Anasta not taking finals for granted - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Anasta not taking finals for granted

By Philip Henderson 09/08/2008 07:28:17 PM Comments (0)

Braith Anasta is the first to admit he took finals football for granted during his days as a Bulldog.

Three years without September action has well and truly changed that attitude.

And with the Sydney Roosters already assured of a place in this year's finals with five rounds to play, the club's star pivot is determined to make 2008 count.

"I played my first six years or so making the semis with ease with the Bulldogs and to come here and have a couple of tough years has been hard," said Anasta, who won a premiership with the Dogs in 2004 before joining the Roosters in 2006.

Anasta even says this season at Bondi has had a similar feel to his days at Canterbury.

"The last few years, I've looked back and thought, 'gee, I've taken finals football for granted'.

"So to be back in the mix, I'm just really looking forward to playing it again.

"I know we're going to be there now, so I'm excited about it, but I also know we've got another 4-5 games to go, so I'm definitely making sure I don't get ahead of myself."

First assignment in that countdown to the finals will be the struggling Parramatta Eels at the Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday.

All but written off as a finals hope after a dismal loss to Newcastle on Monday, the season of the 13th-placed Eels continues to go from bad to worse with Michael Hagan admitted to hospital on Friday after reportedly collapsing in his apartment.

The under-pressure coach, who has continually stuck up for his under-performing team this season, was discharged from Hills Private Hospital in western Sydney on Saturday afternoon with doctors diagnosing a temporary bout of vertigo.

Assistant coaches Matthew Cameron and David Fairleigh oversaw the team's training run on Saturday, but Hagan is expected to take the reins on Sunday.

The Roosters, meanwhile, are targeting a top four berth and home semi for the finals, but could yet challenge for a top two spot with a win on Sunday ensuring they join Manly and Melbourne atop the ladder on 32 points.

Anasta said as yet, positions one and two had not been mentioned at the Roosters, but that could all change with a couple more wins.

On the flip side, Anasta warned his side could not afford to slip up with the in-form Brisbane Broncos just three points behind on the ladder in fifth spot.

"The Broncos are always around in the semi-finals, they've got a great team ... and they're sort of breathing down our necks a little bit," Anasta said.

"If they get a bit of momentum and we lose some, we could end up out of the four.

"It wouldn't be the end of the world, but it's something we don't really want to happen."

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