Rugby League

Upended … Anthony Minichiello gets mauled by Tigers. Photo: Steve Christo

Sydney Roosters No.1 Anthony Minichiello would have loved to have been the hero, but he described the key play in yesterday's clash with the Tigers as he saw it - as a complete fluke.

Minichiello stripped the ball from the grasp of Ben Murdoch-Masila as the Tigers forward was bounding over for what seemed a certain try in the 25th minute of yesterday's clash at Leichhardt Oval. At the time, the Roosters led 12-4.

''It was pretty lucky,'' Minichiello said. ''He came through on a cross play, straight through our line. I suppose I just gave him my best shot. The ball came out. I don't know how. I ended up with it. Obviously saving a try is almost as good as scoring one. We were under pressure at that stage, so it was lucky that play came off.''

In a young side, Minichiello is one of the most experienced players and he showed it with that remarkable try-save. He is adamant the Roosters, who ended a four-match losing streak with their victory, were not fighting for the minor placings this season. ''We really needed to win to stay in that race for the final eight. It was pretty important for us.

''It's definitely still achievable. We believe we can make the eight. We had a few lapses that we're trying to eliminate. Hopefully the win will give us a bit of confidence to go on and play Manly next week.''