Tigers to test Roosters' mental strength - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers to test Roosters' mental strength

By Todd Balym 20/02/2009 07:01:39 PM Comments (0)

It may only be another NRL trial, but Saturday's clash with the Wests Tigers will teach Brad Fittler a lot about the mental strength of the Sydney Roosters.

After a deflating 48-point loss to St George Illawarra in Perth last week, Fittler is keen to see how his men rebound from a heavy defeat.

With stars such as Anthony Minichiello, Mark O'Meley, Nate Myles and Craig Fitzgibbon added to the side Fittler knows performance should improve but he also wants a noticeable lift in intensity too.

"It is a given that last week we didn't really test out how we were going to approach games and show our mental toughness," said Fittler.

"You don't want to be talking about that sort of stuff in trial matches but I think you do have to practice that sort of stuff.

"We need to be starting games and lifting the intensity levels.

"(The Dragons) were way above us in that area, regardless of what team we had."

Fittler has an almost full strength side at his disposal this week and is keen to see if they'll come out firing after the confidence-sapping loss.

"If you do cop a touch up during the year you want to bounce back. Maybe we could practice that," he said.

"Practice how we rebound and how we approach the week after getting beat pretty convincingly."

The Foundation Cup is one of seven NRL trial matches over the weekend with games in Darwin, Melbourne, Wollongong, Auckland, Brisbane and Sydney.

Gold Coast forward Brad Meyers will start in the Titans clash with Cronulla in Darwin on Saturday after Anthony Laffranchi was ruled out.

Meyers starred against his former side Brisbane last week and is determined to push his claims for a permanent starting role in the Titans outfit.

"It was good to finally blow the cobwebs out last week, I know the young guys were itching to get out on the field after a really tough pre-season and I am sure the Titans' more established players will be feeling exactly the same ahead of the Cronulla encounter," said Meyers.

"On a personal level I am really looking forward to the year ahead, my 2008 campaign was cut short with injury and if I can stay fit and play at the standard I know I am capable of and do a good job for Carty (John Cartwright) and the Titans, then yes I would love to play State Of Origin again."

Former Test winger Jarryd Hayne will make his debut in the No.6 jersey as new Parramatta coach Daniel Anderson looks to make the NSW star into a five-eighth.

Hayne will be joined by Brett Finch, Nathan Hindmarsh, Luke Burt, Feleti Mateo and Eric Grothe as a host of Eels stars make their 2009 debuts at CUA Stadium against Penrith.

In other Saturday games, the Storm host Newcastle at Princes Park in Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra clash at Dolphin Oval in Redcliffe, St George Illawarra and the Bulldogs battle at WIN Stadium while the Warriors entertain North Queensland in Auckland on Sunday.

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