Anasta set to take the pain - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Anasta set to take the pain

By Laine Clark 25/09/2004 06:00:32 AM Comments (0)

One hit is all it has taken to convince Bulldogs pivot Braith Anasta he can "take the pain" against defending premiers Penrith in their NRL preliminary final.

Anasta has declared himself fit for the Bulldogs' must-win clash at Aussie Stadium after surviving an effective yet unorthodox fitness test for his niggling sternum injury.

Armed with a protective chest pad, Anasta was smashed by 101kg, 193cm Bulldogs skipper Steve Price and 94kg hooker Adam Perry in a gang tackle at a closed training session in a last bid attempt to prove his fitness.

Anasta rubbed his chest after the hit and Bulldogs coach Steve Folkes appeared concerned, however, the star five-eighth was given the final decision after receiving a nod from club doctor Hugh Hazard.

Anasta didn't hesitate giving himself the green light despite expecting some more rough treatment from a class Penrith outfit that has cleared backrowers Tony Puletua (ankle) and Joe Galuavao (shoulder).

"It's going to be sore no matter what. It's going to be sore in a month probably so I am just going to have to deal with it," Anasta said.

Asked if he expected to be targeted by the massive Penrith pack, Anasta said: "If they come at me they've got to worry about the rest of the team".

Anasta will wear the brace and is still scheduled to start, sharing pivot duties with Reni Maitua while 18th man Johnathan Thurston is expected to be cut.

If that was not enough to motivate the Bulldogs, former Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh addressed the team at a special luncheon on Friday "with a few words of encouragement about handling sporting occasions such as tomorrow night's game".

With Kiwi backrowers Puletua and Galuvao cleared, Folkes knew what to expect from the damaging Panthers pack that laid the foundation for last year's premiership.

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