You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

Trent Robinson has "not once" doubted the Roosters' conviction over the past nine months as they close in on the first NRL premiership defence in 26 years.

Ricky Stuart's Raiders and 80 more minutes are all that stands between the Tricolours and rare back-to-back titles, with Robinson's side still warm favourites with the bookmakers.

Not since the Broncos claimed the 1992 and 1993 titles (their 1997-98 double coming in separate Super League and NRL competitions) has a side climbed rugby league's Everest in successive campaigns.

A mid-season slump around the representative period, with a slew of big-name injuries to boot, has proven the only blip en route to Sunday's decider with Robinson never doubting his team's hunger since the start of 2019.

"Not once. And I'm not trying to make that up, but not once," Robinson responded when asked if he had seen cause for concern in the Roosters' season.

"Right from January when we all got back together, we weren't looking for the same feeling. I've said that before.

"We've just been setting about our task and the guys' attitude has been spot on.

"We had a couple of weeks just before Origin where we didn't play the footy that we wanted to and then we started to mould it again.

"I haven't seen [any drop off] at all. Not once."

With or without a Friend; Verrills is ready

Injuries and suspensions to big names Jake Friend, Luke Keary and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves has meant several rookies were blooded throughout the year, most notably young hooker Sam Verrills, who remains in contention for a grand final berth even if Friend overcomes his ongoing calf issue.

"I think the freshness of some guys coming in has really added that [enthusiasm]," Robinson said.

"When you've got some young guys that come through and they haven't experienced anything before, that adds freshness.

"But also if you're going into something to win something, that's a long way away. If you're going into a week or training session, thinking that you've got more in yourself, then that's right there for you."

James Tedesco will be looking to round out one of the most impressive individual seasons of the modern era with a second premiership ring in 12 months.

On top of his Dally M Medal from Wednesday night, the Roosters No.1 already boasts the Wally Lewis and Brad Fittler medals to complement NSW's Origin series win, while he is again a $4.50 favourite for Clive Churchill medal honours.

Ominously, Robinson is bullish about taking Tedesco improving even further given he is still just 26.

"There's always better," Robinson said of his star fullback.

"I think he can get better and I think it was proven last night that he's got to prove it one more time – that he's the best player in the game this year.

"And then he wants more. We know he's got the physical capabilities, he's got the mind for it and then I think, where will the game be in five years time?

"Better than it is today and if Teddy's going to lead the way there then he needs to keep improving."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Premier Partner

Media Partners

Major Partners

VIEW ALL PARTNERS