Roosters unfazed about crossing ditch - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roosters unfazed about crossing ditch

15/09/2008 03:16:59 PM Comments (0)

Sydney Roosters captain Braith Anasta believes his side's bruising loss to Brisbane will prove the perfect preparation for Friday night's unlikely NRL semi-final against the New Zealand Warriors.

The Roosters will fly to Auckland on Tuesday to prepare to face a Warriors side soaring with confidence following its sensational 18-15 upset over reigning premiers Melbourne.

The win gave New Zealand a surprising home final against the Roosters, who were expecting to face Cronulla after their 24-16 loss to Brisbane in last Friday's first qualifying final.

Anasta said the Roosters were unfazed by the trip across the Tasman and believed the loss to the Broncos, arguably the most physical game of the season, was the perfect tune-up.

"We didn't win on the weekend but you look at those (other) games and I think our game was the most physical and probably the highest quality out of all the games," Anasta said.

"We did come off second best but not by a long way.

"We take a lot from Friday night's game, regardless of whether we would've won or not, and it doesn't change where we are now.

"We're confident that we can match it with any team in the competition and they're on a roll but we're confident we can stop them."

Anasta expected another brutal encounter against the Warriors, who have long been renowned as one of the NRL's toughest teams.

"They dominated Melbourne's pack pretty much and looked pretty comfortable the whole game," Anasta said.

"We've got to control their big fellas."

The NRL's controversial McIntyre finals system meant the Warriors earned a home semi-final this week despite the fact they finished the regular season in eighth compared to the fourth-placed Roosters.

But prop Nate Myles refused to criticise the system, believing the Warriors had fairly earned the advantage by toppling the minor premiers.

"They played really well yesterday and they deserve it," Myles said.

"We lost to a good side on Friday and it's a game where we were in front and I think we should've won but it's their (New Zealand's) reward.

"We put ourselves in this position so we're going to have to go over there and perform really well to beat them."

Aside from being handed a tricky fixture, Anasta said the results from the opening week of finals had changed little in terms of the Roosters' premiership aspirations.

"It (the Warriors' win) was a bit of a surprise but it doesn't really change much for us," Anasta said.

"We've still got to win three in a row to win the comp.

"We're just getting on with the job and making sure we prepare as best we can for the game.

"We didn't expect to be going to New Zealand for the first semi-final - it's a bit unusual - but at the same time we've got a pretty good record there and we're pretty excited about it."

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