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Sydney Roosters are wary of a Wigan attacking structure that is largely unfamiliar to them.
The Roosters benefited from a scrummage session against Super League giants Warrington recently, during which the Wolves replicated the Wigan attacking structure. The Roosters play Wigan in the World Club Challenge match on Saturday night.
Roosters utility Daniel Mortimer said the team struggled at times to adjust in defence when challenged by Warrington.
”They play a different style, the English players,” Mortimer said. ”It was a bit hard to defend [against] Warrington at first, so we had to get our defensive structures right.
”Wigan are a pretty clinical side. They run a lot of crash plays and their forwards are really skilful. We are going to have to work hard in ‘D’.
”We always pride ourselves on our defence so it’ll be a good start to the year to start off with a low-scoring game. We are taking this seriously and really want to win.”
The Roosters were largely unfamiliar with the Wigan squad before they began preparing for the match on Saturday. New Warriors fullback Matt Bowen, however, was easily identifiable given his time in the NRL, while Mortimer had trained with Warriors five-eighth Blake Green at Parramatta.
”I don’t know too much about them,” Mortimer said. ”We’ve got a bit of an insight from Craig Fitzgibbon and Steve McNamara. We’ve watched a bit of video and have put a few notes on a few guys that are dangerous.”
After a strong showing at halfback in the Roosters’ 32-4 trial win against Newcastle last Saturday, Mortimer will return to the bench utility role on Saturday night, where he will relieve Jake Friend of his dummy-half duties.
”In pre-season I try and get a bit more time in the halves because we are training a bit more,” Mortimer said. ”In season, I’ll refine my hooker skills a bit more but I definitely don’t want to lose the skills of a halfback.
”It’s important I get time under my belt in the halves with hopefully the boys away on Origin duty.”
Twitter – @MCarayannis
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