Warriors target in-form Anasta - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Warriors target in-form Anasta

24/05/2008 02:09:45 PM Comments (0)

The New Zealand Warriors will target in-form five-eighth Braith Anasta in Sunday's NRL clash with the Sydney Roosters at Mt Smart Stadium.

Left out of NSW's State of Origin side, Anasta answered selectors with a man-of-the-match display against Parramatta last weekend.

He scored twice in the commanding 32-12 win, showing his ability to step with his first four-pointer, and had a hand in two other tries.

Warriors skipper Michael Luck, who has played with and against Anasta since schoolboys football, said simple professionalism, rather than anger at missing out on Origin, would have been Anasta's motivation for his effort against the Eels.

"I've played with and against Braith since we were schoolboys and he's always been a classy player," Luck said.

"He's now surrounded by other guys who are on the same page as he is and he's very hard to stop. He's been the epitome of the Roosters this year." Luck said the Warriors' wide men would have to be awake to Anasta's kicking game, while the inside defenders would also have to maintain their concentration.

"He scored a good try last week with a big step," he said.

"Certainly, he's one of our main targets." The durable Luck will be making his 60th successive NRL appearance since joining the Warriors before the 2006 season.

It will also be his fourth straight match as stand-in captain, with regular skipper Steve Price still recovering from a hamstring injury and deputy Ruben Wiki on the bench.

Luck said he was still feeling his way in the job.

"There are times where I could go and speak to the referee a bit more," he said.

"Still, running out first in front of this crowd is a pretty big buzz." The third-placed Roosters are looking for a third straight win but have four players backing up from Origin in forwards Craig Fitzgibbon, Willie Mason, Nate Myles and Anthony Tupou.

The Warriors are 13th, having failed again last Sunday to break their duck on the road this season at Penrith.

At home, though, it has been a different story, and they are four from four at Mt Smart Stadium.

Five-eighth Michael Witt has been named to start after he was a late withdrawal against the Panthers with a hip injury.

But several key Warriors remain sidelined, including Price, Jerome Ropati, Manu Vatuvei and Wade McKinnon.

Price did not rule out returning for Sunday's game but is highly unlikely to take the field.

"I am not saying no chance, but I haven't been named and it is my first week of training with the team, so I would say very doubtful," he said.

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