Altona Roosters are still searching for form and fitness in NRL Victoria first grade.

The Roosters had to make five enforced changes from the team that won the previous week for Saturday’s 34-16 loss to Sunbury Tigers at Langama Park.

Roosters’ coach Damien Riki just cannot find a settled line-up from week to week.

“We’re trying to get the right combination of players, but we’re getting new players week in week out,” he said. “We’re just trying to get the right combinations together to settle ourselves into the season.

“Hopefully in the next couple of weeks we’ll settle our team and we can start turning things around.”

It has not been the start that Altona wanted this season. The Roosters are second-last on the ladder with a win and a draw to show from five matches.

You could not fault the commitment of players who turned out for the Roosters against Sunbury, but there was a clear lack
of connectivity between the players.

“We had about five new players, so the communication and the combinations weren’t there,” Riki said. “We didn’t have our halves there – our six and seven – we had to put guys out of position in there.

“Our last play efforts were pretty ordinary and it just lacked direction.

“It’s still about getting to know one another.”

A major positive was the performance of new centre Josh Kaa.

Kaa kept looking for holes in the Tigers’ defence and got rewarded with two tries.

Another new recruit, Joseph Smith, was one of the Roosters most influential forwards.

Altona will have the bye this weekend and freshen up for a date with western suburbs foes Werribee Bears on Saturday week.