The Sydney Roosters are back in the top four for the first time since round eight as they fight to keep their title hopes alive in spite of a devastating injury toll.
A thrilling 21-20 win over Brisbane on Friday night has put the Roosters fourth on 30 points, ahead of Parramatta (28) and Manly (26), who face off on Saturday.
It sets up a blockbuster run home for the Roosters, who will face St George Illawarra next Sunday, followed by South Sydney and Canberra.
Historically speaking, a top-four finish is essential to a premiership, which should be considered out of the realm of possibility for the Roosters given their injury toll.
The forced retirements of Boyd Cordner, Jake Friend and Brett Morris, as well as season-ending injuries to Lindsay Collins, Luke Keary, Billy Smith and Joseph Suaallii have depleted their roster.
Josh Morris and Matt Ikuvalu are hoping for a return in the finals, but for now Robinson is counting on rookies to get the job done with wins in five of their last six games.
“We obviously lost last week but we came out of a couple of tough periods around Origin and we've continued to drop players but kept playing footy,” he said.
“I'm asking guys who are just getting started to play big minutes but also play big moments and they're learning on their feet.”
Makeshift centre Adam Keighran is one such player.
The ex-Warrior is more comfortable at five-eighth but has been plugging a gap in the outside backs.
On Friday night, the 24-year-old stood up with four goals from four attempts, including the match-winning penalty 10 metres from the sideline in the final minute of the game.
“They dream of that kickers, don't they?” Robinson said.
“Adam's just getting started. He'd played nine games before this year so probably hasn't had many opportunities at that at NRL level, but he's a beautiful kicker of the ball and he nailed it.
“It's a real tip of the cap to Adam.”Internet Explorer Channel Network