Robinson pleased with SKD return
Roosters coach Trent Robinson says he's pleased with what winger Shaun Kenny-Dowall showed in his first game in two months after a strong return on Friday night.
The match was the 27-year-old's first outing since being charged with, then pleading not guilty to, domestic violence allegations.
He combined well with centre Blake Ferguson, produced one powerful kick return that split the Rabbitohs' defence, finishing with 158 metres from 14 carries and a huge 11 tackle busts.
The return also meant Robinson was forced to drop last week's hat-trick hero Brendan Elliott in a move he said the promising Gold Coast younger did not deserve but was still an easy decision.
"I thought it was a very good return," Robinson said.
"I thought he fit back in very well. Ran the ball well, good timing so I thought it was a strong performance from him."
Robinson said he had wanted to see two things from the Kiwi international in the match: co-ordination and timing in his running game, and to cope with the speed of the game. Kenny-Dowall passed both tests, according to Robinson.
It was also a boost for the club that Kenny-Dowall was able to make his return one week ahead of the finals, he added.
The combination between the winger and his centre Ferguson was another bonus, according to Robinson.
"They're very close and that shows on the field," he said.
"It's very important to be close with the guys around you and that makes good combinations and you could see that Blake looked really comfortable with him out there as well, there's a lot of trust there."
The pair's friendship got off on the right foot when Ferguson arrived at the club and Robinson shifted Kenny-Dowall from centre to the wing to accommodate the former Raider, with Kenny-Dowall responding by going out of his way to welcome Ferguson to the side, Robinson said.
"That's where they set off right from that time and Fergo knew that if [Kenny-Dowall] was going to welcome someone into the club and they were going to have a combination he was going to do a lot with him so that's what they've done.
"'Skids' is close with a lot of the guys but he went out of his way to make that relationship strong and that's helped out on the footy field."
And of the forgotten man Elliott, Robinson admitted it was a tough call to drop the youngster.
"It's hard because Brendan's been outstanding and deserved to be playing this week," Robinson said.
"Scoring three tries last week and then getting dropped for this week is tough. It wouldn't happen many times but it was an easy decision when Shaun said he was right to play. He's been a long term leader for us."