Robinson: We just couldn't get it right
Roosters coach Trent Robinson says despite his side's disappointing preliminary final loss to South Sydney, he has had an "awesome" year coaching the Roosters – but unfortunately they couldn't get it right when it counted.
Robinson refused to blame the 2013 premiership and increased expectations, or the fact that his opponents had enjoyed a week off, instead saying it was within his own side that they hadn't been able to take the opportunities they created for themselves, adding Souths had shown exactly how to go about a finals campaign so far.
"It's as much as I've learned in a season. There's so many things that went right, and things we had to fix up; so many different emotions, how to get different players in and up, controlling all of that, the off season – it was such an amazing year footy-wise," he said.
"But we just couldn't get us over the line in the end and that's really disappointing as a coach. I got questions from a lot of you guys [in the media] about 'it's a tough year' and all that – it's an awesome year, that's exactly what you want as a coach, there were so many things that went into this year and we just couldn't top it off. We just couldn't get it right.
"We had the players, we had everything there, they were ready to go. We just couldn't get it right. That's down to us.
"I really don't want to put it down to last year as the reason why we didn't win this year. I feel like we had an opportunity. We set it up really well. It was up to us and we just couldn't get it right."
He paid credit for Penrith in knocking off the defending premiers in the first week of the finals, and for Souths for showing the other teams how to time their run in the finals.
Of the game itself, which the Roosters led 12-0 early before going into half time at 12-all in a run where they conceded 32 unanswered points and five unanswered tries, Robinson said he was pleased with the start before some errors and penalties crept into his side's game.
"I thought we executed pretty well from the start. Good possession, good field position, then just a couple of errors, couple of penalties, the field position changed, didn't get our last plays right – [we] ran on last plays twice – they got back into the match.
"We just couldn't win any ground. In the end their energy got us. I thought they tackled really well – especially on the kicks, we couldn't get out of our own end as easily as what we'd like usually. Tough night and they deserved to win."
He said that energy may have come due to Souths having the week off.
"[Energy] comes for different reasons, whatever it was they found it. Whether it was the week off, whether it was desire or whatever it was – they found it and they executed it well."