a difference, with Panthers coach Ivan Cleary also seeing a distinct change in Jennings, and points to his new-found confidence as a reason for it.
“Like everyone he suffers from confidence and he had some off-field issues as well,” Cleary said.
“That will help him today because he has worked really hard and improved through the pre-season.”
Roosters coach Brian Smith lamented his side’s poor performance, and says that last week is now merely a legacy.
“We sort of got into a number of little half chances but never really capitalised on any of them and got our tails well and truly kicked,” Smith said.
Smith also made note of what he perceived to be an ‘over-use of tackling methods’ by the Panthers, based on what some of his players said to him.
“I’ve had four experienced guys come up to me and say they felt that it was over the top,” Smith said.
“You get tackled around the ankles and they just won’t let go. They can shake and shake and they won’t let go.
“I am not complaining, I am just saying today the ruck was really slow and we weren’t as good as Penrith were to react to that and we need to learn fast if that is how it’s going to be for the rest of this season.”
NRL News Dally M Points
Michael Jennings – 3
Sam McKendry – 2
Sam Perrett – 1