It has been a week of highlights for Sydney Roosters Head Coach Trent Robinson ahead of his side's blockbuster match against the Penrith Panthers featuring reunited families, a returning Rooster, the Club's Membership record broken and the Gotcha4Life initiative in full swing.
The Club's Sunshine Coast hub not only welcomed returning player Dale Copley to the fold but also the families and staff members who endured a two-week quarantine in order to reunite with the squad - both of which Robinson says are great boosts to his side both on and off the field.
“It was great last night to see them get off the bus and see the kids and partners run up to the guys," Robinson beamed.
“It’s nice to eat all together and spend some time with the families. We’ve had three weeks without them and now we’ve got to create that larger group again and integrate them into our hub up here. It was awesome. It was so good to get them back.
“Cops has fit in really well this week. That has been a real positive for us this week.
“He’s experienced. We’ve got five games to go and he's a guy who knows the Club, knows some of the players and has played with them and knows the philosophy of our style of play.
“The ability to play centre and wing, both left and right is a bonus."
Coach's Media - Round 21
The ability to adapt and thrive under adversity has been a consistent motif in the Club's 2021 season, and the Head Coach fully believes that his side still has plenty of improvement in them as they come up against the second-placed Panthers this Saturday night.
Robinson also lauded the younger members of his squad, who have continually risen to the challenges and rigours of first-grade, and sats that their earlier than expected appearance in first-grade would only be a benefit for their careers.
“It’s been the most challenging when it comes to personnel and experience; not only who is out but what type of people who are out – captains and leader and halves,” he explained.
“I feel we’re really confident in the way that we want to play our footy and you can often use it as a crutch or an excuse – but we don’t want to do that, we want to play really good footy. I feel like we're adapting more and more.
“We’re going to keep pushing on our quality of play and we want to improve as well. We can get better because there are still seventeen guys in Roosters jerseys and they’re improving.
“A lot of those guys are young guys that have come in and are taking up the slack. You think of Egan Butcher, Fletcher Baker, Drew Hutchison, Sammy Walker; these are guys whose better games are ahead of them, not behind them. If we can create an environment where they can keep improving, we’ll get better.
“We understand that the test is ahead is as big as we’ve had in the last five weeks. That’s why we’re looking forward to attacking that challenge – we want to see where we’re at.
“We went up a class based on the ladder, we improved and now it’s time to do it again.”
It’s nice to eat all together and spend some time with the families. We’ve had three weeks without them and now we’ve got to create that larger group again and integrate them into our hub up here. It was awesome. It was so good to get them back.Trent Robinson Sydney Roosters Head Coach
Two more positive pieces of news this week came in the form of Unibet foregoing their place on the Club's jersey for this week in support of Gotcha4Life - with all player assigned jerseys to be auctioned to the not-for-profit organisation assisting with men's mental health.
The Club also broke its long-standing Membership record, with over 17,207 True Roosters standing up and committing in what has been a challenging eighteen months, and Robinson was in full praise of both Unibet and Roosters Members for their respective commitment to the Club.
“Unibet have a pulse and they understand the environment,” said Robinson.
“We’ve had Sonny Bill Williams come back and they’ve given up their sponsorship for his beliefs and we had Joseph Suaalii where they put Gotcha4Life on his jersey.
“It says that they understand that they provide a service, but there are some things that are very important like men’s mental health that Gotcha4Life look after so it’s a credit to them.
“It was great to get that message at the beginning of the week to see that we’re at our highest Membership numbers ever, especially when people can’t turn up to games and haven’t been able to.
“I like the momentum that people are seeing in our squad, and we want Members. We want people to sign up even though you can’t come to games.”
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