Sydney Roosters legend Brad Fittler has implored young playmaker Jackson Hastings to run the ball more as the Tricolours try to click into gear in the new NRL season.
The Roosters have suffered morale-sapping back-to-back losses to South Sydney and Canberra in the opening rounds and travel to Townsville to face premiers North Queensland on Thursday night.
With Mitchell Pearce suspended and James Maloney now with Cronulla, the Roosters have lacked experience and direction over their first two games with Hastings and fellow youngster Jayden Nikorima partnered at the scrumbase.
“You can see that they are missing their senior players, it is hard to say where they go from here,” Fittler said on Channel Nine’s Sunday Footy Show.
“Jackson isn’t threatening the defence at the moment, Nikorima when he had an option he just took on (Josh) Hodgson with speed (to score a try).
“But Jackson doesn’t seem to be doing any threatening.
“He is doing a lot of pointing and I think he needs to take more to the game, he needs to run a bit, they don’t look too tough to defend against at the moment (the Roosters).”
There are reports Hastings is struggling with a quadriceps injury. He is an accomplished goal kicker, but Latrell Mitchell had the duties against Canberra, missing all four conversions in kicking two from six.
Roosters halves coach Andrew Johns also told Channel Nine’s Sunday Footy Show Hastings would have been disappointed with his effort in the 21-20 loss to Canberra, in particular not attempting a field goal late in the match.
“They are young halves and they will make mistakes,” Johns said.
“It is just about management of the game and they should have taken a shot at field goal.
“But they will grow and they will get better.”