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Where are the plaudits for Trent Robinson?

David Lord Columnist

33 Have your say

    Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson has copped a huge fine for his spray at the NRL's refs - but he was right about one thing. (Image: AAP)

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    While match-winner Sonny Bill Williams has been hailed as everything from the second coming to a cold-blooded mercenary nobody, and I mean nobody, has taken time out to recognise coach Trent Robinson’s superb role in the Roosters’ premiership success.

    At the start of the season Robinson was ‘Trent who?’.

    Today he basks in the success sunshine with only five others who have coached a premiership winning side in their rookie year.

    Ian Walsh (St George 1966), Leo Nosworthy (Balmain 1969) Phil Gould (Bulldogs 1988), Michael Hagan (Knights 2001), Ricky Stuart (Roosters 2002), and Trent Robinson (Roosters 2013).

    The elite of the elite, and don’t ever try to underestimate the importance of a winning coach.

    Those six aren’t in the same league as Wayne Bennett’s seven premierships, Jack Gibson’s five, or Tim Sheens’ four.

    Give Robinson time, and he has that well and truly on his side at 36 years of age.

    But that doesn’t answer the question why he’s been virtually ignored – even by fanatical Roosters fans.

    Before the finals series, Robinson had chalked up an 18-win season from 24 games, amassing 640 points for (the Storm the next-best with 589) and allowing 325 against (Manly the next best with 360).

    The Roosters points differential – plus 315 – was well ahead of Manly’s 222.

    Unstinted praise for Trent Robinson?

    Hardly a peep.

    The Roosters fans were even dead-set quiet when Robinson became the youngest winner of the Dally M Coach of the Year award.

    Now he’s the silent Premiership winner.

    What has Trent Robinson got to do to get some recognition from the Bondi faithful?

    Robinson has ticked every conceivable box, yet praise for him is a deafening silence.

    Admittedly, fans can be very fickle in any sport, but the lack of respect shown for Trent Robinson borders on an embarrassment.

    Just the opposite for Sonny Bill Williams.

    There’s been a line drawn in the sand. On one side there are the Roosters fans waxing lyrical, the other side the mounting army of fans who want to take SBW to the cleaners.


    There’s a fair smack of that. The vast majority of anti-SBWs would dearly love to have him on their roster, but won’t admit it.

    The cop out is to knife him publicly, just to vent their frustration.

    That’s like water off a duck’s back to SBW, especially as he will return to rugby next season with the Chiefs so he can qualify for the All Blacks for the 2015 London-based Rugby World Cup.

    Then there’s the inaugural Sevens in Rio at the 2016 Olympics, where SBW will be an automatic selection.

    So everything SBW touches at the moment turns to gold.

    Two NRL premierships with the Bulldogs and the Roosters, a Super Rugby title with the Chiefs, and a Rugby World Cup gold medal.

    So far.

    Still to come, another Super Rugby title with the Chiefs, another Rugby World Cup gold medal, and the icing on the cake – an Olympic gold medal with the Kiwis in Rio.

    Nothing in rugby league can match those milestones. SBW has gone from the 13-man code until at least 2017, if not forever.

    In the meantime, Trent Robinson will have to overcome the loss of his inspirational Sonny Bill Williams as he pieces together his 2014 campaign.

    That’s a huge hole to fill, but Robinson has proved he has what it takes to succeed.

    But it will be a whole lot easier if he has the verbal, and the physical, support of his quiet-as-a-mouse Roosters fans.

    He deserves nothing less.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn?t get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world?s great sporting spectacles

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    The Crowd Says (33)

    • October 8th 2013 @ 7:38am
      eagleJack said | October 8th 2013 @ 7:38am | ! Report

      Not sure if you are being serious David. All that has been spoken about all year, and throughout the finals series is what an outstanding job Robinson has done.

      I don’t think he has been shown any lack of respect in the slightest. Every time a player is interviewed the first question they are asked revolves around the brilliance of Robinson and what he has brought to the table. What he has done differently to get the best out of his squad.

      Past players like Ricketson and Fitzgibbon have waxed lyrical about his impact.

      Short of putting a statue of the man outside the SFS I think the guy has received enough praise to last a lifetime.

      • Columnist

        October 8th 2013 @ 9:43am
        David Lord said | October 8th 2013 @ 9:43am | ! Report

        eagleJack, the comment is since the grand final. I’ll answer jdubya below at the same time. There’s been any number of Roosters fans singing Trent Robinson’s praises, but internally, like the comment jdubya has made, preaching to the converted at the League’s Club.

        The Roar is a first-class forum for praising and pulverising, and all I’ve read has been about SBW, James Maloney, Michael Jennings try, the Jamie Lyons penalty try, Daly Cherry-Evans’ Churchill medal, bad refereeing, David Williams gifting the Roosters 12 points, and Shaun Kenny-Dowall’s jaw.

        Trent Robinson?

        Not a peep.

        I would have thought Roosters fans would leap at the chance on The Roar to praise his phenomenal performance.

        No jdubya, this is anything but a joke.

    • October 8th 2013 @ 8:01am
      jdubya said | October 8th 2013 @ 8:01am | ! Report

      Is this article a joke?

      At the Leagues club after the game Sunday the biggest cheer of all was saved for Robbo.

    • October 8th 2013 @ 9:04am
      up in the north said | October 8th 2013 @ 9:04am | ! Report

      I raised a glass to Trent Robinson. – or two

    • October 8th 2013 @ 9:39am
      Monners said | October 8th 2013 @ 9:39am | ! Report

      Ah news-flash David, he won coach of the year even prior to Sunday’s Grand Final win.

      • Columnist

        October 8th 2013 @ 9:48am
        David Lord said | October 8th 2013 @ 9:48am | ! Report

        Bit late Monners in the news flash department, my review of the grand final yesterday and again today both made a point of Trent being the youngest rookie coach of the year.

        And where were the Roosters fans singing his praises after the Dally Ms?

        • October 10th 2013 @ 9:13am
          Pot Stirrer said | October 10th 2013 @ 9:13am | ! Report

          Simple David, its not bad news so the papers arnt interested. As for the Roosters fans have you been on the member websites and other rooster forums ? Theres been plenty of praise, As for the Roar well you know what its like, The writers usually just jump on the Anti RL bandwagon of the DT.

    • October 8th 2013 @ 9:59am
      Tony Vickery said | October 8th 2013 @ 9:59am | ! Report

      First of all I believe that you may have missed Tom McMahon who coached Wests to a premiership in his first year as a coach. The fact that he had been a referee not a player gives it more credence. Second of all as a Roosters fanatic I certainly take issue with the fact that the coach has not been recognized. Certainly the people I speak with do. In fact the media obsession with SBW was actually wearing a bit thin on us all. Robinson was coach of the year and he thoroughly deserves the credit.

    • October 8th 2013 @ 10:01am
      DR said | October 8th 2013 @ 10:01am | ! Report

      Hi David,

      I do believe he has been acknowledged quite a bit before the final but i have trawled the news and tend to agree that little has been said after the win.

      A lot of truth in players gain the praise and coaches get the blame at times.

      It will be interesting how they go next year. He can only go down from here!!

      Well done to the Chooks and their coach i say.

      And may they Tigers and Warriors return to the finals next year!!!!

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