Fitzgibbon Approaches Record

Roosters workhorse Craig Fitzgibbon is closing in on one of the few records he is yet to possess ? finishing an NRL season as top tackler.

Fitzgibbon needs to make just seven more tackles than Bulldogs counterpart Tony Grimaldi on Sunday to etch his name into the rugby league annals once again.

?You can?t underestimate the impact a guy like Craig has on this football team,? coach Ricky Stuart says.

?No one tries harder and is in the thick of things more than Fitzy.

?He?s a player every coach would want in their side, I imagine.?

Fitzgibbon has now made a staggering 100 tackles in two matches ? a prime reason behind the Roosters? vastly improved defensive efforts over the past three weeks.

?We?ve had to work a lot harder in defence over the past month,? Fitzgibbon says.

?When the Dragons towelled us up (44-6) it touched a bit of an ego nerve.

?Our last three weeks have been a lot better.

?We know if we can keep teams to one or two tries a game that we stand a great chance of winning.

?Everyone?s digging in and doing the hard stuff, though.

?We?re working more for each other now.?

With Friday?s win keeping the Roosters in the finals hunt, Fitzgibbon?s fear isn?t Manly defeating Canberra on Sunday to officially end the club?s season.

?It?s maybe that we?ve left our best until it?s too late,? Fitzgibbon continues.

?We played some great attacking footy against Brisbane.

?It would be a shame to hit form this week and last week and then not make it.

?But it?s a long season and if that?s the case, we haven?t been good enough.

?Everyone here is still desperate to finish in eighth spot, but too a large degree, it?s out of our hands.

?All we can do is beat the Bulldogs on Sunday and hope things go our way.

?Any win over them at any time is going to be even sweeter.?