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5 days ago
When Braith Anasta arrived at the Sydney Roosters two years ago he was anointed as the club's next Brad Fittler.
Now that Fittler is guiding his career as Roosters coach, Anasta is finally living up to the hype.
The ex-Bulldog produced another man of the match performance in the Roosters' 40-12 rout of his former club at ANZ Stadium on Friday night, prompting teammate Willie Mason to claim Anasta the form five-eighth in the game.
Mason said Anasta even deserved a Test recall if skipper Darren Lockyer fails to overcome his niggling knee complaint for the May 9 Centenary Test.
"It's a shame that Locky is the Australian five-eighth otherwise he would definitely be up there with a chance for that Test," said Mason.
"He is just really improving as a player every week.
"He is an outstanding leader now. He has really come out of his shell as a leader.
"He is steering the team around really well with good kicks and just really good plays. He is coming into his own."
Anasta too is happy with his start to 2008, the 26-year-old gaining confidence from working so closely with Fittler.
He says he has remodelled his game on Fittler's own and his job has been made easier by a forward pack that is dominating their opponents.
"I just tried to carry the form from last year into this year and I couldn't be happier at the moment," said Anasta.
"Freddy has been helping me out quite a bit and just the forwards, you know our boys have been powering through teams and it just makes our job so much easier.
"I look to play similar to (Fittler) and sort of play a similar game to what he did.
"I'm working hard at that and working hard with him with combinations and plays that he used to put on too for the club.
"We've got a good relationship on and off the field and it's great."
Fittler says the key to Anasta's good form is that he is playing patient football and has accepted his role as a leader of the new-look Roosters outfit.
"I think he is holding back and waiting for his chances and biding his time," said Fittler.
"He is playing really composed which is what we need.
"Every time we get a bit scattered he is straightening us up. A good kick and chase, just keeping it simple.
"He understands that is his role, he is one of the leaders there. Given his age and experience he has just taken it on board and knows that is what he has to do."