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Wednesday, 11 September, 2002, 12:39 GMT 13:39 UK
Morley: Beware the Roosters

If someone had told me two months ago we would be in fourth spot at the end of the regular season, I would have laughed in disbelief.

But that is exactly where we are thanks to a fantastic series of results in the last few weeks.

As you can imagine, the self-belief in the camp is the highest it has ever been this season as the play-offs beckon.

Cronulla Sharks coach Chris Anderson
Anderson will serve up a few surprises on Friday
The win that took us into fourth place - the 30-18 defeat of Cronulla last weekend - was an important victory for a number of reasons.

It helped us jump above the Sharks into fourth place and gave us a home draw in the first round of play-off matches.

It also gave us a psychological advantage over the team we are due to face at the Aussie Stadium on Friday.

Cronulla will be determined to make amends. That goes without saying.

And in Chris Anderson, they possess a coach who has plenty of tricks up his sleeve.

They are bound to try something different and we will just have to raise the bar another notch to make sure we come out on top again.


If your defence is firing on all cylinders, then you have a great chance of winning every game you play
Adrian Morley

It is not too hard to pin-point the reason for our fine end to the regular season.

We no longer have the injury problems that dogged us at the start of the campaign.

At one stage, we were without 14 first-graders. Any team would struggle to cope with that kind of disruption.

Once the injuries dried up, the team took on a more settled look, allowing players to get used to playing a certain way.

The thing that pleases me most is that the Roosters' defence is officially the best in the league.

We have conceded fewer points than any other team.

And if your defence is firing on all cylinders, then you have a great chance of winning every game you play.

Adrian Morley in action for the Roosters
Morley is pleased with his side's defensive effort
In reality, every team in the play-offs has a good chance of winning the Grand Final.

The bookies will plump for the likes of Brisbane and Newcastle - and with good reason - while the Roosters have been tipped in many of the papers.

But you cannot write anyone off.

St George have got some quality players and beat the Knights last weekend while Parramatta reached the Grand Final last year.

For me, I hope it's the year of the Rooster.

We got knocked out of the play-offs after just one game last year and want to give our fans something to celebrate this time around.


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