Robinson: I've never seen a game like it
A relieved Trent Robinson lived to tell the tale of the rise, fall and second wind of his Sydney Roosters side following their memorable 31-30 win over the North Queensland Cowboys on Friday night.
With the Roosters scoring a point a minute to rack up a 30-0 lead midway through the first half, the Cowboys were able to bounce back with five tries in a 21 minute period to equal the ledger.
With the home crowd right behind them, the Tricolours somehow managed to extend their season thanks to a 76th minute field goal to James Maloney.
The ability to halt the Cowboys’ momentum when the ball appeared to be in their court was a characteristic Robinson will look back on fondly when his team strap up to take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs next Friday night.
"I've never seen a game like that. I definitely haven't coached in one like that and it is easy to feel disappointed," Robinson told the media after the game.
"We're the last team to like having 30 points scored against us but to do what the boys did in the second half... there's stuff there I don't want to see again but there are character traits that I would like to see.
"Obviously we saw the best and worst of both teams tonight. I think we saw some outstanding footy from both teams and then some poor football or what we thought was poor, whether it was from our team or from the opposite team."
The most concerning aspect of the win according to Robinson however was the reigning premiers' passiveness in defence when Cowboys duo Ethan Lowe and Gavin Cooper scored two quick tries just before halftime.
Speaking of the club's term of "disconnecting" from a team effort and instead "looking after themselves", Robinson will be sure to take a second look at his side’s difficulty in stopping the Johnathan Thurston-inspired five-try comeback.
"We had to get the connection back," Robinson explained in regards to his halftime talk.
"You can talk too much about the negatives. We tried to talk about the defence we started the [first] half with, [and how] we wanted to start that in the second half.
"North Queensland... has been rolling teams all year out of their end. As soon as they got good possession and good field position, they just rolled through us. They got really good angles on their runs, big, strong guys and we just couldn’t hold them there. That was a tough period for us, obviously."
At the end of the day, Robinson was upbeat about the game of the year candidate by putting a positive spin on both combatants' performances.
"Two teams went out there to win it and that’s why we saw such a good spectacle," Robinson said.
"[The media] all have different slants on it, positive or negative, about how that game went, but there were two teams that have been playing great footy this year that went out to win it and both fought hard.
"There was 34 players out there, busting their arse to win a footy game. Traditional footy it wasn’t tonight, but it was pretty impressive from where I sat, all across the board."