Calm Trent Robinson plots Sydney Roosters title defence as chaos reigns around him


While chaos seemingly reigns all around him and ground inspections take place down the road to determine if the SCG is actually playable after last week’s Super Rugby debacle, Robinson talks not of a title defence but the chance to win another one.

It’s been planned to the nth degree. Less than two months after they won last year’s grand final, Robinson gathered his squad to sleep inside the SCG change rooms to familiarise themselves with their new home. He did the same thing at Allianz Stadium last year.

It’s about as much of a window into the Roosters’ pre-season as Robinson will probably give.

On the lessons heeded from 2014 after winning his first title?

“They’re lessons I’ve picked up and I went through them in October,” Robinson said. “There’s nothing I’m going to tell you that’s going to appease the question other than I know what I want to do this year and the path we’re going to take.

“History gives you a lot of lessons and that’s a good thing. I obviously won’t go into them. You do your research, bring back your memories and process it then you walk back in November and get going.”

The theory has always been the premiers go from the hunter to the hunted when every week you’re a target. It’s especially so when you lose Blake Ferguson and Dylan Napa and replace them with Angus Crichton, Brett Morris and Ryan Hall.

We’re the Roosters and you don’t have down years. When do we go into games where we’re not favourites or there’s not the spotlight on us?

Trent Robinson

How will this squad come back to the pack?

“We’re the Roosters and you don’t have down years,” Robinson said. “When do we go into games where we’re not favourites or there’s not the spotlight on us?

“There’s a lot of people that look for an underdog tag to try to get an advantage. We don’t subscribe to that theory. We’re not going to jump at shadows. We’re very clear about wanting to play our footy. It’s day one and there’s no credits in the machine from any other year.”

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Crichton will play off the bench against his old club the Rabbitohs on Friday night despite whispers about his shoulder in a game where Cooper Cronk (350 NRL games), Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (200) and Boyd Cordner (150) will celebrate milestones.

Robinson cares deeply for each significant marker in those players’ careers.

As for the Rabbitohs and one line of questioning about Greg Inglis, Robinson said: “Really, does it matter [where he plays]? Round one, you’ve got to get yourself right. If you start concerning yourself a lot about [the] opposition in round one then you’re forgetting about yourself. We know what’s in front of us.”

Which is a chance to create history, starting with those little blades of grass at their new home.

Adam Pengilly is a Sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.

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