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Robinson desperate to see defensive resolve return

The opening round of the Telstra Premiership finals series produced a record number of points but Roosters coach Trent Robinson wants the trend to stop – at least when it comes to how many Canberra rack up on Friday.

The Roosters went within field goal reach of turning around a 52-point hammering to South Sydney but eventually came up just short in a 29-28 loss to Penrith in week one.

After conceding an average of 16.1 points throughout the 20-round regular season, Robinson's side has coughed up 89 points during the past fortnight.

"Very different week one for many years," Robinson said on Thursday.

"I can't dictate anyone else's performance [but] our role is to reduce the points scored against us and we'll focus on that.

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"We'll make sure we're searching for our best game this year defensively. We want to go after that and then execute our attack."

Robinson said Jake Friend's return would bring a level of consistency back into the middle of the paddock with the seasoned campaigner sorely missed around the ruck last week.

The Tricolours have built their back-to-back premierships on defence and weren't going to change anything dramatically in a bid to get a response.

"You know who you are and what your principles are and they haven't changed," Robinson said.

"You stick by them, and then you don't ever stop searching for improvement each week.

"You don't sit on your hands and cross your fingers – you go after better each week.

"There's things we want to improve on both with and without the ball. My role is not to say what's improved, it's for us to prove it tomorrow night."

The Roosters beat Canberra at GIO Stadium in round 17 after Ricky Stuart's men had taken the spoils at the SCG earlier in the season.

After progressing straight to the preliminary final in 2018 and '19 the Roosters will be forced to go the long way in 2020, causing many experts to dismiss their chances of a three-peat.

For his part, Robinson accepts it's all part of the build-up to a heavyweight showdown.

"That's opinion, it's why you're asking questions [too], there's interest in the game," he said.

"My focus is on getting the best out of our group. Our job is not to respond during the week, our job is to respond on Friday.

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"But, [it's been] a strong week, very positive and a lot of belief. I don't believe there's only one way [to win a competition], you've got to execute your path in 2020.

"We've moved onto, 'right, let's attack Friday'."

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