Fittler one of the smartest: Mason - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fittler one of the smartest: Mason

By Adrian Warren 28/05/2008 06:45:38 PM Comments (0)

The ladder-leading Sydney Roosters are "nowhere near" the best team in the NRL according to their star forward Willie Mason, who has paid coach Brad Fittler some big compliments.

Major off-season recruit Mason credited Fittler with being a "life coach" who'd made him a better man off the field and also rated him one of the smartest league coaches in the game.

The Roosters find themselves surprise leaders of the competition after 11 rounds, though as Fittler pointed out, only two points separate the top seven clubs.

Test star Mason believed the Roosters were still a work in progress with their key combinations in halves Mitchell Pearce and Braith Anasta and hooker Riley Brown still getting used to playing together.

Asked if he they were the NRL's best team, Mason said: "Nowhere near it. I think Melbourne is the benchmark. They've been doing it for two or three years now.

"They've been exceptional week in week out, we're still a new side, they have got combinations going back three or four years."

Mason said Fittler had shown the benefit of his vast playing experience in getting the Roosters' State of Origin players back refocusing on club duties so quickly.

"Freddie is unbelievable in that respect, because he's done that before. He's come from Origin and performed with his club team and that's one of the hardest things you can do," Mason said.

He said Fittler's influence on his players extended well beyond the parameters of the field.

"I think he is more of a life coach as well, he's not just a football coach, he's really teaching me things off the field," Mason said.

"With his career, he's been through a lot and he knows the ups and downs of a rugby league career and he knows where I am at this point of time in my life and where he was when he was my age.

"He's just trying to make me a better person off the field, I think that's working."

As recently as two years ago, Mason said Fittler had told him there was "no way" he would become a coach.

"Now he's probably one of the smartest coaches. I've had (NSW coach) Craig Bellamy and (Kangaroos coach) Ricky Stuart over the last month and you throw Freddie in there in the mix.

"He's right up there with the smartest and the most intense blokes. He might come across very blase and jovial in interviews, but when he comes to rugby league he's very switched on."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news