Underdog tag won't fit Roosters for finals
Trent Robinson won't for a second try to claim the underdog status at the Sydney Roosters.
Never has, never will.
Not even after a year where his two co-captains and the fourth most prolific try-scorer in the game's history have all been forced into retirement.
Or ahead of a finals series where the Roosters will enter without their representative half and State of Origin front-rower.
Because as Robinson learned quickly at the Roosters, being the underdogs doesn't suit their style.
"You adapt to your club," Robinson said of his coaching philosophy.
"It's like the underdog tag. At the Roosters is anyone going to buy that inside our walls or outside our walls?
"So why try and grab onto it?"
It's why Robinson will never aim to have his team flying under the radar.
And it's also the reason why the Roosters won't use their hardships of 2021 to motivate them in a do-or-die finals clash on Saturday night.
Nor has the club's injury toll been discussed either this week or all season.
There was no edict, Robinson insisted, but rather just a knowledge from players it doesn't need to be discussed or thought about.
"We spend our time in sport trying to create smokes and mirrors around how someone's going to act and how do we get the most out of each other," Robinson said.
"And if we create this story on this side then that will motivate us on the other side.
"We're just we don't dance like that.
"We don't stick articles up on the wall to motivate us, like, if you need that, then you're into short-term stuff.
"It's just try and get the best out of yourself each and every week. And that's how we roll."
The Roosters do have reason to be confident ahead of Saturday's elimination final in Townsville.
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves returns from a knee injury while Victor Radley is back from suspension.
Radley's inclusion is key, with the lock arguably the most influential forward of any NRL team's ball-playing with his ability to take it to the line and pass.
"He is a link man between many positions," Robinson said.
"He is a front-rower and he is a halfback, and he mixes those roles so he is quite rare in the way he goes about playing the game."
But one thing Robinson isn't interested in is what his side has achieved to finish fifth ahead of the finals with Radley and so many others out.
"We're not sitting here going through any of that yet. We need to nail tomorrow night," Robinson said.
"Our best game that we've played this year, we want that to be tomorrow night.
"That's for November, that kind of discussion."