Resurgent Roosters' finals fate rests on other results

Trent Robinson is keen to deathride North Queensland and Canberra as his Sydney Roosters side seek to make the top eight and leave critics with egg on their face.

After Friday’s 26-12 victory over Souths dumped their bitter rivals out of finals contention, Robinson’s men now need the Cowboys to fall to Penrith or hope that Cronulla defeat the Raiders to make the top eight.

Rather than put himself through an emotional ringer, Robinson said he will spend his weekend watching his son play junior football and rely on former assistant Craig Fitzgibbon to engineer a Cronulla victory over Canberra.

“I’ve got under 10s grand finals, so that'll take up most of the day,” Robinson said.

“I don't know if I'll be sitting down to watch every bounce of the ball.

“We've done enough in the last five weeks, I told Fitzy that he's got to get the job done for us. 

"He’s helped a bit in the last month, so I need one more game from him.”

Robinson’s men have confounded pundits with their late-season push towards the top eight, winning five on the spin when many had said their campaign was dead.

Hooker Brandon Smith seems to be finding his rhythm and maverick halfback Sam Walker showed no signs of rust in just his second game back from a knee injury.

Generally, the Roosters seem to be playing with a resolve in defence and an abandon in attack that was absent in the earlier part of the year.

“We play a lot of golf and cricket in this country and the more you want to hit it straight, the tighter you hold the grip,” Robinson said.

“That doesn't always work. I feel like we just had to loosen the grip a bit and swing a bit freer.

“The post mortems have been done already.

“They've been written about our season long ago and our thing was, it's not done.”

It is hoped Joey Manu will return if the Roosters do make the finals, but winger Daniel Tupou (knee) is no chance of featuring.

While a top-eight berth was unlikely six weeks ago, Robinson leaned on his golfing analogy again and said his side wouldn’t approach it as if it were a free hit.

“That belief will be there and we’ll keep swinging with the right amount of grip on the club,” he said.  

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