I’m struggling post-Origin: Civoniceva
Warhorse Petero Civoniceva concedes there is no guarantee he will finish his career as Brisbane’s starting prop with Ben Hannant and Josh McGuire in such great form heading towards the NRL finals.
Civoniceva, who’ll retire at the end of the season as the game’s most capped Origin and Test forward, says he has to pick up his own form to avoid being dragged into the front-row selection battle between Hannant and McGuire.
Representative prop Hannant has wrestled back his starting spot from the aggressive McGuire for Monday night’s clash with Parramatta with their battle likely to be a week-by-week contest.
“No player is comfortable and Hook (coach Anthony Griffin) has always been adamant about that,” Civoniceva said.
“I’m fully aware of the challenges ahead of holding down a spot.
“If we’re going to be a threat we have to have our best players out there.
“I’m fully aware the decision could be made to bring me off the bench and I’m ok with that.”
Civoniceva approaches every game with the attitude his position is on the line.
“There’s been some tough calls made where I’ve had to cop it on the chin, but that’s part of being in a team and wanting what’s best for the team,” said the 300 game forward.
“If it means sacrificing a spot or missing out because of poor form, that has to be the call by the coach.”
While he answered critics yet again in the Origin series decider earlier this month, the 36-year-old admitted he wasn’t happy with his current form.
“It’s always hard coming back out of Origin. I always find it takes a little bit of time to get back into it,” he said.
“If I am honest, I’ve got to improve on the football I’m playing, I’m probably a bit down on what I should be.”
McGuire was outstanding up front for Brisbane during Origin, and said he had been keen to start against the Eels.
“Benny played really well last week and he’s got the jump on me this week and hopefully it’s going to be a running battle for the rest of the year,” said McGuire.
“I’ll be pushing hard to get it back. It’s never personal.”
Lock Corey Norman (medial strain) and five-eighth Corey Norman (groin) failed to train on Thursday and face late fitness tests.© AAP 2013