Brad Fittler ripped by NRL fans over 'embarrassing' act in commentary during Roosters loss

The former player is a diehard Rooster - and sometimes he lets it show during NRL games.

NRL fans are questioning whether Brad Fittler should be allowed to work on Channel 9 games involving the Roosters after his sideline comments left much to be desired on Thursday night. Fittler was down on the sideline for the Nine Network as the Melbourne Storm won 18-12 to surge to the top of the NRL ladder.

The former player is a diehard Rooster through-and-through, but he sometimes lets his love of the Bondi club cloud his judgement. And it was on full display on Thursday night, particularly during a contentious moment during a pivotal passage of play in the second half.

Brad Fittler, pictured here alongside Roosters players.
Brad Fittler's commentary of the Roosters has left NRL fans fuming. Image: Getty

Jahrome Hughes grubbered into the in-goal and appeared to be taken out by two Roosters defenders after kicking the ball. But referee Ashley Klein didn't blow a penalty, and the ball went over the dead-ball line to give the Roosters a seven-tackle set.


A number of Storm players were still blowing up at the referee when James Tedesco took the tap on the 20m line and looked like he could run the length of the field. Cameron Munster was clearly not back the 10 metres but decided to grab Tedesco anyway, sacrificing himself so the Roosters didn't score a try.

Munster's actions were a blatant professional foul, and he was sent to the sin-bin for his troubles. But fans and commentators were left questioning whether the play should have got to that stage after the Storm appeared to be denied a clear penalty for the Hughes incident.

The Storm and Roosters in action during their NRL clash.
The Storm didn't get a penalty after Jahrome Hughes was taken out, and saw Cameron Munster sin-binned just seconds later. Image: Channel 9

Brad Fittler disagrees with fellow Channel 9 commentators

In commentary for Channel 9, Andrew Johns and Mathew Thompson were both of the opinion that the Storm should have been awarded a penalty for the actions of Angus Crichton and Zach Dockar-Clay. But not surprisingly, Fittler didn't think the Roosters players did anything wrong.

Crichton and Dockar-Clay both grabbed Hughes after he'd kicked the ball in what appeared a blatant foul. But Fittler chimed in that the Roosters duo were simply standing their ground and closed the space around Hughes because they thought he was going to run the ball. Regardless, you can't impede a player who doesn't have possession.

As the play eventuated and Munster was sent to the bin, Fittler again chimed in with an extraordinary call that the Storm five-eighth should receive a fine from the NRL for walking off the field rather than jogging. It is true that the NRL has sent an edict to all clubs in recent years that players must run rather than walk when they've been binned, but seriously Freddie?

NRL fans unhappy with Brad Fittler's commentary

It hardly seems like something important to note during the game, and Fittler's Channel 9 colleagues were quick to poke fun at his gripe. Thompson even made a point to cross down to Fittler after the Roosters had a try ruled out because the final pass from Joey Manu to Victor Radley was forward.

Thankfully Fittler conceded it was a forward pass, but the fact Thompson made a point to check with the Roosters great was very telling. Fans took to social media to complain about Fittler's seemingly one-eyed comments, which came in stark contrast to those of Melbourne legend Cameron Smith.

Smith was also in commentary for Channel 9 during the game, and managed to keep his analysis neutral and unbiased. Smith has copped backlash in the past for cheering on Queensland while in commentary for Origin games, but most fans can accept that has been part of Origin for a long time and former players in commentary will always barrack for their state. But for some reason standard NRL games are different, and Fittler's commentary during Roosters matches is starting to get on the nerves of fans, with some labelling it 'embarrassing' and 'cringe'.