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Robson backs Fifiita for Test spot

Cronulla halfback Jeff Robson believes the form of Andrew Fifita makes it almost impossible for him not to be picked for Australia's Rugby League World Cup squad.
Robson backs Fifiita for Test spot
by AAP

By Ian McCullough

SYDNEY, Sept 21 AAP - Cronulla halfback Jeff Robson believes the form of Andrew Fifita makes it almost impossible for him not to be picked for Australia's Rugby League World Cup squad.

Fifita was unable to prevent the Sharks crashing out of the NRL finals series to Manly on Friday despite displaying outstanding athleticism to pounce one-handed onto a Robson grubber kick at the back of the end-goal area for a try midway through the second half.

It looked to be a match-changing moment as the Sharks cranked up the pressure on the weary Sea Eagles, who were out on their feet in the final 15 minutes, only to hold on desperately for a 24-18 win to set up a preliminary final clash with South Sydney on Friday.

It's been a break-out year for Fifita, who ironically was allowed to leave the Wests Tigers to join Cronulla by Test coach Tim Sheens at the end of 2011.

The 23-year-old impressed in all three State of Origin games for NSW and is his team's top try scorer with nine - a remarkable statistic for a front-rower.

"He's been outstanding, his carries, his workrate, he's been a real pleasure to play alongside this year," Robson told AAP.

"He looked good in Origin and you would be hard pressed to find many props that have played better than him this season.

"With the World Cup coming up I can't see how he won't make the squad and he would thoroughly deserve it."

Robson admitted there was bitter disappointment among the Sharks squad at not being able to finish off Manly, with skipper Paul Gallen denied a try under the posts five minutes from time after veteran hooker John Morris dragged down Matt Ballin in the lead-up.

However, he said there was still great pride at the way the club have put the distractions of the ASADA probe behind them and made a run to the finals.

"It's been a tough year with all the other stuff that's gone on this year," he said.

"But we couldn't have done any more in this game to win. A couple of decisions that could have gone our way didn't.

"But that's rugby league. We got one that went our way against the Cowboys last week so it is what it is.

"But we'll be stronger and better for all this experience next year."




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