Its a great credit to the entire group of players and staff who have obviously worked hard to get out of the rut and back out there playing the footy that we were so used to throughout season 2012. I think the return of James Graham and Sam Kasiano has helped but I dont think its fair for me to sit here and say that those two are the reason behind the change in form. I believe Head Conditioner Tony Grimaldi deserves some praise for the way in which Graham has returned to the playing field.
There is no doubt that James wouldve been itching to get out there throughout the time he was suspended but I can almost guarantee that Grimaldi wouldve been putting the Englishman through a huge amount of work that wouldve made him feel like he was playing a game each week. Big Sam as well has just stepped back in and returned to playing the same way that he was in 2012 where he took out the Prop of the Year award.
I think Marty Taupau and Tim Browne deserve a mention for the work they did throughout the early part of the year. Although the results werent ideal, those two blokes tried their guts out in the middle of the park. Marty has come on in leaps and bounds and will only get better, he carries the ball strongly and as he develops and adds that other dimension to his game hell definitely be someone youll be seeing more of at the top level. Browney is just a big human and you can see that hes working on getting the little things right which is helping his game. Just the quicker play-the-balls and momentum moving forward will keep him in the Coachs minds when selecting the team each week.
Ill be at Hunter Stadium this Sunday as it is my local ground these days but I think itll be a good clash with a confident Bulldogs side looking to continue their winning ways up against a Knights side that are looking to find some confidence. There has been plenty in the news up here all week about how theyll answer the heavy defeat last week so itll be good to see the match.
With Origin just around the corner I think it would be good to see someone like Aiden Tolman in the side. He is someone that Id definitely endorse, he is such a consistent performer and all you need to do is look at the stats and compare him across the competition to see that he wouldnt look out of place in a Blues jersey. I think Josh Morris will be there but the other Josh in the side, Reynolds, is someone who if given the chance wouldnt disappoint.
The boy from Belmore wears his heart on his sleeve and is such an entertaining player to watch. I wouldnt discount skipper Michael Ennis either. I know Robbie Farah had a strong series last year but Mick is similar to Aiden in the way that he is so consistent week in, week out.