The matchup with Melbourne, the Marschke brothers, Sam Walker, and Craig Fitzgibbon's new mentoring role were the hot topics for Trent Robinson as the Roosters' Head Coach fronted the media ahead of his side's battle with the Storm.
As the Rugby League world predicts another thriller between the Tricolours and their southern rivals on Friday night, Robinson challenged his side to string together a consistent 80-minute performance after scraping through their comeback against the Sharks in Round 5.
"I feel like we’ve been good for six and a half of those halves," he said.
"We sort of missed the first half of last week and the Souths game. It’s time for us to go down there and put two halves together and challenge what we want to get out of the game. Inside these walls, inside any Club you want to be consistent and keep turning up.
"The matchups are exciting across the board. It’ll be one to watch."
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Despite being without some of the side's leaders, Robinson has put his faith in a number of youngsters - most notably Sam Walker and Ben Marschke (who's twin brother Jesse has been named in the extended squad) - over the first month and a half of the season and highlighted the pair's ability to step up in unconventional circumstances.
"He’s been the same as he’s always been," Robinson said of Walker after his starring performance against the Sharks.
"People have talked about him a bit and he loves his footy, he cares about that. Other than that, he’s quite simple in the way he thinks about the game.
"He doesn’t get too far ahead of himself, he was really happy with the finish and disappointed by the start. Very early on he’s gotten into the rhythm of analysing himself and trying to get improvement.
“I’m not surprised because he has the ability to do that, he has the eyes to do that – but you have to do that and to do that in game two and on that stage is really pleasing. The filter that usually stops you is the fear of the stage, or the people watching or the pressure of the opposition, but those things don’t apply with Sam as it does with other people.
“Ben’s been around footy for a long time. He loves his footy and he’s come on and done a really good job for us. I’m not asking anything more of him than to do that now.
It’s time for us to go down there and put two halves together and challenge what we want to get out of the game. Inside these walls, inside any Club you want to be consistent and keep turning up.Trent Robinson Ahead of the Roosters match against the Storm
"He’s not new to us – we know him, we know his style of play so it was good for him to mature and come back and get ready to play – but he’s just getting started.
“It’s great for him to have risen to the challenge over the last couple of weeks, we’ve liked what we’ve seen and now he gets his opportunity again this week. They're a really tight crew, Ben, Jesse and Rads (Victor Radley) so it was a bit of a homecoming.
“You don’t know how they’re going to go on the field and play – but when he came in and trained, he was really comfortable with the guys - he’s just got to remain grounded and continue to deliver."
No doubt the biggest news of the week came in the form of assistant coach Craig Fitzgibbon accepting a deal to be head coach of the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, and although Robinson is missing his 'right-hand man', the Roosters mentor had nothing but praise for the Club Legend and Life Member.
“We’re really happy for Fitz,” Robinson expressed.
“He’s done 20 odd years of service and he’s a Life Member of this Club and we can’t ask more of him. He’s ready to go out and be a head coach and go and lead a club.
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“He’s been ready for a couple of years but he’s also been loyal for that reason. His character is unblemished in our game; the way that he’s played, the way that he’s coached and the man that he is.
“If you spent time with Fitz you’d know that he’s got the characteristics and traits that you want to mimic as a young player. You admire him by the way he stands, and he’s got a balance there, he’s got an understanding of what a player goes through but can understand all levels of players.
“He’s got good humour too. He’s light in the way he walks around the office, he can talk to many different people in many different ways. His character is his strength, he’s always had that but then he’s layered on all the footy knowledge and tactical needs.
"They’ve got a real leader there and he’s ready to go."
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