Robinson snares major coaching prize and minor premiership
On the night Trent Robinson became the longest-serving Roosters coach, he also manufactured a fourth NRL minor premiership in his six years at the helm of the Bondi Junction club.
Robinson's 155 games in charge surpassed Arthur Halloway, who had two stints at the club in the mid-1930s and early winning a total of four premierships.
Robinson has one and could finish 2018 with a second.
"I didn't think about it," he said after his side crushed the Eels 44-10 at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.
"It's really nice but we only came into this year to do one thing and we've put ourselves in a good position to do it."
It was a clinical performance – eight tries to two – to get the Roosters back on track after losses to the Raiders and Broncos the past fortnight.
The fact the minor premiership was also up for grabs because Storm lost to the Panthers on Friday night, appeared to be merely collateral damage according to skipper Boyd Cordner.
"We didn't have one conversation about it," Cordner said of a showdown with Storm for the JJ Giltinan Shield.
"It was just about us the last couple of weeks. We hadn't played the footy we wanted to get on so that was first and foremost for us – to fix that up leading into the finals.
"I thought we've done that really well. Once we got into the game [Eels] it was a reality so we chatted about it a little on the field."
Robinson said the club took great pride in winning the shield, which was presented on the field after the Eels game by former Roosters CEO and now NRL Head of Football Brian Canavan.
NRL boss Todd Greenberg was on the Gold Coast for Johnathan Thurston's farewell game.
"It's not an easy thing to win… 24 rounds… tough competition, one of the toughest physical contact sports in the world," Robinson said.
"So to finish on top… is a quality moment for the players and the club."
But he said although he knew the Roosters needed to win by 27 points to overhaul the Storm – they ended up with 34 – the discussion at the captain's run and pre-match dressing room chat was not about the points differential needed.
"We didn't talk about it as a team. I'm sure some of the players knew that but we weren't going to talk about it as a team – just play our football and when we did get to that point they knew what to do," Robinson said.
"There was no discussions about it, we just wanted to win the game.
"I knew the guys would have looked at it but if we talked about it it would have been putting the cart before the horse.
The Roosters will most likely face the Sharks in week one of the finals.
"They'd be happy with the way they've been playing," Robinson said of Shane Flanagan's men.
"I've been watching their games. Now I need to go back and study their games."