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'We need to build it again': Robinson ready to make more history

Does Roosters coach Trent Robinson have the right ingredients to add a third tier to his premiership cake?

Many in the NRL will be wondering if the club that became the first in a quarter-century to win twice in a row, can stretch that to a three-peat.

Robinson's answer would be that every season has its own unique time and place. Its own recipe.

"The previous year is done – there's nothing more you can do with that," he told NRL.com.

"And this is not about grand finals. This is about anything in life – the past is the past. You learn your lessons and then you choose your next path.

"Everyone has their own life philosophy, but we're not riding the crest of a wave that will continue. We need to build it again. And we don't want to repeat things.

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"In anyone's life, 2020 will look different to 2019," Robinson said.

"So when people ask you the question 'Do you want to do it again?' it seems we should answer 'Well do you want to repeat 2019 or do you want to live a great 2020?'

"What that also says is you're assuming we can't do better, and we can do better. The game is evolving; our club is evolving; individual players are evolving so therefore our team needs to evolve. We are searching to be better again each year that we play the game.

Trent Robinson after the 2019 grand final win.
Trent Robinson after the 2019 grand final win. ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

"That's why it's an easy answer when someone asks you. Whatever we did last year is not going to help us to be great today, or tomorrow, or whenever."

Robinson denies issuing an edict to his players after they won the 2018 premiership, that they were not to talk about going back-to-back.

"People made a big thing last year about me telling players that ... and it's not true. I don't tell the guys how to answer questions.

"All I do is talk present and future. I'll take lessons from the past – we're not blocking it out – so I won't be telling anyone not to talk about it. And I don't have to tell my players anything – they know it is a continuous search for improvement. That's all it is; that's all we're doing."

Some might think the searching will be harder this time around since nine-time both grand finalist Cooper Cronk, and the NRL's leading points scorer and Dally M centre of the year Latrell Mitchell will be missing.

Cronk, however, is far from absent. As NRL.com arrived at the Roosters offices, a sweaty Cronk was leaving after spending the morning training with his former teammates, in his new role as halves and attack consultant.

You learn your lessons and then you choose your next path

Trent Robinson on 2020 preparations

But Robinson sees all the changes differently.

"I think 'How great can 2020 be?' and that gets me excited. I couldn't wait until January 6 to get back in here. We are all focused on living this year like no other."

And that's how Robinson stays motivated each season, as he enters his eighth year of NRL coaching.

The previous seven have brought three premierships and three preliminary finals.

"We live our lives for this club. You don't walk into work and then clock off and go home. Sporting clubs don't work that way.

Trent Robinson after the 2019 grand final.
Trent Robinson after the 2019 grand final. ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

"So what it [success] does is validate something that you've put your life, care, effort, love, into. That goes for all the players, staff and supporters. It says you're doing the right thing – you're heading in the right direction.

"And it gives you confidence around your methods."

It also means the Roosters can never use the "underdog" tag so many other sporting love to claim.

"That's never been our way. We've never talked to that or fought for it because when you're at the Roosters you assume a responsibility to take on that pressure. If you're trying to give that away, it means you're trying to avoid something," Robinson said.

"If you're going to walk into the Roosters building or wear that jersey, get the best out of yourself."