As a teammate, I'm gutted Connor Watson is leaving. As a mate, I'm proud of him for making a tough call that he is happy with and a decision he believes is in the best interests of his footy.
The same goes with Kingy [Josh King]. He's earned an opportunity to advance his footy at another big club and grabbed it. I haven't got a bad word to say about either of them and neither has anyone else at the club.
If anything, it will be an added incentive to make sure these two quality blokes leave the club on the best possible note as far as what we can achieve on the field over the next couple of months.
I must admit Connor's decision probably shocked me a bit. I think we were all pretty surprised. We knew there was stuff going on behind the scenes contract-wise with him but it didn't seem to affect him too much. He kept things pretty close to his chest. I think he sat down for a coffee with Adzy [coach Adam O'Brien] on Tuesday morning to tell him first before he called us all to a meeting on our day off to break it to us before the news hit the media.
It wouldn't have been easy for him to tell us and the news was obviously disappointing because you never like to lose a teammate and the same goes with Kingy.
But we are all big enough and man enough to understand what happens in footy these days and teammates don't always stay teammates forever. That's the nature of the beast.
In Connor's case, the Sydney Roosters are right next to us at our resort on the Sunshine Coast and you can bet there have been quite a few sweet conversations going on between him and Robbo [Roosters coach Trent Robinson] over the past few weeks.
From my point of view, like I said, losing these guys at the end of the season just provides even a little bit more motivation for us now. We've got ourselves up to seventh spot with three games left and our fate is well and truly in our own hands.
The win over the Sharks on Sunday wasn't anything to write home about if I'm honest about it but the important thing is we found a way to win. That's something we haven't been able to do too often in the past.
They put us under plenty of pressure defensively but we mostly came up with the right answers and to grind out a win like that against a team as desperate as we were is a confidence booster.
Now we turn our attention to the Bulldogs and a game we are expected to win on Saturday on the Gold Coast. We haven't always handled these type of games well and the key for us is making sure we don't give them a sniff. Give them too much footy and it will be game on.
We won't have DSaf and Friz [Daniel Saifiti and Tyson Frizell] but we have the players to cover and I'm pumped for Jirah [Momoisea], who gets his chance to debut off the bench.
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