Minichiello in hot seat for Roosters - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Minichiello in hot seat for Roosters

By Steve Jancetic 05/08/2009 05:39:41 PM Comments (0)

The only thing five-eighth about the way former Test fullback Anthony Minichiello intends to play on Sunday will be the No.6 on his back.

Minichiello has been thrust into the playmaking hotseat by default, with the 2005 Golden Boot winner forced to take what was on offer after coach Brad Fittler decided against changing his back three for the clash with the surging Wests Tigers at the Sydney Football Stadium.

The 29-year-old made a name for himself as one of the game's toughest fullbacks before being slowed by persistent back injuries, and he was forced to dig deep into the memory bank to recall his last run at pivot.

"I played under-14s for my junior club. I went alright I think," said Minichiello, who has been limited to just three games this year due to an ankle injury.

"A good mate of mine - the halfback in that side - gave me a call yesterday and he said 'do you need any tips, I can be at training tomorrow?'

"Freddy (Fittler) and I had a chat, last week the boys went really well and had a great win and he didn't want to disrupt the fullback or the back three."

But while Minichiello will run out wearing the No.6, he doesn't expect to spend too much time at second receiver.

"I am not going to play a traditional five-eighth role, I'm going to switch between centre and five-eighth and play as an extra fullback in attack," he said.

"(Fittler) said there was opening at five-eighth and I suppose I can't demand where I want to play.

"I've been out for a while so I said 'mate, put me wherever you want, I'll have a go'.

"I'm a fullback - I class myself as a fullback and that's my position but I'm just filling in for an open spot at this stage."

Minichiello at least has the chance to get some useful tips at playing five-eighth, with Fittler one of the best to ever play the position.

The last-placed Roosters registered a morale-boosting win against Newcastle last week which gave them some hope of avoiding the wooden spoon.

Most of the attack against the Knights ran through halfback Mitchell Pearce, and Minichiello said he was expecting much of the same against the Tigers.

"I will let 'Pearcey' run the side and I will push up around the ruck and support the forwards and give him some options if I can," Minichiello said.

"I'm not going to try and be tricky and do all the ball playing stuff."

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