Billy Slater lifts the lid on boastful comment from Roosters players that spelled trouble

In Sport


Billy Slater lifts the lid on boastful comment from Roosters players that spelled trouble for the Bondi boys before their shock loss to the Dolphins

Billy Slater has put the Sydney Roosters’ shock Round 1 loss to the Dolphins squarely down to the Tricolours underestimating their opponents.

The Dolphins marked their NRL debut with a stunning upset 28-18 comeback win at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday, with veteran supercoach Wayne Bennett yet again proving the doubters wrong.

Widely tipped as premiership favourites ahead of the season, the Roosters came back down to earth with a resounding thud and Slater suggested the Chooks were guilty of buying into the pre-season hype.

‘It’s dangerous practice when you hear players speaking about: “We’ve got the best roster in the competition” and that’s what I heard from some of the Roosters players over the summer,’ Slater said on The Billy Slater Podcast.

‘They got a real reality check.’

The Sydney Roosters suffered a shock defeat in Round 1 against the Dolphins on Sunday

The Sydney Roosters suffered a shock defeat in Round 1 against the Dolphins on Sunday

The Dolphins came back to win 28-18 at Suncorp Stadium on their NRL debut

The Dolphins came back to win 28-18 at Suncorp Stadium on their NRL debut

The Dolphins’ failure to secure a marquee signing ahead of their inaugural season in the league had cast major doubts over their prospects of being competitive in their first campaign in the league.

But Slater suggested the result against the Roosters showed the Dolphins had recruited shrewdly, with the players already buying into Bennett’s no-frills philosophy.  

‘I’ve got no doubt the Roosters were complacent going up there to Brisbane,’ the Queensland coach said. 

‘They were totally outplayed, and outplayed in the effort areas of the game.

‘If you look at the Dolphins roster, they bought effort players. 

‘They’ve got effort players and consistent players within their team, and that’s the sort of performance you’re going to get more often than not.

‘I think [the Roosters] were totally blindsided.’

Since Trent Robinson took over as head coach in 2012, the Roosters have been notoriously slow starters, losing eight of their 11 season-openers.

Roosters boss Trent Robinson conceded his side were outworked by the Dolphins

Roosters captain James Tedesco admitted his team were not at their best in Brisbane

 Roosters boss Trent Robinson (left) conceded his side were outworked by the Dolphins, while captain James Tedesco (right) admitted the Chooks must improve ahead of Round 2

Billy Slater believes the Roosters were guilty of underestimating the Dolphins

Billy Slater believes the Roosters were guilty of underestimating the Dolphins 

Slater, however, acknowledged getting off to a losing star will not necessarily jeopardise the Roosters’ chances this season.

‘They know the grand final isn’t in March, they are very much aware of that.

‘How much you read into that performance on the weekend, that situation, do they think: “Well it’s not all that important” […] I’m not quite sure.’

The Roosters host the Warriors in Round 2 on Saturday, before welcoming the Rabbitohs a week later as the two Sydney rivals meet for the first time since the Bunnies won a brutal elimination final 30-14 in September.



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