Robinson slams Ennis, praises Pearce
The Roosters may have won their battle with the Bulldogs 32-12, but the war of words raged on after the match with coach Trent Robinson accusing Canterbury skipper Mick Ennis of taking a dive in Friday night's physical encounter at ANZ Stadium.
With half-time approaching Ennis stayed down after being hit high by Roosters prop Sam Moa, sparking a melee that brought players from all parts of the field as Moa gave the Bulldogs rake a gobful.
Ennis did not leave the field for a concussion test after the incident, instead clashing again with Frank-Paul Nu'uausala in an ugly incident as the pair headed up the tunnel at half-time, and at the post-game press conference Robinson called the Bulldogs into question over the alleged gamesmanship.
"There were a couple of times they were down there, waiting for the penalty," said Robinson.
"It's disappointing, but we can't change that, all we can do is do what we do.
"There was no way he (Ennis) was concussed."
Robinson backed the NRL's introduction of new concussion laws this year, but called on clubs to have "integrity", and not exploit the rules by staying down for the sake of earning a penalty.
"There is always that risk but we had to bring it in, that was the important thing," Robinson said.
"I wasn't sure if I was for it or not but we have learnt a lot about safety this year and we needed it.
"We need to get those guys off that do get concussed. We just have to have some integrity in our clubs to make sure we use it properly."
With dumped NSW halfback Mitch Pearce steering them around the park in a controlled performance, the premiers eventually got the better of a determined Dogs outfit after a torrid opening 40 minutes.
Robinson said he was pleased with Pearce's comeback from a club imposed one-match ban after his ill-fated night on the King's Cross tiles, which included a game-turning 40/20 that preceded crucial second-half tries to Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Sonny-Bill Williams.
"I thought (Pearce's) kicking was exceptional. I thought he put a lot of pressure on the Bulldogs with his kicking.
"He was really lively in support and I thought he led the team around well. We needed him this week.
"Everyone speculates about how he's going to react, he just does what Pearcey does; he went out and played footy."
With the final score line blown out by a six-minute period late in the game in which the Roosters scored three tries, Robinson identified the last 10 minutes of the second half – when the Bulldogs hammered the Roosters line for six consecutive sets without scoring – as crucial to the win.
"It set the character up for the second half in D, as soon as we went into halftime with them kicking a penalty goal we knew that set character and we were going to be strong in defence," said Robinson, who also lauded his side for matching the Bulldogs' physicality.
"There was some character in that tonight. There was some good footy and then there was some fight.
"We've had a tough week and we had a good game. We've just got to remember the work that we've put in this week; we've just got to make sure we do it again and again and again."