Roosters Head Coach Trent Robinson fielded a number of questions covering varying topics this week, ranging from player welfare, the makeup of his side to face the Eels as well as NFL and Rugby League expansion.
The three-time Premiership winner confirmed halfback Luke Keary would not take the field in tomorrow night's Jack Gibson Cup match against the Parramatta Eels, allowing his playmaker to take advantage of the breaking during next week's representative round.
Robinson: "Attack The Game The Way We Want To"
“No, he won’t play,” Robinson confirmed.
“He’s moved well this week, he’s trained but he won’t play tomorrow.
“He got through it quite well but it’s just at that point where it isn’t quite enough to have him play tomorrow night.
“He passed a lot of the protocols and we got to yesterday but the decision was made for him not to play. He trained well yesterday and he’s in quite high spirits.
“It’s part and parcel with our game whether we like it or not. We want to reduce it as much as possible and how we deal with it post-concussion varies depending on individuals.
“He gets this weekend off and next weekend is rep round, so it’ll give him three weeks to get some recovery.”
He’s a tradesman. He’s spent his whole time at no.9 so the skill and craft he shows around that position is really key. We’re looking forward to getting a traditional hooker back on the field.Trent Robinson On Sam Verrills' return to the side
This week will mark the long-awaited return of hooker Sam Verrills after recovering from a fractured collarbone sustained in Round 9, as well as the injection of centre Billy Smith in the backline.
For Robinson, the young duo's inclusion is a welcomed boost for his side's continuity moving forward into the back half of the year.
“He played half an hour with North Sydney last week which was really good,” Robinson said of Verrills.
“That was a real positive for him to get back from the collarbone so he got some time out there.
“He’s a tradesman. He’s spent his whole time at no.9 so the skill and craft he shows around that position is really key. We’re looking forward to getting a traditional hooker back on the field.
“He’s played wing, on the right and on the left and now he’s in the position that he prefers which is that left centre position," he said of Smith.
“It’s a good opportunity for him to come back in. He served us well at right centre against Canberra so it’s good for him to come back in and push for that position.”
The Tricolours this week will play their first rematch of season 2022 against the Parramatta Eels, who they overcame in a high-scoring affair during Magic Round at Suncorp Stadium.
While the memories of that victory remain fresh in the mind of the players and coach, Robinson was adamant that it would take a combination of prior knowledge and current intent to claim the two competition points.
“There’s obviously recent knowledge from four weeks ago when we played them,” he said.
“Often systems don’t change, the patterning of teams don’t change within that period. Then it’s about attacking the game with a mental attitude that takes the knowledge of the last game, but really goes after this game.
“We’ve had a look at the block we’ve been in the middle of and this is the last game of that, and we’re looking forward to before some of the boys go on international duty and rep duty.
“We’ve got a game tomorrow night and we have the belief is that you’re going to win every game. Our belief is that tomorrow we’re going to attack the game how we want it and that’s all that matters.
“The knowledge of the last game is important but keeping it really clear and fresh as new.”
Mic'd Up: Nat Butcher and Nick Scott
During the week, the Roosters were visited by Los Angeles Rams Super Bowl champion Nick Scott in what was a thrill for the Club's players and staff alike.
Robinson, a Baltimore Ravens supporter, was open to the idea of the NRL taking a match to the United States, and welcomed the possibility of an NFL match being played on Australian soil.
“The Ravens can get out here and bring an NFL game I would be more than happy,” he laughed.
“We’re big NFL fans here. They’ve taken it to Germany, they’ve taken it to England multiple times.
“In Australia, we love our sport and we’re ready for it. It’s great that they’re starting to bring the feelers out here and to come and test the waters.
“To export our game, we’re a great enough game to expand. It could, but it would have to be done well.
"I don't mind (the idea of) the opening round a few weeks earlier, starting the competition is not a bad way to get that started.
"Whether it's the weekend before or the weekend after those teams returning in Round 2 with everybody else, I think it's a good concept."