Roosters can bridge gap quickly: Anasta - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roosters can bridge gap quickly: Anasta

By Guy Hand 16/08/2008 10:25:26 AM Comments (0)

Sydney Roosters captain Braith Anasta admits his side is a rung below NRL premiership chasers Melbourne, but believes they have the scope to turn things around by the finals.

Anasta's Roosters were given a clinic by the Storm at Olympic Park on Friday night in a 30-6 loss - pressured into errors regularly by Melbourne's relentless defence, especially in a powerhouse first half display.

As the Storm powered back into minor premiership contention, the Roosters slipped out of it, though their top four hopes didn't suffer as fifth-placed Brisbane were beaten by St George-Illawarra on Friday night.

But Anasta admitted that Friday night's defeat showed the gap between his side, which has now lost four of its last six matches, and those at the pointy end.

"We need to improve to match it with those guys and Manly. Our execution let us down. Our effort was there," he said.

"They put you under pressure and they hold their nerve. That's the difference between them and other sides.

"We're not where we want to be coming to the semis, but the good thing is we've got three weeks to get there so we'll just keep working hard and hopefully we'll come through."

The Storm have lifted themselves back into contention to finish top of the table ahead of nearest rivals Manly and Cronulla with their impressive win on Friday night.

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy declared winning a third successive minor premiership would be a valued milestone - treated far more seriously by him and his players than others whose eyes are only on the grand final.

"It's a little bit undervalued in our game," Bellamy said of finishing top of the table.

"To be top of the table after 26 rounds in this tough competition is a credit to the team that does it.

"The minor premiership - halfway through the week it's forgotten. It's a good achievement to be in front. It's a tribute to that team's consistency."

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