Robinson calm as Roosters drop third-straight game
Coach Trent Robinson is remaining calm as the Sydney Roosters prepare to enter the State of Origin period with a losing record for the first time since 2016.
The Roosters were thoroughly outplayed by North Queensland and Penrith to begin the month and looked to be heading for a similarly hefty defeat when they trailed St George Illawarra 14-0 in the second half on Friday night.
James Tedesco and Luke Keary engineered a comeback that put the Roosters ahead in the final minutes but the visitors had their hearts broken by a last-gasp Mathew Feagai try and fell 24-22 at Jubilee Stadium.
The loss is the Roosters' third in a row and consigns them to a 5-6 record ahead of next week's bye.
For only the second time in Robinson's 11-year tenure, the Roosters will enter the crucial Origin period with more losses to their name than wins.
Things have not come easily for the pre-season premiership fancies. The club has been in the spotlight amid Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii's impending move to rugby, star recruit Brandon Smith has failed to fire and young halfback Sam Walker has been demoted to reserve grade.
Injuries have wrought havoc from the pre-season, with Smith joining the six other Roosters in the casualty ward after injuring his thumb against the Dragons.
Tedesco and Lindsay Collins are preparing to come in and out of training during the Origin period and the Roosters could also lose Victor Radley to suspension after he head-butted Blake Lawrie during a fracas against the Dragons.
But three-time premiership-winning coach Robinson is not panicking amid the turbulence.
"That's not going to help at all," he said.
"The thing is to get a solution and get guys playing together. It doesn't matter how I feel about it, I've just got to hold my cool and get guys playing better footy. It's pretty simple."
Having gone scoreless in the first halves of their last three games, the Roosters muscled their way back into Friday's contest and outscored the Dragons 22-12 after half-time.
"We just couldn't get moving and then we come in at half-time and you can see that we're just not in our groove. Then the guys kept working hard," Robinson said.
"I enjoyed seeing them fight for it and work for it and stack play on play up."
Smith's thumb injury restricted his minutes against the Dragons but the Roosters will wait on scans before determining his prognosis.
"It's probably a fractured thumb," Robinson said.
"I don't know what that means, what length or what intervention or not that takes."