Fittler takes blame as Roosters slump - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fittler takes blame as Roosters slump

By Steve Jancetic 23/08/2008 02:45:08 PM Comments (0)

There are signs the honeymoon may finally be over for Sydney Roosters coach Brad Fittler as he took aim at his lack of attention to detail following his first three-match losing streak in charge of the club.

Fittler was critical of his side's preparation for Friday night's 20-0 loss to Cronulla, especially the lack of homework he had done on referee Jason Robinson in the lead-up to the contest.

While even Fittler admitted the lopsided penalty count had little effect on the end result - which left the Roosters just one point ahead of fifth-placed Brisbane - the second-year coach did acknowledge that his side's frustrations with referees were starting the affect their overall performance.

And he didn't look too far when it came to attributing blame.

"We haven't worked hard enough on how the referees are reffing the game, and that's where we've really fallen down," he said.

"It seems to be about how they're reffing the game, not about the game.

"We really haven't challenged penalty counts and challenged that side of he game and that's where I think I've fallen down, I didn't do much of it in pre-season, didn't work on it hard enough, about their calls, about being able to put three in (a tackle) and roll off and take heaps of time on the ground.

"If some part of it's off, you get penalised and we're really poor there. That's something we have to work really hard on as of tomorrow.

"It didn't take away (the fact) they were always going to beat us, they wanted to beat us, they wanted it more.

"We don't give ourselves a fair chance, my attention to detail was pretty poor."

So too was the Roosters attack, which has now mustered just six points over the past fortnight.

Sharks coach Ricky Stuart said he was delighted with how his side had controlled the game, and admitted there was a positive feeling within the group heading into the closing rounds of the regular season.

Cronulla are now tied with Melbourne on 34 points, and with a home final now in the bank, a top two finish is on the radar with games against Wests Tigers and North Queensland to finish.

"Our goal was to move into the last two games with a performance that was improving moving into a bigger and more important part of the season," Stuart said.

"We're not going backwards with our preparation now. We've had a couple of games where we were off over the last two weeks ... we're going into a schedule next week with a footy team that's on the improve."

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