In his weekly column, Payten talks about the win and the players who really stepped up.
We turned in our best best performance of the year at Leichhardt Oval last Fruiday night. I thought we controlled the ruck and worked really hard defensively throughout the match. Our edge defenders were more aggressive with the decisions they made.
I was very pleased considering Parramatta were a much bigger side than us and had been rolling through the middle in the last two rounds. It has been their biggest strength. I also thought we played controlled football and built pressure with completions, goal line drop outs and we also had 2 successful 40/20 kicks
Our aggressive effort defensively and the fact we played smart with the football turned their biggest strength into their biggest weakness. Their big forwards became tired earlier than usual and when we were able to repel several sets on our own goal line our confidence grew and theirs waned. We ended up running away with a convincing 40-6 victory.
We had a lot of contributors. Kurtis Rowe took out the players' player award. He scored 2 tries with excellent speed, positioning and anticipation. He also set up 2 with the same attributes and excellent passes to support players. One quickly under pressure from a winger jamming in on him and the other one an around the corner pass on a cover defender whilst falling to the ground at top speed.
Our club has terrific depth at fullback in Tim Moltzen, James Tedesco and Kurtis Rowe.
Forward Brenden Santi took out the coaches award. His effort, movement and talk was excellent. He is certainly leading from the front with our boys. He is never too far from the ball whether it be defensively or when we attack.
Winger David Naufoluma shown some more of his damaging ways from last year and got us on the front foot when he carried the ball.
Manaia Rudolph and Manaia Cherrington played well. Rudolph was a late call up after Matt Mulcahys scratching. His ball playing and direction as a half was pleasing but his defence was most pleasing as he had plenty of traffic run at him and made 22 out of 24 tackles.
He was also making good decision on the edge and moving forward to make tackles.
Cherrington was the same. He is always creative out dummy half but he stood up defensively against a big pack. That must be both of their benchmarks for the rest of the season.
I also must mention interchange forwards in Jake Dooner and Andy Fiagatusa. I have spoken about Jake before and he continued his form.
Andy worked hard also and had some good charges forward and cleaned up a few things around the ruck defensively through pure effort.