Robinson: Flanagan needs to get better

Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson has confirmed he dropped halfback Kyle Flanagan in favour of Lachlan Lam to teach the young playmaker about standards and give him time to work on his game.

Flanagan has been a star in his first season at the Roosters, playing in all 12 games, scoring four tries and leading the competition in points scored with 126 points.

But after a producing a quiet performance in the defending premier’s close win over the struggling Gold Coast, Robinson opted to sideline the rising No.7 for Thursday night’s clash against St George Illawarra.

“He (Kyle) is a really tough kid, he is working really hard, so it is about taking it on the chin, and standing up and fighting hard again,” Robinson said.

“That is the way that any player, week to week, has to do it.

“It is just a part of his development and any player that is playing rugby league – it is a tough school.

“We’ve been going okay, but I keep pushing for more.

“I want to give Kyle the chance to take a breath and get some development, and an opportunity for Lachy to come in and show his worth.

“If I go through every player that I’ve dropped that is playing in our team from Joey Manu or Mitchell Aubusson, who is playing his 300th, it is the same.”

"Stand Up and Fight Hard"
Trent Robinson spoke to the media ahead of Round 13 and answered questions regarding the Roosters desire for improvement, Mitchell Aubusson's 300th game, and more 🐓 #EastsToWin

Robinson said Flanagan handled his demotion with class while he couldn’t confirm if the young playmaker would return next week.

“It is a decision for this week, I won’t select teams for next week before this week,” he said.

“I won’t project long-term on that.

“I thought it was time for Kyle not to play. He can come back and work on a few things that he needs to keep developing.

“That is the call for this week.

“I never said it was rested or anything like that. I said it after last week’s game, I really want guys pushing for their best.

“Lachy has been patient and he is ready to go this week.”

Robinson expects Lam to provide the Roosters with plenty of energy in his first game this season starting at halfback following four previous games off the bench.

The Roosters take on a desperate St George Illawarra side at WIN Stadium in Wollongong on Thursday night.

The Dragons currently sit four points outside the top eight, so they must win to keep their season alive.

Robinson, though, says the Roosters will be equally determined to claim the two points.

“We are hungry, so the focus is us,” he said.

“We are playing 150th for Teddy, 300th for Aubo and we want to improve and get better.

Mitchell Aubusson will play his 300th NRL game on Thursday night. Pic: Mitch CameronSource:News Corp Australia

Roosters veteran Mitchell Aubusson will celebrate his 300th NRL game against the Dragons – a fitting reward for a stellar career to date according to Robinson.

“It is hard for Aubo in these weeks because he gets put to the forefront – as he should,” he said.

“He is one of the greatest clubmen that has ever played for the Roosters and he is playing his 300th game, and he just wants to get on with it.

“It is an honour to coach him and will be an honour to see him run out tomorrow night.”

Robinson also confirmed captain Boyd Cordner is back at training but is yet to start contact as he edges closer to a comeback.

“It was good to see Boyd back out on the field yesterday running,” he said.

“He has started weights and fitness, so he is getting close to a return.

“We are not going to rush, and we have to make sure that he is ready to play.”

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