It was great to get all the pats on the back after our efforts under adversity against the Panthers last Sunday.
I said after the game it was one of the best backs-to-the-wall performance I've ever been involved in and I was proud of each and every one of the boys but particularly our three debutants, who stood up brilliantly under pressure.
But the accolades and adulation had a shelf life and for us, it lasted a couple of days.
By Tuesday following our review, the game, the performance and the pats on the back that followed, were put to bed. Done and dusted.
Straight away, the focus became the Raiders and the challenge now is making sure last Sunday was not just a one-off, flash in the pan.
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It was the sort of effort we need to come up with every week, not once every six weeks. It's a culture and standard we have to make as the norm at this club if we are to genuinely get to where we want to be in this competition. There is probably no better test for any side right now than the Raiders.
They are just a powerful footy side with plenty of big bodies who combine really well. Along with Parramatta, they are probably the early yardstick. So Sunday will give us a real indication of where we are actually at. Having KP back and Macca [Andrew McCullough] for the first time will boost us.
The game is definitely a lot faster because of the six-again rule and one referee and more challenging for us bigger blokes but I didn't mind it to be honest.
I think just about all our backs ran for around 10 kms against the Panthers, which is what fullbacks normally do in a game, instead of the usual seven or eight kms.
There are noticeably less stoppages and less time for a breather and the ruck is quicker, particularly later in the tackle count.
I know for one that I'm more conscious of getting off the man with the footy quicker when I'm defending later in the tackle count because you don't want to give away a six-again.
It's going to be challenging as the season progresses for the players but from the fans point of view, it's already a better game to watch.
It's not something in our control but not having a home ground close by and travelling on the same day to away games is another challenge we're facing. I was up at 7 am for a walk with the kids last Sunday before the team left by bus at around 10.30 am.
We stopped off at Kellyville for a walk and something to eat before continuing on to Campbelltown.
After the game, we were looked after by the club food-wise with steak and pulled pork wraps and drinks on the three hour trip back to Newcastle and I eventually got home at around 11 pm.
We do it all again this Sunday but I can't wait.
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