Freddy as he leads Roosters to victory - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Freddy as he leads Roosters to victory

By Steve Jancetic 14/07/2007 11:42:00 PM Comments (0)

"Freddy, Freddy, Freddy, Freddy" the crowd chanted long and hard as the Sydney Roosters celebrated their finest performance of the NRL season.

But new Roosters coach Brad Fittler claimed he was not the saviour after they upset Cronulla 23-12 at the Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday night.

The win ended a three-match losing streak and erased some of the memory of what had been a long seven days that started with a 56-0 flogging at the hands of Manly followed by the resignation of coach Chris Anderson on Monday night.

In stepped Fittler and the Roosters responded, a Joel Monaghan hat-trick getting the tri-colours home in a fiery contest that put a serious dent in Cronulla's finals ambitions.

"It's good, it's a great feeling," Fittler said.

"It's a real buzz, you're really proud - they've been under a lot of pressure for a long time and it's been a tough year so to be able to turn it around in a week...it's a real proud feeling."

His nerves were calmed when the crowd gave him a standing ovation as he made his way up the stairs to the coaches box before the game.

His effect on the side was obvious from the outset, the Roosters displaying more enthusiasm and passion as well as attacking flair as they spread the ball around the field like a side sitting near the top of the ladder rather than near the basement.

As for the chanting of his name after the game, Fittler said he was honoured but hoped the 8421-strong crowd knew he was not the saviour.

"Hopefully that dies quick but the only person that can control that is me," he said.

"I've got to make sure I get a handle on that and make sure the credit goes to the right people."

Tries to Monaghan and Craig Wing twice gave the Roosters the lead in the first half but a double to David Simmons, including one just nine seconds before the break, put the sides in the sheds locked at 12-12.

Monaghan got his second shortly after the restart before the visitors lost inspirational skipper Paul Gallen to the sin bin, along with Roosters backrower Shane Shackleton, following a melee that involved all 26 players on the field on the hour mark.

Braith Anasta gave the Roosters a seven-point buffer a short time later before Monaghan rounded out a great night with his third of the night after Anasta was ruled to have lost the ball backwards close to the Sharks line.

Sharks coach Ricky Stuart, who won a premiership with the Roosters in 2002, said he was bitterly disappointed with the result.

"The one week that we knew was going to be won on attitude and they had a lot better attitude than us," Stuart said.

"They should have scored another three tries to be honest - they were far better than us."

The only sour note for the Roosters was prop Nate Myles being put on report for a head slam on Greg Bird late in the first half, the Queensland Origin representative facing his third suspension of 2007.

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