Roosters No.7 jumper 'remains unclaimed' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roosters No.7 jumper 'remains unclaimed'

By Michael Cox 05/03/2007 05:50:50 AM Comments (0)

The Sydney Roosters No.7 jumper remains up for grabs with coach Chris Anderson still unable to separate the three players vying for the position following their 30-22 NRL trial win over Parramatta in Gosford.

Incumbent Josh Lewis got the opportunity to press his claims against the Eels after missing the club's only other trial against Wests Tigers, starting the match at half alongside rookie Mitch Aubusson.

Jamie Soward and teenage sensation Mitchell Pearce also received some time at the scrumbase as Anderson continued to experiment with his combinations.

But for all the shuffling the halfback spot remains open, with Aubusson likely to start at five-eighth and former NSW pivot Braith Anasta at lock.

"It didn't answer a lot of questions for me," Anderson said of the three-way halves dilemma.

"Someone will get first shot at it, it doesn't mean to say the other two are gone but it's a tough decision and they're making it harder which is great."

The Roosters led 16-6 at halftime before a spirited Parramatta comeback saw the Eels lead 18-16 after 54 minutes.

The sides traded tries before the Roosters took the lead back for good when Test forward Anthony Topou chased down a grubber in the 71st minute and then laid on another try with a deft pass to Vince Mellars to seal the win with three minutes to go.

While Anderson continues to grapple with his halves pairing, Parramatta coach Michael Hagan continued to back first choice combination of Tim Smith and Brett Finch, despite another indifferent outing.

Smith's night got off to the worst possible start when he gifted an intercept to Roosters Joel Monaghan, who ran 90m to score the opening try of the game, Hagan adamant the pair needed time to work on some teething problems.

"I still think we're a little bit off our best everywhere, but I think they're still going to take a bit of time to work confidently together," Hagan said.

"I think there were some really good signs for the team and I think they're both reasonably happy with what they're doing."

The new Eels coach added that he would have a selection dilemma of his own when star players Nathan Hindmarsh, Timana Tahu and Eric Grothe return from injury, with all three set to be available for the round one match in New Zealand against the Warriors.

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