Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson faced a frosty moment post-game after joining the Channel 9 crew at the desk.
But it was a moment not seen on camera that has earned the coach plenty of praise.
The Roosters rolled the dice ahead of the Grand Final by naming co-captain Jake Friend who hadn’t played for 11 weeks.
His inclusion ensured there would be heartbreak for another Roosters player and that turned out to be Zane Tetevano.
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Tetevano played 24 games for the Roosters throughout the 2019 season but was forced to watch on from the sidelines for the decider.
Despite missing out on the euphoria of a Grand Final victory, Robinson ensured Tetevano wouldn’t walk away empty-handed.
READ: Roosters star snubbed in GF farce
Tetevano revealed Robinson gifted him the NRL premiership ring off his own finger following the controversial ending to the Grand Final. He posted an image of the ring to his Instagram ahead of the Roosters’ celebrations at the Hordern Pavilion.
Zane Tetevano wearing the premiership ring Trent Robinson gifted him.Source:Instagram
Robinson described telling Tetevano he wouldn’t play as the “toughest moment of the week” after having worked with the 28-year-old since he was a junior in Newcastle.
“I’m so stoked,” Tetevano said in the sheds after the match. “The boys played well and it was definitely a tough game.
“It was nerve-racking watching but I can’t be happier. It was scary. It was a tough game, a street fight.
“There was a lot of live ball footy and the boys turned up well.”
Tetevano insisted he had no issue with the decision to drop him after Friend recovered from a multitude of injuries to play off the bench.
“It was about making sure everyone was fit and healthy and ready to play,” he said.
“It was at training (Robinson spoke to him) and we were just making sure Jakey was ready to play and he was ready to play.
“As you saw he played over 30 minutes and he delivered.”
It’s the second straight year Robinson has made the gesture after handing his premiership ring in 2018 to Lindsay Collins who missed out when Cooper Cronk played through a major injury.
But while Collins played only eight games, the Tetevano decision was tougher given he started in eight games this year to go with his 16 off the bench.
Unsigned at the end of the year, there is no guarantee Tetevano will remain with the Roosters next season.
However he said he had every hope of staying at Bondi and planned on returning to training with the club in November until he secures a contract.
“It’s a great club and Robbo is the best coach in the world but I’ve got to work hard,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to whatever happens next year. I’ll do whatever I’ve got to do.
“I’m keen for a break and I’ll keep training in the off season and working on my craft so when I come back I’m ready to rock and roll.”
— with AAP
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