The Sydney Roosters have been eliminated by the Canberra Raiders with the back-to-back defending premiers in unfamiliar territory on the back of a third straight loss.
The 22-18 result sees the Roosters bow out of the finals in straight sets after a one-point loss to the Penrith Panthers in week one of the finals, before the Raiders pulled off a famous victory to take revenge for the 2019 Grand Final loss.
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It ends the Roosters’ hopes of becoming the first team since the 1981-83 Parramatta Eels to win three straight premierships.
The Sydney coach Trent Robinson was clearly distraught after the game and said his side “got what they deserved in the end”.
Used to lifting the title at the end of the season, Robinson took the blame for the result and not getting the team together at the pointy end of the season.
“I just didn’t get the players aligned enough to play their best footy and it’s really disappointing. You dream and you dream big and then it’s not there,” he said.
“There’s no excuses other than we couldn’t handle it enough to get it done.
“I should have been better, so I’ll go away back and reflect on how to do that better and get my lessons from it.”
Trent Robinson was in unfamiliar terrain after a week two finals exit.Source:FOX SPORTS
Robinson said the Roosters couldn’t get it together in the finals to be as “dominant as we have been in the last couple of years”.
He painted a bleak picture of the change rooms with the likes of Sonny Bill Williams, Ryan Hall and 300-gamer Mitchell Aubusson to leave the club.
Aubusson retires as the Roosters’ most capped player and was given an honour guard by both teams at full-time.
“You walk in there and you just don’t talk because there’s nothing to say for a long period of time,” he said. “Then you give a reality check on what just happened and this is the last time we’ll be together and have an honest appraisal about what happened this season, that we weren’t good enough and what our standards are and what we wanted to get to.
“That’s not what we want there, getting to the top four and then being out after two weeks, that’s not what you want, that’s not what you’re striving for. And then you celebrate because I’m really proud of the group of guys. It was a really tough year that everybody has had to go through, and the guys were impeccable as human beings, all the protocols and all the interactions, they’ve been incredible.”
Rooster Mitchell Aubusson was given an honour guard for his final game.Source:News Corp Australia
Robinson added that the club was in a good place but stressed “it’s not acceptable to go out in week two”.
After the press conference, Fox League’s Jessica Yates called it a “harsh reality from the coach”.
Former Roosters star Braith Anasta said he felt as though it was a confirmation of the harsh criticisms over the past few weeks.
“He said they didn’t align, they weren’t as dominant a side as they have been the last couple of years, they made a lot of uncharacteristic mistakes and you could see that,” he said. “But he was so positive.
“But realistically they were fatiguing and they weren’t the side that they were the last couple of years over the last few weeks.”
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