Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson is eagerly awaiting the outcome of this weekend’s matches, as his team fights to secure a spot in the top eight and prove their critics wrong. Following their 26-12 victory over bitter rivals South Sydney on Friday, the Roosters now rely on either the North Queensland Cowboys losing to the Gold Coast Titans or the Cronulla Sharks defeating the Canberra Raiders to secure a finals berth. While the fate of his team hangs in the balance, Robinson plans to spend the weekend watching his son’s junior football grand finals and placing his trust in former assistant coach Craig Fitzgibbon to guide the Sharks to victory.
Robinson expressed his mixed emotions, stating, “I don’t know if I’ll be sitting down to watch every bounce of the ball. We’ve done enough in the last five weeks, I told Fitzy that he’s got to get the job done for us. He’s helped a bit in the last month, so I need one more game from him.” Despite facing doubts earlier in the season, the Roosters have defied expectations with their late surge towards the top eight, winning their last five consecutive games. Their hooker, Brandon Smith, has found his rhythm, while young halfback Sam Walker has shown no signs of rust, impressing in just his second game back from a knee injury. The team’s defense has been resilient, and their attack has displayed newfound freedom and creativity.
Reflecting on his team’s turnaround, Robinson used an analogy from popular Australian sports, saying, “We play a lot of golf and cricket in this country and the more you want to hit it straight, the tighter you hold the grip. That doesn’t always work. I feel like we just had to loosen the grip a bit and swing a bit freer.” Determined not to be written off prematurely, Robinson made it clear that his team would approach a potential finals campaign seriously, saying, “That belief will be there and we’ll keep swinging with the right amount of grip on the club.”
Should the Roosters secure a finals spot, they hope to have Joey Manu back in the lineup, although winger Daniel Tupou‘s knee injury rules him out. The team’s impressive recent form has caught the attention of former NRL coach Anthony Griffin, who described them as a “danger” to other teams in the finals. Griffin praised the Roosters‘ momentum, highlighting their five straight wins and their ability to handle pressure.
As the Roosters eagerly await the outcomes of this weekend’s matches, the team’s resilience and strong defense have been credited for their late-season surge. The Roosters have consistently held their ground when defending inside their own 20-meter zone, a strength that saved them in their recent victory over South Sydney.
With the fate of their finals hopes hanging in the balance, Trent Robinson and his team are determined to secure their place in the top eight and prove their doubters wrong.