QUEANBEYAN, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 27: Sam Walker of the Roosters celebrates a try with team mates during the NRL trial Match between the Sydney Roosters and the Canberra Raiders at Seiffert Oval on February 27, 2021 in Queanbeyan, Australia. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Sydney Roosters head coach Trent Robinson has championed his charges following their efforts to continually step up the plate across an injury ravaged season.

The 44-year-old's words of praise came in the wake of the Tri-Colours' resounding 42-6 semi-final defeat at the hands of Manly that closed that the book on the club's 113th season.

Still, despite not progressing to face their arch-rivals South Sydney for a shot at another Grand Final berth during his nine-season tenure, Robinson was open in his appraisal of what had been a tumultuous year for the Bondi boys.

"I just said to the guys in there [in the dressing sheds], it's obviously the craziest coaching year that I've had just in all," Robinson said.

"Just to retire absolute legends of the game, to see the injuries that we've had … every game was a new combination and a new task.

"But the attitude of the guys to go about that was just incredible. Every week was, 'righto, we can do this'."

Although the three-time premiership coach has been tasked with leading lineups devoid of stars such as Jake Friend, Boyd Cordner, Brett Morris and Luke Keary for much of the season, Robinson stated that 2021 had left him both proud and positive for what the future holds in the harbour city's east.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 06: Roosters captain Boyd Cordner and coach Trent Robinson celebrate victory with fans after the 2019 NRL Grand Final match between the Canberra Raiders and the Sydney Roosters at ANZ Stadium on October 06, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

"I just said to them we're a greater Roosters club than what we were at the start of 2021. They've done our club proud," he continued.

"We're a stronger club because of the way that they've acted this year and the way that they've gone about it.

"I know that hurt tonight, but I know that we're a better team because of the way that we handled ourselves this season.

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"I'm just incredibly proud of the staff and [regular] players and players that aren't playing and players that didn't think they were going to play and played 15 games.

"That's the overwhelming feeling: disappointment tonight, but absolute honour in the way that they've worn the jersey this year."

Although each and every Rooster would have been left stung by the manner in which the resounding loss was recorded, none could have been more devastated than Josh Morris whose lengthy NRL career once again ended shy of an elusive ring on Friday night.

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BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 02: Josh Morris of the Roosters celebrates with team mates after scoring a try during the round eight NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Sydney Roosters at Suncorp Stadium on July 02, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Despite never claiming the ultimate prize, Robinson was of the belief that the 35-year-old twin could, and should, be proud of the efforts produced across his 15-year career with four-clubs.

"There's a saying about filling 60 seconds with a distance run - about running every second of your minute," he said.

"And he [Morris] ran every second of that minute, right to the end. He filled a career of, I think it was round one or two in 2007, to 14 years later to finish with 300 games and Australia and NSW [appearances].

"He can rest now. He can feel really proud about the way that he played the game of rugby league."

The defeat also saw the end of Craig Fitzgibbon's storied stint at the Chooks, with Robinson's offsider taking the head coaching reins at Cronulla from next season.

SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES - MARCH 05: Craig Fitzgibbon and Jake Friend share a joke as they walk to a Sydney Roosters NRL training session at Kippax Lake on March 5, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

With his 229-apperances in a red, white and blue jersey, storied captaincy career and key hand in the Roosters' last three titles, a relatively upbeat Robinson saved the greatest praise of the night for the former forward.

"Fitz is possibly the greatest-ever Rooster. What's somebody done more than Craig Fitzgibbon as far as a Rooster? Coached, played, captained – he's just been legendary," the head coach expounded.

Robinson rounded out his seasonal sign-off with a large thank you to the people and governors of Queensland for allowing the game to continue across a second successive Covid interrupted season.