Wing fired up against Roosters: Anasta - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wing fired up against Roosters: Anasta

By Adrian Warren 28/08/2008 07:41:18 PM Comments (0)

Roosters five-eight Braith Anasta expects opposite number and former teammate Craig Wing to produce his best game of the year on Friday night when the local rivals clash in a fixture that has painful recent memories for both men.

Wing, who rejoined Souths this year after eight seasons with the Roosters, was sidelined for over three months after dislocating his shoulder in the early minutes of the opening round game against the Roosters in March.

He was struck down with an ugly but not illegal tackle by Roosters hooker Riley Brown, who dropped his shoulder into Wing as two of his teammates held the playmaker.

Souths players this week made it clear they would be ready to respond accordingly if the Roosters targeted Wing this Friday night.

Anasta, like Wing was a product of Souths Juniors, denied his former teammate would be in the crosshairs.

Impressed by Wing's form since he returned to action a couple of months ago, Anasta expected the Souths talisman to give his team plenty of problems.

"We treat him as one of the most dangerous players in their team, he's certainly going to be one to look out for," Anasta said.

"He's going to want to play his best game of the year against us and we're prepared for that."

For Anasta, Friday's game represents the first time he will play against a Souths side containing David Fa'alogo, since the New Zealand Test forward was suspended for seven games for punching him in a game late in the 2007 season.

"Souths fans will probably be hoping he punches me in the head again," joked Anasta.

"I will be just trying to tackle him ... he's a big boy, so I don't want to get in the way of him."

Struggling to hold onto fourth spot following three successive losses, the Roosters are determined not to fall victim to paralysis by analysis as they considered the reasons for their recent form slump.

"We're probably letting ourselves and each other down a bit. When you lose three in a row you are looking for answers from everywhere," Anasta said.

"You don't want to go too far into it and you don't want to over analyse, you want to work as a team and focus on the football."

With his family steeped in Souths tradition and his uncle George Piggins a former player and coach, Anasta admitted playing the Rabbitohs wasn't just another game to him.

"For me it's a big game, I love playing against Souths, all my family and friends come out here ... I know most of the people sitting in the crowd, so it gets me going."

Souths' coach Jason Taylor felt the game would be a good benchmark for his side.

"The Roosters are a quality football team and we want to show that we can be competitive against teams of their calibre," Taylor said.

The Rabbitohs seem certain to finish 14th irrespective of the results of their last two games, but the improving Bunnies could play the role of spoiler.

"We're not going to make the finals, in truth we're just playing for ourselves, you can build it up however you want, but we're not buying into it," Wing said.

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