Big moments not enough for Reynolds
Bulldogs five-eighth Josh Reynolds came up with two big match-winning plays at the death to get his side home against the Dragons on Saturday night but says he wants to be the player that can guide the Bulldogs through the finals series.
Reynolds helped create the Shaun Lane try that snatched the lead back for the Bulldogs in the 78th minute, then kicked the match-sealing extra time field goal.
But with calm and composed halfback Trent Hodkinson out injured for the rest of the season, Reynolds said he feels he has a lot to work on if he wants to be the player to lead Canterbury around the park and through the 2015 finals series.
"I feel myself I've got a lot to work on. A couple of times [against the Dragons] I probably took the wrong option whereas if we scored a try or even got a repeat set we probably could have put the Dragons away," Reynolds said after the heart-stopping win.
"I'm still learning in that sense and I'm definitely trying to become that player. I'm definitely not going to change who I am because that's how I've got here but I definitely want to be the guy when the game's on the line to guide the boys around the park."
Reynolds drew praise from his coach Des Hasler, who said after the match "[Reynolds] came up with some key plays, some pressure plays [but] right across the board I think we can improve a bit, particularly with the ball."
The Dogs have plenty of excuses with Reynolds having been in and out of the side due to injury and suspension, a new hooker in Damien Cook after front line rake Michael Lichaa broke his ankle late in the season, and a young halfback in Moses Mbye stepping in for Hodkinson.
"I take a fair bit of the whack there, I've known these boys for a long time now and I've got to direct them around the park and execute the plays," Reynolds said of the scrappy effort.
"Moses and Cooky and myself, we're working to get a good combination. We've had a couple of games there now so hopefully we can execute a bit better next week.
"We've been mixing and matching throughout the year here and the good thing about the club and Dessie is everyone sort of knows their role if they come in. We definitely want to work on it but I think the combination's getting a little bit better hopefully."
Reynolds added he didn't feel the need to shoulder all the extra burden of Hodkinson's absence on his own though.
"Everyone knows their role in this club and we share the load really well," he said.
"In the matter of organising the team I think I had to step up a bit there because Trent usually did that and I feel between me and Moses and Cooky we have to share the load but I want to take it on myself a bit.
"I'm not a young kid on the block anymore, I've been around for a couple of years now so I definitely want to be improving my game week in week out."
Reynolds admitted Hodkinson had always been the organiser in the side.
"Me and Moses... if we both shared a little bit of the load getting the boys around the park, I think we're doing an OK job," he said.
"We get feedback from the boys and they tell us we're going OK but we've always got things to improve on as everyone does. We'll definitely be working hard to create that combination and hopefully we can create a good one."
Reynolds was under no illusions that the Bulldogs would need to improve on that effort when they face minor premiers the Roosters next week.
"It was very scrappy. We've had a talk already, we were scrappy at stages, we thought St George out enthused us. But you only have to win, it doesn't matter if it's by one or by four you get through to the next round," he said.
"It doesn't get much easier [next week]. The Roosters are a great side but so are we, we always seem to step up at semi finals time and it's not about the silky plays anyway, it's about who's ready to show up and I think there was a fair indication that the boys have got a fair bit of ticker in our side which is good to know."
This article first appeared on NRL.com