League Test rivals tone down emotions
They are the emotional barometers for their respective packs, but rival Test forwards Anthony Watmough and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves claim they have learned the benefits of playing rugby league with control.
That’s not to say the pair won’t pack a punch when they lock horns in the Australia-New Zealand Test at Eden Park on Friday night, but it won’t be with the same wild intent of their formative years.
Waerea-Hargreaves’ introduction to Test football could not have been more heart-on-the-sleeve, when he launched a verbal and physical assault at the Kangaroos in the opening game of the 2009 Four Nations tournament in London.
But it was an unsustainable gameplan carrying plenty of risk, with the Sydney Roosters enforcer saying he has learned to better channel his energies.
“I was like a little headless chicken running around out there,” Waerea-Hargreaves recalled.
“That game was a total blur to me. I ended up after the game just saying ‘are we done, are we done?’.
“(Since then) I’ve tried to take the ineffective side of my game away and tried to be a little more effective in my tackles and overall defence.”
Watmough, too, is team-oriented in his thought process.
The Manly back-rower is yet to dominate on the international stage like he has for Manly or in his powerhouse displays for NSW in the 2009 State of Origin series, but he says that is not a focus for him.
“It’s hard to do it (stand out) with the likes of Billy Slater, Cameron Smith, Greg Inglis out there but, if I’m doing my job, I’m happy,” Watmough said.
“If I wasn’t doing my job, I wouldn’t keep getting picked.”© AAP 2013
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