Robinson: 'My fault we didn't take the two'

Roosters coach Trent Robinson has accepted responsibility for his side’s failure to take a simple shot at a penalty goal in the dying stages of their dour 9-8 loss to the Bulldogs.

With the match tied up at 8-all and points at a premium on another wet and woolly Friday night, the premiers were given a chance to push ahead when Bulldogs five-eighth Josh Reynolds infringed in the ruck 20 metres out from his own line in the 68th minute.

Despite Robinson’s message from the sideline for James Maloney to take the shot at goal, the Roosters took the tap in the belief they could crack the Bulldogs watertight defence, but failed to come up with the four-pointer they were after.

To compound the poor decision Mitchell Pearce sent a shot at field goal wide of the posts and from the ensuing set Reynolds ground salt into the wound with a 20-metre field goal that ultimately proved the match-winner.

Robinson refused to blame his chargers after match, maintaining he needed to be more forceful with his instructions at critical points in the match.

“Obviously it was crucial there in the end,” said Robinson. “I think James would’ve kicked it.

“But that’s what happens when you get guys that want to back their attack. But that’s what I’m there for, and that’s down to me. I’ve got to make sure the message is really clear for them.

“The boys were geed-up for attack and you want players that are hungry to back themselves.

“I needed to be really firm with them. I needed to get the message to take the two. It’s down to me.”

Captain Anthony Minichiello also admitted he and his side should have taken the two points on offer when they had the chance, with the result giving the Roosters the unenviable record of being the first team to lose consecutive matches while conceding less than 10 points since 1990.

“We made the wrong call there,” said Minichiello.

“I looked around and the boys were positive on getting a good set on, but looking back at it now we should’ve just taken a breath and in the context of the game, it was a wet game, a defensive game, we should’ve taken the two.

“We felt we were getting on top. We got a bit of possession back and we felt that if we could get some good sets on, consecutive sets and put some pressure on we’d come up with some points.

“But a little bit of execution let us down.”

Despite the loss, which leaves the Roosters with a 2-3 win-loss record as they attempt to become the first side since Brisbane in early '90s to register back-to-back premierships, Robinson said he was proud of his team’s efforts over the previous fortnight.

“Funnily enough I feel proud of the way the guys fought in the last couple of weeks,” said Robinson.

“They showed some real character last week, and showed a lot of character again tonight.”

The Roosters still possess one of the best defensive records in the competition, conceding an average of just 15 points per game, but their attack would be worrying the second-year mentor, with the premiers registering just eight points in their last 160 minutes of football.

But Robinson remained positive in his belief his side was headed in the right direction.

“We’re not pretty at the moment, but jeez they’re gritty,” said Robinson.

“I feel really proud about the way the guys are playing, the way that they’re building their game. Now the cherry-on- top stuff has got to come next.

“I was proud to see the guys go toe-to-toe again this week… and we’re heading in the right direction with our footy.”