Anasta backs Roosters to bounce back - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Anasta backs Roosters to bounce back

By Ian McCullough 09/06/2009 03:47:49 PM Comments (0)

Sydney Roosters captain Braith Anasta has backed Willie Mason to return to form and says his team's much-improved NRL performance against Manly was a sign they have turned the corner.

The Roosters slipped to the bottom of the ladder following Saturday's 38-18 defeat at Brookvale, but Anasta says the scoreline was not a reflection on the way the team performed.

"I thought we played well against Manly, we can definitely improve on that but it was a step forward ... I can see us having a better second half of the season compared to the first," Anasta said.

"It's not a good feeling playing in a team that is coming last and we want to change that and make sure we can start to win some games."

Mason has been criticised for his under-par displays this season and he has also been under scrutiny for off-field misdemeanours including being stood down for breaching a club rule on drinking alcohol.

The former NSW and Test prop has been unable to recreate his best form since undergoing reconstructive knee surgery last year, but Anasta said he still has a lot to offer the team.

"I think Willie can get back to his best, everyone can go through some up and down form in their careers.

"I suppose he has to keep working hard ... I have played a lot of footy with him and know he can get back to his best."

Anasta also said the atmosphere among the Roosters players has improved following an no-holds-barred, clear-the-air meeting between the players last week.

"It has definitely made a difference," he said.

"We had a good in-house chat about things and you could tell we were not on the same page and not enjoying our football but now we feel we are heading in the right direction.

"We had to make sure we had a good environment and a happy one ... so everyone comes and enjoys playing footy."

The former NSW five-eighth also admitted the speculation surrounding coach Brad Fittler has been difficult for the players.

"It's hard as everyone is under pressure when you are losing ... everyone supports Freddie and really enjoys working for him and thinks he is a great coach," he said.

"I suppose being under a bit of scrutiny and pressure it is a bit hard to cop but we have to just deal with it."

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