Fittler, Mason go into bat for Anasta - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fittler, Mason go into bat for Anasta

By David Beniuk 12/05/2008 07:38:30 PM Comments (0)

Sydney Roosters coach Brad Fittler says Braith Anasta was hurt by a media report suggesting representative players would prefer not to play alongside the five-eighth.

Fittler made an unscheduled media appearance to defend his player after an unnamed Country representative reportedly said his team-mates had expressed a preference for Australian No.6 Greg Bird.

"If you're able to not name people and be able to dump pressure and stuff like that on the players and not put a name to it, I think it shows pretty ordinary integrity," Fittler said.

"If someone wants to put their name to it, good on them, then they can answer questions as well.

"That's what he's going to have to do every time he walks around.

"He takes those things to heart like most human beings do."

Asked if he believed the story to be true, Fittler said: "Well I don't care.

"... Every now and then I suppose you've got to stand up and say, well, I don't think that was very fair and I don't think that was fair at all.

"We're going all right at the moment, I think we're a couple off the top and he has had a fair bit to do with that ... he has had a fair bit to do with our culture so he's doing everything asked from me."

Anasta's team-mate Willie Mason said he'd had a heart-to-heart with the five-eighth, who is in the running to be named at five-eighth for NSW on Tuesday.

"If the player's got any guts to say it to Braith's face I think he'd get more credit or respect like that," Masson said.

"I don't think Braith deserves that.

"Braith's the sort of player a lot of players like playing with and I think that's a big rap.

"He's a very strong-minded kid, Braith, but you keep on having negative publicity, it's got to take its toll somewhere.

"He's pretty disappointed. It hurts if it did come from your peers, from your players it would cut you a little bit deeper but I told him not to really look into that."

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