Sydney Roosters have rallied around out-of-sorts playmaker James Maloney as the NRL premiers seek to break an unprecedented three-match losing streak under coach Trent Robinson.
After six rounds the Roosters have slumped to 2-4 and sit 11th on the premiership ladder.
Maloney has borne the brunt for the tricolours’ early-season woes with NSW coach Laurie Daley challenging him to lift his game.
But Roosters prop Sam Moa says Maloney isn’t solely to blame for the Roosters’ poor start to their title defence ahead of their match against Cronulla at Remondis Stadium on Saturday night.
The Kiwi international says the Roosters’ forwards need to improve their efforts too.
“We have lost our way in attack a bit, but when you are not making the yards that you normally do it is really hard for the halves to get on the end of it and put some pressure on with their kicks,” Moa said at training on Friday.
“We are right behind Jimmy, we have to take some of that blame us forwards so he is not on his own that is for sure.
“Jimmy is a great character, he is awesome to have in the team, he knows we have got his back and vice versa.
“He is a proven player, all the big games we played last year and even this year he has certainly stepped up to the mark.”
The Roosters have narrowly lost their last three games to Manly, Canterbury and Parramatta.
It is the first time they have lost three straight games since Robinson joined the eastern suburbs-based club last season.
They face an equally desperate Sharks side, who sit on the bottom of the NRL ladder and have won just one of their first six games.
“You can’t look too much into their form, it is always a tough ground to play at, they are always strong there,” Moa said.
“You will see a change in mindset this week, you will see a bit more hunger and desire that was something that we lost that over the last few weeks.”