Roosters embrace NRL favourites tag

Sydney Roosters won’t be weighed down by their title as the premiership favourites as they chase their second NRL crown in three seasons, says coach Trent Robinson.

Instead the foundation club has embraced the weight of expectation ahead of Friday’s qualifying final against Melbourne at Allianz Stadium.

Robinson accepts that some sides struggle with the hopes that came with being nominated as favourites. But the 2013 premiership-winning coach believes his side has shown they can handle the pressure.

“There is the natural pressure of wanting to win football games, but we have been favourites all year, every game we have gone into we have had to win and dealing with that sometimes is difficult for teams but it has been a habit especially over the years for us so that doesn’t make a difference,” Robinson said.

“The pressure to perform well and do our best that is always there, it hasn’t affected us over the past few years. It can affect teams, there is no doubt that it does affect teams and people try to get back to being the underdogs as quickly as possible.

“We have just tried to embrace it, we understand where we are at and we want to play our best footy. We are good at blocking that stuff out because it has been the same single story every week.”

The Roosters stumbled at this hurdle last year in losing to Penrith but will go into Friday’s match against the Storm on the back of 12 straight wins.

“We feel like we have won games but that doesn’t mean we have been up,” Robinson said.

“We have played some good games within that and we have played some games within that we haven’t been as proud of within those wins.

“We are still trying to play our best footy.”

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