Roosters planning for 'bizarre' rematch
Victorious Roosters coach Trent Robinson says it would be "bizarre" if his side took on the Rabbitohs twice in two weeks, but revealed his team had already been preparing for that eventuality for a week.
Speaking after his side's 22-18 win on Thursday night – a victory that will earn them a second consecutive minor premiership if the Cowboys beat Manly on Saturday – Robinson said the planning before the game had taken into account a likely rematch in week one of the finals.
If Manly beat North Queensland the Roosters will meet the Rabbitohs next weekend in a two-versus-three qualifying final, again at Allianz Stadium.
"It's bizarre that you play two weeks in a row, if we're going to have to play Souths again next week," Robinson said.
"Without going into it, as coaches, we planned that we would play them two weeks in a row so that went into our prep a little bit this week, without straying away from what we usually do.
"We had to think about that, that had to be a part of our planning. The script will be different next week – you're playing the same team but it's different. You can't rely on this week at all. We need to recreate some of the energy we had tonight then improve on some of the stuff or do some of the stuff for longer that we did."
Despite his side already looking ahead to a rematch that would depend on other results, he said it doesn't matter at all what the outcome of the Cowboys v Manly game is.
"To be honest it doesn't make a difference. There's no team that you are wishing to play next week – we just have to get ready for whoever we're going to play on probably Friday night.
"We're not looking for any favours, we'll play whoever we play. I didn't get excited last year, I'm not going to get excited this year about that. We work so hard to get into an eight-team [finals] comp, it's about to start again."
He said he was mostly happy with how the side was progressing in its late-season charge.
"I feel like we've played good quality footy and got our 'D' [defence] going in that last month. That's been a progression there. I didn't quite see the step up last week or this week that we'll need next week.
"We played strong against really good competition – the best competition in Melbourne and Souths but not quite good enough. We need to kick again"