You don't easily forget the feeling of being humiliated on a rugby league field.
There is nothing nice about having your weaknesses exposed to such an extent that you feel embarrassed about a performance. But in the space of a couple of weeks at the end of last season, we experienced that feeling twice.
The first was our capitulation to the Tigers at Campbelltown when our season was on the line and the second was when we caved into the Panthers in the final round at Penrith.
So it's probably a touch ironic that when our season resumes on Sunday week, we'll be at Campbelltown taking on the Panthers. But while the memories may not have completely faded, we are a world away as a team from where we were last season.
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I actually enjoy playing at Campbelltown but the truth is, I've been champing at the bit so hard to get back on the field again, I couldn't care less where they put us or who we were drawn to play.
Penrith will be a real good test first up. Like us, they won their opening two games and they came from behind in one of them to beat the Sydney Roosters which is no mean feat.
Sure, Nathan Cleary is a big loss for them and it's a boost for us he won't be there after he smashed us scoring 34 points in that final round belting.
But a guy like [hooker] Api Koroisau will be a huge threat out of dummy half for them and they have enough talent in the halves and strikepower elsewhere to more than compensate.
As far as training goes, everyone is really confident about where we are at. They have trained us really hard but at the same time, they have looked after us. It has been really smart how they have gone about getting us ready to play again.
Everyone is feeling really good and raring to go. The first few days of contact, there was some soreness there but we have done heaps of it since and the boys are all pulling up good. I'm really happy with where we are at and I think Adsy [coach Adam O'Brien] is pretty happy as well.
We've been training Monday and Tuesday, Wednesdays have been like a recovery day, then we've been going again on Thursday, Friday and Saturday so it's been pretty full-on.
Saturday is normally the bash-up day where they flog us but because we are back playing on Sunday week, I think our big session will be Friday this week with a couple of days off over the weekend to freshen up.
Everyone has been putting in the hard yards, even all the younger boys who are on the fringe. They don't know when they'll be playing again but they have been ripping in and giving us a good shake when we have been doing our opposed sessions.
That's exactly what we want, all those guys pushing us. We have started the season off really well and we need to maintain the rage.
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