We’ve no choice but to be underdogs: Green

Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson expects former assistant Paul Green to claim underdog status for Saturday’s NRL preliminary final.

But that doesn’t mean he’s going to roll over and play dead.

After enjoying the week off following their qualifying final win over Brisbane, Robinson’s side are at short odds against the sentimental favourites at Allianz Stadium.

Robinson knows Green well from the one year the Cowboys mentor spent as part of the Roosters’ coaching staff in their 2013 premiership triumph.

Asked if he thought Green would jump at the underdog tag, Robinson said: “I’d be surprised if he didn’t, Greeny. It’s been working for him well. He’ll throw that out there.”

However, Robinson refused to buy into the Cowboys’ late-season woes, which began when champion playmaker Johnathan Thurston was sidelined for the year with a bung shoulder.

He believes the 2015 premiers have found some hot form in the post-season.

“They didn’t have a great end to the season, they were playing some good footy. They didn’t get the wins, but they’ve played well the last couple of weeks,” Robinson said.

“They’ve got a lot of experience which people have overlooked.

“A lot of people have bought the underdog tag, but they’ve got more NRL games than the Roosters in their team, and premiership-winners everywhere.”

Green said he had no choice but to wear the long-shot tag, which would heap all the pressure on Robinson’s men to claim the prize of a place in next week’s decider.

“We don’t have that pressure of expectation; they are the red-hot favourites,” he said.

“We weren’t supposed to win the first week, we weren’t supposed to win last week and we’re probably not supposed to win tomorrow, so we’ll go with that.

“It doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks, what matters is what we think.”

Robinson confirmed five-eighth Luke Keary (virus) and winger Daniel Tupou (groin) would start despite battling separate issues over the past week.

Keary completed Friday’s captain’s run after missing the start of the week due to a food poisoning scare, while Tupou has also overcome a nagging groin issue.

STATS THAT MATTER

* The Roosters and Cowboys have met twice in the finals, with the Sydney team winning both by three points or less.

* The Roosters have won 11 of 14 meetings between the two teams at Allianz Stadium, and haven’t lost to the Cowboys there since 2010.

* Trent Robinson will become the Roosters’ third-highest capped coach in this match, overtaking Ricky Stuart’s 130 matches and trailing Pony Holloway (154) and Arthur Beetson (152).

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
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