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Big Ins, Big Crowd, Big Occasion: Robinson Clear on Finals Requirements

With a sell-out crowd at home and up against arch-rivals for the second consecutive week, there have been few first-week finals matches with this kind of intensity - but Trent Robinson is confident his Roosters are up for the task.

Playing the same opposition in consecutive feats is a rare thing in Rugby League - but that's exactly what the Sydney Roosters and South Sydney Rabbitohs will do this Sunday afternoon, with everything on the line in an elimination final. 

Robinson spoke on the benefit of facing their opponents just nine days after claiming an emphatic 26-16 victory and highlighted his side's improved focus and clarity throughout their eight-match winning run. 

“There’s been an improvement in focus,” Robinson stated.

“I feel like we’ve been very clear about that for a few months now. There’s just the clarity and refinement of that to focus week by week and we’ve had a really good week.

“There are some things that I’ve done in the past that have worked there. Playing two weeks in a row, it doesn’t happen often but there are real benefits to doing that as well as long as you focus on it in the right way.

Robinson: "There's Been an Improvement in Focus"

“There are reasons why you are in the attitude that you’re in, and you keep that going. You keep honouring that you keep humbling in the way that you’ve approached each game but there’s also a hunger to improve.

“We feel like our best footy will be tomorrow.”

Both sides will be buoyed by the return of key men, with experienced campaigners Daniel Tupou, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves named, along with firebrand Victor Radley and young gun Joseph Suaalii.

Robinson touched on the impact of the two veterans as well as the potential changes he would make in preparation heading into the match.

Getting the experience of Tupou back, we’ll always be fortunate for that. That’s a really big in. It’s been quicker than what we’ve expected and he’s trained well this week and accelerated well.

Trent Robinson On Daniel Tupou's return to the side

“He’s been a bit battered and bruised but he’s been leading the way there for a while,” he said of Waerea-Hargreaves.

“He rested up early week. He needed that rest to get over that and he’s back to full fitness and ready to go tomorrow.

“Getting the experience of Tupou back, we’ll always be fortunate for that. That’s a really big in. It’s been quicker than what we’ve expected and he’s trained well this week and accelerated well.

“Everyone plays their patterns and their traits week by week. There are obviously some different ins for both teams that need recognition and need some focus as gameplan goes, and we’ve done that.

“It’s about putting them into training and then getting it done tomorrow. There’s an understanding that they come in but there’s a clear system that an opposition has week-in-week-out.”

With a second consecutive sell-out at the brand-new Allianz Stadium, the three-time Premiership-winning coach also spoke on the Club's excitement to see Members and supporters turn up with their feet. 

“It was really nice to christen the home last week and see the people get out there and tomorrow to a sell-out crowd,” Robinson said.

"Separate to our game, people are excited about something new and experiencing that and having a new stadium to walk into.

“It’s great that the two teams can actually play two weeks in a row so we can get the people and a lot of new people who missed out on last week to experience this week.

“Within nine days we’ve had so many events there already, it’s a great thing.

Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.