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Cowboys hold on to beat gutsy Roosters

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Cowboys hold on to beat gutsy Roosters

Post by CJCorka on Sun Jun 21, 2009 3:09 am

The Sydney Roosters' NRL road-trip from hell has got even worse with news captain Braith Anasta will miss the rest of the season with a fractured ankle.

The former representative star was assisted from the field in the 69th minute of the Roosters' heartbreaking 24-22 loss to North Queensland in Townsville on Saturday night after his leg was caught awkwardly in a tackle.

Anasta was taken to hospital by ambulance following the match for further treatment.

"(Braith) fractured his ankle, he will be out for the year, Roosters coach Brad Fittler said. "He has had some awful luck."

The major injury to their star playmaker comes on the back of coach Fittler fining himself $10,000 after a drunken night out which ended in the former Australian captain trying to enter the wrong room at the team motel at 3am on Friday morning.

The Roosters slumped to their sixth straight loss and left their embattled, and off-contract, coach to declare the 2009 season as the toughest he had experienced at the club.

"Things just start mounting up, whether it be injuries or dramas or results," he said.

"I am not really going to comment about the other night, it is disappointing from that point of view.

"It is a big blow, you lose your captain and on the back of that Ogre (Mark O'Meley) breaking his arm last week.

"There was no Willie (Mason), Nate (Myles), Mini (Anthony Minichiello) so pretty much our five, six marquee players won't be there so it is a tough ask."

Fittler said the club would continue to work through the current patch of bad luck.

"Everyone is there on the same page so we are all there to get a result out of it somehow and make it a positive one," he said.

"We will just move on. All the boys did the club proud tonight and we will get up and do our job tomorrow."

The Roosters let slip two golden opportunities to win the game in the final three minutes.

Halfback Mitchell Pearce only had to find support in the 77th minute but his pass sailed wide, and the visitors were denied again in the final 30 seconds with desperate Cowboys defence sealing their eighth win of the season.

The points had flowed freely in the first half with seven tries run in.

The Roosters exploded out of the blocks to lead 10-0 after tries to Ben Jones (first minute) and Shane Shackleton (fourth) rocked the locals.

The early blitz didn't last and the Cowboys hit back with three soft tries on the Roosters' line to Carl Webb (15th), Travis Burns (18th) and Aaron Payne (25th) to take the lead 18-10.

The Roosters' Anthony Cherrington capitalised on the sinbinning of Cowboys debutant Michael Bani in the 31st minute to score a minute later.

But it wasn't enough to halt the home side's momentum with Steve Southern crossing in the 35th to seal a 24-16 lead at the break.

The Roosters had a golden chance to close the gap in the 56th minute if it hadn't been for a desperate Bani holding up Sam Perrett over the line in a brilliant try-saving tackle.

The visitors did manage to cross three minutes later when Mitchell Aubusson finished off a backline move started by Anasta to close the gap to two.
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