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Robinson wins Dally M coach prize

Sydney Roosters mentor Trent Robinson is in line to join Phil Gould as the only rookie coach in rugby league history to complete the Dally M coach of the year and premiership double.
Robinson wins Dally M coach prize
by AAP

By Ben Horne

SYDNEY, Oct 1 AAP - Sydney Roosters mentor Trent Robinson is in line to join Phil Gould as the only rookie coach in rugby league history to complete the Dally M coach of the year and premiership double.

Minor premiership and grand final coach Robinson was rightly recognised as the NRL's best mentor at the Dally M awards in Sydney on Tuesday night.

On Sunday he will lead the Roosters into battle against Manly in a heavyweight grand final clash for the ages.

It's rare that a first-year mentor takes out the coach of the year award, but for the impressive Robinson the job is far from done.

Since the NRL was launched in 1998, only Michael Hagan and Ricky Stuart have won a premiership in their debut season in first grade - although Gould did it with Canterbury in 1988.

However the 36-year-old Robinson's focus is on Sunday when he will look to deliver the Roosters their first title since 2002, the year that Stuart led them to victory as a greenhorn.

Robinson became just the second coach in NRL history and just the sixth since the Dally M awards started in 1980 to be named the league's best coach in his rookie season.

He joined Kevin Moore, George Piggins and coaching greats Wayne Bennett, Tim Sheens and Gould in being honoured for his immediate impact on a side and the game itself.

Robinson was signed from English Super League club Catalans Dragons to get everything possible out of Sonny Bill Williams and a star-studded Roosters squad.

Coaching at Bondi Junction has always been one of the most high-pressure gigs in the game, but cool, calm and collected - Robinson has looked in control from round one.

Articulate and highly regarded by his players, Robinson has brought the Roosters players together and been the catalyst behind them fulfilling the lofty expectations set for them.

Roosters halfback Mitchell Pearce predicted Robinson would one day sit alongside the likes of Gould and Bennett.

But predictably, the youngest coach in the competition isn't looking any further than Sunday.

"It's nice to hear it from Pearcy, but there's a long way to go," he said.

"It's only one year. Our focus is to win this weekend.

"There's lots of awards and things said during the season but all that counts is what happens on Sunday.

"We weren't sure where we were going to get to. Obviously we had high hopes for this season and as the year went on we knew we had a great team. It's great to be there this year."


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