Smith mulling over Roosters captaincy
Sydney Roosters coach Brian Smith may experiment with a new captain for the remainder of the NRL season to prepare for Braith Anasta’s departure from the club.
Anasta, who took over from Craig Fitzgibbon as skipper at the start of 2010, is joining Wests Tigers next year and Smith said if his side can’t make the finals he may look to change, but only if Anasta agreed.
“I’ve had a good think about that and it’s a really tough question,” Smith said.
“If we do get to where we can’t actually make the play-offs, there’s a chance we could experiment with some things.
“I have such a huge respect for Braith and I know how much he loves playing for the footy club.
“He loves being captain and I think it would probably have to come from him rather than me about that.
“It’s open for debate I suppose but at this stage I don’t think I will rock the boat on it.”
The Roosters host Gold Coast on Friday, knowing defeat will snuff out any chance of making the finals for a second successive year.
Smith concedes they need to win their remaining six games to have any genuine hope and is expecting a difficult encounter from a Gold Coast side coming off two wins.
Smith has pinpointed Jamal Idris as a threat and said the giant centre is back to the form he showed when he burst onto the scene at Canterbury in 2009.
“He’s a real impact player and it’s going to take a real team effort to stop him,” he said.
“He’s been playing on the right side for them and it is a bit unusual, he’s sort of gone back to where he was when he was a Bulldog.
“In that position, he’s going to keep our left side on their guard for the whole game.”
Smith once again denied there was an issue between him and halfback Mitchell Pearce, calling such speculation “garbage”
And Pearce, who has been criticised for some patchy form since his return from the State of Origin series, received backing from Titans coach John Cartwright.
“He’s got a lot of experience for a young fella,” Cartwright said.
“If he plays well the team plays well. We have to keep him quiet. He doesn’t ask to get talked up the way he does.
“He’s forced his way into Origin and everyone expects him to be a superstar.
“He knows he has to keep chipping away, it just doesn’t happen overnight.
“He’s got all the attributes, he just needs time.”© AAP 2013
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