‘Taking the p**s’: David Fifita’s shock Roosters backflip slammed

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David Fifita has been accused of “taking the p**s” after the repercussions of his shock Roosters backflip continues to reverberate around the league.

After a circus erupted over Fifita’s contract clause which gave the 24-year-old until the start of last round 10 to activate a player option or be able to sign with another club.

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After a week of speculation he would be going to Penrith, Fifita sensationally announced he would be signing with the Roosters on a four-year, $3.3 million deal.

That lasted for five days with news breaking on Wednesday that late on Tuesday night, Fifita had told Roosters supremo Nick Politis he was having second thoughts.

By Wednesday morning, the Roosters pulled the offer to Fifita.

Speaking on Fox League’s NRL 360, James Hooper said Politis “doesn’t want a player at his club who isn’t 100 per cent committed and doesn’t want to be a Rooster so he picked the phone up at 5:30am this morning and said pull the deal”.

The Daily Telegraph’s Dean Ritchie revealed even when Fifita had announced he signed with the Roosters, Gold Coast powerbrokers believed they were still in the hunt.

“Des and Fifita spoke, it grew legs from there. They went to an off-site cafe. Des then brought Steve Mitchell in, the CEO of the Titans,” Dean Ritchie.

“Remember, last week, Des was very coy in that press conference. He was very cordial towards Fifita … Looking back now, Des hasn’t given up hope. He was still convinced he could keep him.”

For Braith Anasta, the move didn’t make sense, particularly considering there was no rush for Fifita to join a new club.

“So David’s rung Nick up and said I’m coming to the Roosters and then he’s backflipped?” Anasta asked.

Hooper replied: “I find it highly disrespectful that last week David Fifita picks up the phone and is speaking in Greek, he’s ingratiating himself, he’s virtually playing footsies with him under the table with him, right?

“Then he spends 45 minutes on the phone with Robbo (Roosters coach Trent Robinson) and they go over a variety of things and how everything would piece together in terms of the Roosters’ attacking and defensive puzzle.

“Then he rings Uncle Nick the next day, and when he answers, Fifita says ‘I’m yours. I want to be a Rooster’.”

Ritchie agreed it was a sensational backflip.

“I mean, no-one treats the Roosters nor Nick Politis with such disdain,” Ritchie said. “Let’s be honest, this is tantamount to a slap in the face for the Roosters.

“Very few do it to Nick Politis. Given the esteem he has held in this game.

“He’s (Fifita) talking about family. I want to stay up near my family. He’s reconnected with his dad, his mum and grandmother are close. He lives with his girlfriend, but at the same time, he agreed to go last week and his family still lived on the Gold Coast.

“It’s very confusing.”

Hooper said the issue was that Fifita seemed to be sending mixed messages, seemingly all in at the Roosters, while still messaging with Panthers coach Ivan Cleary until the day before his decision.

“I think David Fifita, the way he’s conducted himself, he’s taking the p**s,” Hooper said.

“You can’t carry on like that in the modern world. Elite football is serious business these days. It’s a billion dollar game, and I just think he’s done himself a real disservice.”

And it also appears to have put the Roosters’ nose out of joint.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Politis hit out at Fifita’s backflip.

“It is hard to understand,” Politis said.

“He approached us. And did the same with Penrith. After coming Sydney to meet with Trent Robinson and the rest of the coaching staff, it’s hard to understand how he can display and create uncertainty.

“We’ve decided withdraw our offer.”

Politis is not alone in his confusion over the situation with pundits trying to work out what may have happened.

SEN’s Andrew Voss said Fifita being booed by his own fans in the Titans win over the Cowboys last week may have had a bigger impact than many people would think.

“If the Titans didn’t have a home game the other day … you run out at home on the weekend and the crowd boos you and every time you touch the ball your booed, I reckon you’re feeling pretty down,” Voss said.

“I’m telling you, David is probably not the person fans see. He is a very humble young man and I would say it would have an emotional impact on him.”

However, Bulldogs supremo and commentary veteran Phil Gould claimed the Roosters had “dodged a bullet”.

“I don’t think he was going to suit them and I found it a strange signing for them – I’ll stand by that,” Gould told Nine.

“I’m not saying I don’t think David Fifita is a good player. He is a powerful ball-runner, he’s obviously an impact player and he can certainly win games for you.

“I couldn’t see him, from what I’ve seen of his career, fitting into their work ethic … I don’t understand it. I just haven’t seen it in his career to date.”

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