Rooster Anasta praises Brian Smith - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rooster Anasta praises Brian Smith

By Ian McCullough 10/04/2010 02:40:50 PM Comments (0)

Sydney Roosters captain Anasta has praised Brian Smith's influence on the NRL side ahead of Sunday's clash with Penrith at CUA Stadium.

Under Smith, the Roosters have won three of their opening four games and shown glimpses of a side with genuine top-eight credentials, with a 60-14 defeat by the Bulldogs their only blip so far this season.

Anasta believes the manner in which the veteran coach dealt with that crushing loss was reflected by his players as they bounced back to beat Brisbane last Friday.

"Smithy is very experienced, he knows how to handle situations and I think the way he handled to Bulldogs defeat was great and a lot of the players responded and put in for him in the win against Brisbane," said Anasta.

"Last week was a big game for us. If we lose two in a row after a big loss, then all of a sudden our season is already going down a touch."

However, Anasta wouldn't be drawn on whether the appointment of an experienced coach was something the club could have done with last season when they won just five games under Brad Fittler's leadership.

"The bottom line is he (Smith) is here and doing a good job," he said.

However, the former Bulldogs utility is confident the club has turned the corner following the nightmare that was 2009 and saw the Roosters claim their first wooden spoon since 1966.

"We have plenty of challenges in us and we are rebuilding but heading in the right direction, but we still haven't really put it all together for 80 minutes - but we are not far away," he said.

"We must make sure we don't drop off again and play like we did in the Bulldogs."

Despite that steady progress, the former NSW playmaker said the Roosters were still a long way from being one of the top sides in the competition.

"I don't think we are up there with Melbourne and St George," he said.

"You have got to earn that, and that comes with being consistent.

"We can say we are a top-eight team when we make definitely become one.

"We are scoring points but we still haven't reached our potential ... but if we can still keep producing in attack, then we can be a top-eight side."

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