Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson has admitted his side are "heartbroken" after falling short against the Melbourne Storm in the NRL's first semi-final on Friday evening.

The Roosters, who went into the game without any of their first choice centres or wingers, were just a minute away from claiming a victory by the same 13-12 scoreline they had beaten the Cronulla Sharks by the previous week after another Sam Walker field goal.

A last-ditch try to Melbourne winger Will Warbrick ended up putting the game to bed though, and while Robinson said there were positive signs for the future in the game, it didn't take away from the disappointment he felt in the moment after his side's rapid late season improvement which saw five wins on the trot to scrape into the finals.

"We are heartbroken I guess. That's how we are feeling," Robinson said during his post-game press conference.

"We felt like we fought really hard to continue on. You believe that you are going to keep going right through until the end there.

"It's devastating to finish because we felt like we found our team the longer this season went. I feel like we have been fighting for a couple of years and we have held onto a really good spirit, but I feel like we found our heart the longer the season went.

"It's just disappointing. I'm really proud, but it's just disappointing to finish in Week 2."

Robinson paid credit to Brandon Smith and a host of club youngsters who stood up during the back end of the season amid injuries as the Roosters found their winning ways.

The coach said the improvement of young half Sandon Smith, who debuted in the middle of the year, was particularly pleasing, although admitted bowing out in Week 2 of the finals "wasn't pretty."

"Brandon [Smith] was trying to create momentum in that second half and he gave it his all, and then Sandon came on," Robinson said.

"To have the confidence to go after that. Even a month ago, he was probably just drifting left and looking for Luke [Keary] or Nat [Butcher], but he threw that long ball tonight.

"Those guys that have come through and made their debut or are in their first year or two of playing have given us energy and have really stood up in critical times. That bodes well for the future, but the present ain't pretty at the moment for us," Robinson said.

Captain James Tedesco agreed, saying the club was in a good shape for the future with preparations for 2024 to now begin at Bondi.

"I spoke to the boys. I'm very proud of our efforts. No one really gave us a chance and we were getting better and better every week and finished one minute away from making it to the third week of the finals," Tedesco said.

"If we got to next week, we would have got better again, but that's finals footy.

"For who we are missing, and the young boys have got better and better as Robbo said, it puts is in good stead for our future."