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The Roosters bench after the 2010 grand final loss.

Don't think for a moment Mitch Aubusson has forgotten the pain of losing a grand final.

Yes, he was front-and-centre in the 2013 and 2018 Roosters victories but he remembers the lonely place players wander into after a defeat.

And since he turned 32 this week, leading up to his fourth grand final appearance at ANZ Stadium. Aubusson doesn't particularly want to return to the lot of the losers in 2019. He's closer to the end of his career – Sunday will be his 289th NRL game - than the beginning.

But memories are still fresh of the 32-8 loss to the Dragons on October 3, 2010. Aubusson scored the second of the Roosters' two tries but it still doesn't alleviate the feelings of missing a golden opportunity.

"It's not a pleasant place to be," he told as he prepares to face the Raiders this Sunday. "I've experienced the down side and you do go way down.

"It's such a disappointment but we got together and just digested it. I was pretty young at the time but I knew this club demanded success and if I kept up my end of the bargain in playing well, we'd be back here again."

Roosters v Raiders - Grand FInal

He and Jake Friend and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves are the only survivors from Brian Smith's team nine years ago.

"I haven't been thinking too much about 2010 because it's completely different to now. But those experiences aren't far away if you want to go there.

"Still I try not to rely or delve into the past too much because I think that can be dangerous for you. It can distract you on what you want to achieve each day, hurt your prep, get into your head a little too much.

"You want to walk on that field on Sunday knowing you left no stone unturned in your preparation."

That doesn't mean 2010 hasn't been talked about in the Aubusson world.

Mitch Aubusson scored a try in the first half of the 2010 decider but it all went wrong after the break.
Mitch Aubusson scored a try in the first half of the 2010 decider but it all went wrong after the break.

"One of the guys who beat us that day is standing just over there," he said, pointing to winger Brett Morris.

"We've had a few conversations about that this week," Aubusson said with a smile.

And success has indeed come around again. This is Aubusson's third grand final in six years – a pretty fair pass rate.

"And a lot of hard work has gone into those grand finals. The guys have really pulled together [since 2010] and created a great culture here – we're still hungry for another win."

Mitchell happy to have Tupou in his corner

From the outside, it could appear team morale might be shaken a little as two fine hookers in Sam Verrrills and Jake Friend vie for the same spot.

"Robbo [coach Trent Robinson] has one hell of a decision to make. That's why he gets paid the big dollars. Whatever he decides we're right behind.

"The ego, when it comes to this team and those sorts of decisions, is very low. A lot of guys trying to push or stay in the side know what this is about.

"That's another reason why it's such a pleasure to play here. Everyone has the ego in the back pocket well and truly."

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.

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