Anasta's milestone in sight - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Anasta's milestone in sight

By Ehssan Veiszadeh 14/07/2010 06:06:14 PM Comments (0)

Sydney Roosters captain Braith Anasta says it's getting harder for players to reach big playing milestones due to the increasing intensity of the game.

Anasta will make his 200th NRL appearance on Sunday as the Roosters take on his old team Canterbury Sydney Football Stadium.

The former NSW playmaker says he feels lucky and excited to be playing his milestone match against the club where he started his career.

"I've played probably half my games there and (have) got some very special memories from the Bulldogs," Anasta said on Wednesday.

He said it was getting harder for current players to reach similar milestones.

"I think you will find it harder probably because of the intensity of the game, how quick it is and how physical - it seems to go up a notch every year.

"Also with the threat of leaving the code too at the moment. You see players like (Israel) Folau and Gaz (Mark Gasnier) and those guys are leaving, so to reach a milestone has become harder too."

The Roosters, who are fourth in the NRL ladder, hope to record their first three-game winning streak since 2008, when they take on the in-form Bulldogs.

Last year the club collected its first wooden spoon since 1966 and appointed Brian Smith coach to start the rebuilding process.

Smith started the season playing new recruit Todd Carney at fullback, but the former Newcastle mentor admitted the switch had not worked, and moved the former Canberra playmaker to five-eighth and shifted Anasta to lock.

"At the start it took me back a bit. Obviously playing so many years at five-eighth," Anasta said of the decision.

"Smithy pulled me aside and said 'I think it's time to move to lock for the best interests of the team', and I agree with him."

The changes have paid off with the Roosters moving into the top four on the ladder.

"We feel we belong where we are and we also feel we can improve as a team. We'd like to think we're a genuine contender for taking out the premiership," he said.

"We don't want to get ahead of ourselves but we feel that we've got the football team and the potential here to win the competition and we're not selling ourselves short, that's for sure."

Anasta also urged the NRL to introduce a salary cap allowance that would reward players like Anthony Minichiello for loyal service to their club.

"I definitely believe that players should be rewarded for long service, especially for guys like Mini (Minichiello) who's been at this club forever," he said.

"He deserves to stay here and finish his career."

Minichiello has been in his 11th year of loyal service for the Roosters and needs to make a decision on his future in the coming weeks.

The NRL have been discussing the concept of increasing the salary cap concession, which currently stands at $100,000, for players who have played a certain number of years for a club.

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