Sam Tomkins: Hard fight but late try lit the afterburners

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Manu Vatuvei escapes the tackle of the Bronco's Todd Lowrie as the Warriors grind out their win. Photo / Getty Images
Manu Vatuvei escapes the tackle of the Bronco's Todd Lowrie as the Warriors grind out their win. Photo / Getty Images

Having just passed the halfway mark in the NRL season, I'm now really enjoying my football and feel a lot more comfortable and relaxed than I was at the start of the year.

Saturday night's game against the Broncos at Mt Smart was a difficult one for me and the team as a whole but we ground out the win. It wasn't really a game for the backs with the damp and slippery conditions and we had to roll our sleeves up and do a bit of the other work.

Sometimes you've got to win ugly and I think we did that. We were way off our best but still we found a way to win and you've got to be able to do that in the NRL.

The Broncos are a very competitive side and they work hard for each other. They put us under pressure as expected but the good thing was we stood up to that.

We started the game slowly and were off the pace at times throughout the 80 minutes but I can't pinpoint why that was the case. We prepared the best we possibly could but we just weren't quite with it from the start. Sometimes that happens but the positive is we didn't let that ruin it for us.

It was pleasing however, the manner in which we bounced back after Ben Barba's late try. We knew we had to come back fighting and we turned the momentum around straight away when some great play from a few of the boys put Chad Townsend through to seal the result. We still had to compete after that but overall the boys showed a massive amount of effort.

I'm also really enjoying playing up in the line and helping to create play rather than having to sit back and wait for the action to come to me. I played quite a lot of five-eighth back in England and have also played internationals at No6, so it was a part of my game I wanted to keep when I came here. Coach Andrew McFadden has given me a bit of a free licence to roam and play what I see and it's been working well.

Cappy [McFadden] has to take a lot of the credit for how far the side has come recently and the decision to put him in charge was just about the best thing the club could have done in terms of taking us to the next level. He's an intelligent bloke, he knows exactly what he wants and it's been obvious how he has made a difference since taking the helm.

I've been kept busy off the park recently as my dad arrived here from England three weeks ago. With our game in Perth and last week's bye the Brisbane game was his first chance to watch me play. It's been great seeing him and the club has looked after him really well. He had a nice box for the game, whereas he normally watches from the stands, so he really enjoyed himself.

- NZ Herald

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