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NRL360, Gorden Tallis, Sydney Roosters, Brandon Smith, Trent Robinson

NRL legend Gorden Tallis has blasted the recent recruitment of the Roosters as “poor” as the club battles a form slump.

The Roosters have lost their last two games by a combined margin of 58 points, leading Tallis to state the club hasn’t recruited “like they used to” pointing to prop Matt Lodge as an example.

“They’ve always had that hard working guy, like a Luke Ricketson, who is always prepared to do whatever they need to do and they don’t have it at the moment,” Tallis said on NRL 360.

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“Their recruitment has been poor and this is nothing against Matt Lodge but every club he’s gone too has tended to struggle so they sign him and they think they can turn him around but that’s not your job.

“Your job is to buy the best player for your business and I thought that was a poor buy.

“Their recruitment has been poor and that is on the standards of the players they used to sign in the past.”

Veteran journalist Brent Read says Tallis was “harsh” on Matt Lodge, stating “he’s not the only player” the Roosters have recruited.

“They never use to recruit people like that,” Tallis responded.

“Look what happened at the Warriors, he is sticking his fingers up at the crowd. You got to be Mother Teresa to turn him around.

“It’s not kindergarten. You buy men in your organisation like a Jared Waerea-Hargreaves who sets the standard.”

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The play of Brandon Smith, who signed with the Roosters from the start of this season, also came under question.

“The big story is Brandon Smith. They paid more than $800,000 for him and he missed nine tackles the other night against Penrith. I don’t know if he’s fit,” Phil Rothfield said on NRL 360

“He had that body as a lock forward, middle forward at the Storm and that’s where he trained.

“The modern day hooker, the Damian Cook’s, the Reed Mahoney’s, the Reece Robson’s are really, really sharp and can skip out of there.”

Braith Anasta agreed, saying Smith’s poor service out of dummy half has been detrimental to the game of “running” halves Sam Walker and Luke Keary.

“I said 12 months ago when he signed that I think Brandon Smith is a lock. His service out of dummy half is not where it needs to be for a premier nine going to a premier club where they needed good service to running halves.

“I think Gordie’s right. For the first time in a long time they haven’t got their recruitment right.”

Read and Braith Anasta believe that Trent Robinson should take his share of responsibility, with Anasta of the opinion that the Roosters coach was “under pressure”.

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“Far be it for me to question Trent Robinson, but isn’t it the coach’s responsibility. If the club goes out and recruits Brandon Smith and Matt Lodge, isn’t it the coach’s responsibility to make it work?” Read asked.

“I haven’t seen him without the answers in a while like he did in that press conference. I think he’s got some work to do and he’s under pressure for the first time in a long time.

“You said he’s got the best roster in the game Buzz.. No one is questioning how great of a coach Trent Robinson is but to say he’s not under pressure at the moment, I can’t cop that.”

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