Sam Walker's NRL career began brightly in a win on debut but Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson has warned the young halfback it will take a season of ups and downs to truly acclimatise.
Walker will again pilot the Roosters against Cronulla alongside the inexperienced Drew Hutchison at the SCG on Saturday night, the Sharks fresh off an eight-try romp over North Queensland.
With Luke Keary (knee) out for the season, the 18-year-old stepped up in a composed deconstruction of the Warriors.
But Robinson was quick to offer a reality check at any suggestion it was all clear progress from here.
"That (comfort at NRL level) takes more than two games; it'll take the whole year to ride that wave and become the player he wants to become," the coach said.
"There wasn't the nerves that you often get and it was the start of what I think he knew was coming at some point.
"So now it's important to get out there and keep playing and keep being himself."
Cronulla, who haven't won at the SCG since 1987, were humming last weekend behind halves duo Matt Moylan and Chad Townsend.
Jesse Ramien is back from suspension and Ronaldo Mulitalo (knee) and Josh Dugan (head knock) are expected to play despite failing to finish last week's game.
"They had a strong game last week and we're looking forward to the battle ... we want to continue to get some experience and play a game we're proud of and attack the Sharks this weekend," Robinson said.
The Roosters will run out with Jake Friend front of mind after the long-time hooker announced his retirement on Thursday due to repeated concussions.
"Warrior; without a doubt that's what he's been for us and way he's played all those 260-odd games, he set the tone," Robinson said.
"Talking with Jake, it was the hardest decision but the simplest decision.
"It's hard for someone like him to stay 'stop, I'm done'. But it was an easy decision on squeezing that lemon one last time for a few more drops, because the risk for that wasn't worth it."
Australian Associated Press