Sydney Roosters Head Coach Trent Robinson is looking for continual improvement from his side with just less than a month left until the NRL finals, and lauded the inclusion of debutant Naufahu Whyte into his line up ahead of their clash with the Brisbane Broncos.
The Tricolours' mentor made it clear that while the playoffs were quickly looming ahead, his side's focus would be squarely on this Friday's blockbuster for Women in League Round, despite being without forwards Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Angus Crichton.
Coach's Media - Round 22
“We can’t wait,” Robinson said.
“Jared was a couple of weeks coming there – he’s got a few different things at the moment. Mentally, he’s ready to go but he’s played a lot of minutes and a lot of games, and it’s time to take a breath for him so he can get back to his best.
“Angus is obviously disappointing there, but it doesn’t change the focus. We get a debut for this weekend which is exciting and different guys get their opportunities to play which is exciting.
“Everyone starts focussing on what is happening at the end of the year and the big clashes, whereas in coaching and being in a team you get so excited about what is possible.
“That was the disappointing thing last week, we just missed our mark. There’s a focus at the end of the year but we want to play a style of footy that we love. There was a bit of that but there’s still a while to go.”
"That’s why I’m looking forward to Friday night.”
With the NRL celebrating Women in League Round for the 15th consecutive year, the Roosters have highlighted the contributions both on and off the field from NRLW Captain Corban Baxter.
Robinson divulged into Baxter's contributions to the Club, and was quick to point out the long-standing place women have in the game of Rugby League.
“Corbs is firstly a mother and now a wife and she is a high-quality sportswoman both on and off the field,” he stated.
“She works really hard at it. It’s the ultimate mix between captaining her state and Club then also being a great mum and forge ahead in different parts of the NRL.
“We love having Corbs around – we can’t have her around at the moment obviously being up here, but she’s made an impact for us on the field for the Women’s side and off the field with the NRL team.
“This is a game of men and women and we’re heading towards that. We’re 50/50 and women can do what they want.
"Females are so important in our environment, and we say that as if it’s an added extra, but the energy of females is vital to the way we live. Separating that from the way we work is madness. They are so important in our environment at work and at home.
“Just because Rugby League is seen as a male sport, that doesn’t count. Anybody can play Rugby League, anybody can coach it, anybody can administer it.
"We’ve done amazing work on that in the last decade so let’s head towards not having a round, and just having a quality.”
Just because Rugby League is seen as a male sport, that doesn’t count. Anybody can play Rugby League, anybody can coach it, anybody can administer it.Trent Robinson Sydney Roosters Head Coach
Young gun forward Naufahu Whyte is set to become Sydney Rooster #1205 after being named on the interchange bench, and Robinson had plenty of praise for the 19-year-old, who also expressed his excitement in seeing crowds return to the NRL this weekend.
“Naufahu came over from Auckland and he's been with us for a couple of years," Robinson explained.
"He’s a very principled kid, he was high up in his school in leadership.
"He’s a backrower. He’s played centres, he’s played in the middle and he’s a physical being. He’s got good footwork and he’s got a future at the Roosters.
“He’s been tough to handle for our guys at training and it’s been good to watch, so it was time to get him out there. The family bus gets to go down to the game as well which is great. We’re looking forward to having fans back out there.
"It’s great for the fans to get back out this weekend.”
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