With early-season form determining their place outside of the NRL Finals some time ago, Sydney Roosters Coach Trent Robinson says his side have taken on another role in the year’s back end – that of playing the spoiler.
Having claimed three-consecutive Minor Premierships since arriving at the Roosters helm in 2013, Robinson’s men will not play finals football for the first time under his guidance.
Though while wins at the back end of the year have given the Roosters’ fans reason to cheer, Robinson knows his side will face another stern test in the Sharks tonight.
“The draw decided that,” Robinson laughed, when asked of his side being the ‘giant killers’ at the year’s business end.
“We’ve been trying to play some good footy for a while … our form over the course of the last month to six weeks has been on the improve.
“We’re happy to play the top teams, it keeps the motivation high.”
The Roosters – having experienced the many joys of sitting top of the ladder at the year’s end under Robinson’s watch – know only too well of the challenge that team’s nearer the base of the table can bring, as the season comes to a close.
Downing the Roosters in five of the last six meetings – including four wins after the Origin periods in the years 2013-2016 – Robinson said his men will be out to turn the tide on the Sharks, who themselves have troubled the the high-flying Chooks in recent times.
“It’s an important game for them … we’ve had good battles (at Southern Cross Group Stadium). The roles are reversed a bit now, in terms of where we are placed on table,” Robinson said.
“We had some problems with them a few years ago when they were down where we are now.
“Its’s always a good battle, it’s always a physical game. The motivation’s not different, we’ve been trying to play some Roosters-style football in the last month. It’ll be no different (on Saturday night)”