Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson is struggling to explain just why the NRL premiers’ title defence ended a week shy of the grand final.

Trent Robinson offered no excuses but also struggled to reconcile just why the Sydney Roosters’ NRL title defence ended in disappointment and despair.

“We feel like – and I think everyone knows – that we’re a good enough team. We had the players there, but we just couldn’t get it done,” Robinson said in the sorry aftermath of the Roosters’ 32-22 preliminary final loss to South Sydney.

The Roosters had been bidding to become the first team in 21 years to go back-to-back in a united competition, while Robinson fell two wins short of becoming the first coach in history to land premierships in his first two seasons in charge.

“I really don’t want to put it down to last year as the reason why we didn’t win this year. I feel like we had an opportunity,” he said.

“We set it up really well and over the last month, probably three weeks, we just couldn’t get it right.

“We got it right in patches and again tonight we just couldn’t get it into a 80-minute package to get what we wanted out of the season.”

Despite their premature exit, Robinson still labelled 2014 “an awesome year” after his side entered the finals on the back of six straight wins with another minor premiership.

But the tri-colours were unable to carry the momentum of their impressive final-round defeat of the Rabbitohs into the playoffs.

A last-gasp 19-18 loss to Penrith and desperate 31-30 escape over North Queensland ultimately took a huge physical and mental toll in the final hour of Friday night’s grand final qualifying collapse.

“Credit to the other teams; they’ve done well. Penrith knocking us off in the first round (of the finals), that was a real setback,” Robinson said.

“But it’s as much as I’ve learnt in a season. There’s so many things that went right and things that we we had to fix up and so many different emotions and how to get different players in and up and controlling all that and the off-season and everything.

“It was such an amazing year footy-wise, but we just couldn’t get us over the line in the end and that’s really disappointing as a coach.”