Sydney Roosters excited for ‘fight’ against Craig Fitzgibbon’s Sharks
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Sydney Roosters excited for ‘fight’ against Craig Fitzgibbon’s Sharks

On Saturday night, Sydney Roosters’ hard man Lindsay Collins will face Craig Fitzgibbon for the first time in his career, who set him on the path from limitless 21-year-old to Origin star.

Sydney Roosters excited for 'fight' against Craig Fitzgibbon's Sharks

Before taking the job as head coach with the Sharks this season, Fitzgibbon spent ten years getting the best of young players like Collins as an assistant to Roosters coach Trent Robinson.

“Fitz is a great man who has greatly impacted my career. I have a lot of time for him,” Collins said.

“He guided me through my transition from an NRL player one-week and to NSW Cup player the next to k in, week out on the NRL side.”

Under Fitzgibbon, the Sharks have already emerged from the blockade of the middle ladder and into the battle for the premiership.

The Sharks conceded nearly 100 fewer points this season than last year, and Collins said it was no wonder Fitzgibbon was in charge.

“Fitz brought and emphasized the defense here, and I think that’s what (the sharks) did,” he said.

“They’re generally just aiming for this year. It’s good to see. I’m looking forward to the fight on Saturday night.”

The Roosters are mainly looking to take the win for utility company Connor Watson in the Indigenous Round this weekend.

Before the clash, Watson, a proud Indigenous man, played a pivotal role in designing an Indigenous Round jersey unlike any other the Roosters had seen.

Cultural Choice Association, the charity of Watson and his family, teamed up with the Roosters, Indigenous artist Jordan Ardler and young Indigenous artists from the Frank Baxter Juvenile Justice Center to design the jersey. “The artwork is titled ‘New Growth, New Hope,'” Watson explained.

“It’s all about these youth care guys turning a new page, striving for more, and wanting to make a difference in their lives.

“It was cool to have those guys paint something like this and be really proud of what they could do.”

Watson has a long history of great work in the Indigenous community. He said he hoped Indigenous Round could be a starting point for his teammates and the public to learn more about Australia’s First Peoples.

“The buy-in from the guys is great,” he said.

“It’s a really good opportunity to educate everyone about our culture.

“(But) it shouldn’t just take a week like this before we want to learn about it and learn about it.

“It’s up to everyone to believe in it and learn more about the first people here in Australia.”