Roosters take loss lessons into NRL final

Freddy Lussick (right) is set to replace Sydney Roosters hooker Jake Friend in their NRL final.
Freddy Lussick (right) is set to replace Sydney Roosters hooker Jake Friend in their NRL final.

Coach Trent Robinson says his Sydney Roosters are treating their shock last-round loss as a lesson sent their way before their opening NRL final against minor premiers Penrith on Friday night.

Robinson revealed his phone rang hot over the weekend with Roosters players wanting to dissect their 60-8 loss to South Sydney.

He didn't want to divulge what the Roosters felt was behind the lacklustre performance, but said they weren't dismissing the loss.

"These guys don't run away from anything, they don't try to dismiss it without trying to improve," Robinson said on Thursday.

"It was a lesson sent our way so we needed to pick it up, take it ,and then the focus has been from Monday about Friday's game.

"It's a memory now that we won't forget but it's no longer a weight ... belief is high going into Friday."

Youngster Freddy Lussick has been named to replace veteran hooker Jake Friend, who is out after a head knock, for the Panthers Stadium qualifying final.

Robinson backed the 20-year-old, who has played just four NRL games, and is the younger brother of former Manly prop Darcy.

"He's got a big heart and he's a traditional hooker so he brings good techniques along with him," Robinson said.

"Anybody who knows him or his background knows he's a fighter."

Rested stars Joey Manu, Lindsay Collins and Isaac Liu all return to bolster the Roosters' brittle defence against the Rabbitohs.

Records show that teams who lose by such a margin don't win premierships but Robinson wasn't buying that his two-time champion team was out of the running for a third successive title.

Or that his team were "cooked" after being at the top of the game for so long.

"The conversation doesn't bother me," Robinson said.

"People can have their opinion ... it's up to us to go out and perform.

"We've got to show what we're worth tomorrow night."

Australian Associated Press