Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson has brushed off suggestions Saturday’s clash with Manly is do-or-die stakes for his side after their horror opening to the NRL season.
Should they go to down to the Sea Eagles on Saturday night, the Tricolours will slump to 0-4, which will put them in an alarming position in their pursuit of a title.
No side has ever recovered from a winless opening month and gone onto hold aloft the premiership trophy and Robinson admits his side is desperate for a bounce back in the wake of their 40-0 thrashing at the hands of premiers North Queensland last week.
Robinson is adamant the 2013 premiers are capable of recovering and going on a long winning run to get them back in the premiership race and is more concerned about playing for personal pride against the Sea Eagles.
“It’s three games into a 26 round season,” Robinson said.
“We’re a team that’s been on runs before so that time will come if we work hard enough.
“But we need some good improvement to play Manly who probably ran into some form in that second half on Monday night.”
Having won the last three minor premierships, the Roosters have been battered by the departure of key stars Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and James Maloney as well as the loss of Mitchell Pearce (club suspension, round nine), Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (knee, round 11) and Boyd Cordner (pectoral, round eight) for the first few months.
Neither Cordner nor Waerea-Hargreaves are on track for early returns meaning his team, minus some of their biggest names, must find a way to win and Robinson wants them to take their destiny into their own hands.
“There’s been lots of little things that have added up that have all been our own doing,” Robinson said.
“That’s why it’s up to us to rectify it. You can’t have excuses if you’re in control of all of those things. There’s been a fair few things and hopefully we’ve covered them this week as well. We don’t get anybody back but hopefully we’ve improved enough to play well tomorrow night.”