Barrett one of the best in NRL: Tupou - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Barrett one of the best in NRL: Tupou

By Steve Jancetic 26/03/2009 08:59:03 PM Comments (0)

It took just one pass almost three years ago for Cronulla backrower Anthony Tupou to realise the Sharks were on to a winner when they signed former St George Illawarra playmaker Trent Barrett.

The scene was a quaint country ground in Lismore in northern NSW and the impressionable Tupou was making his representative debut.

"I remember playing with him for Country Origin (in 2005) and the first pass he gave to me he put me into a hole and I went under the posts," Tupou recalled.

"They disallowed the try but I still remember that pass.

"Ever since then I sort of knew he was a bit of a freak, and he's up there with the best going around."

Now the pair have once again been reunited, this time as two of the key attacking weapons of the Sharks line-up.

Noticing a need to improve his side's potency with the ball, Cronulla coach Ricky Stuart recruited Barrett and Tupou along with hooker Corey Hughes and backrower Reni Maitua in the off-season.

Barrett and Tupou seemed to strike up an immediate understanding with the round one win over Penrith, but as last week's disappointing loss to Newcastle showed, there was still some way to go before they got their combination down pat.

"It will happen I think, because it's pretty good at training, we just need to take it into the game," Tupou said.

"We know we can combine well together, it's just a matter of when it happens - I don't think you can put a time on it."

For Sharks fans, there could be no better time for the duo to click than Sunday afternoon when Cronulla make the short trek across to WIN Jubilee Oval to take on bitter rivals St George Illawarra.

New to the Sharks-Dragons derby but a veteran of several just as intense South Sydney-Sydney Roosters battles, Tupou said he was slowly gaining an understanding of the rivalry.

"My brother actually told me about it last night," Tupou said.

"He used to play at the Dragons (in the lower grades) and he said 'just in case you don't know, you hate the Dragons'.

"All the boys have been talking it up all week about how big the rivalry is.

"You can just tell getting around Cronulla, all the jersey's are out, both Dragons and Sharks, there's a bit of a feel about it.

"Those (Souths-Roosters) games were always heading towards semi-final speed, so that's how we need to prepare for it.

"I don't know much about the tradition and the background of the rivalry, but I know what local derbies are about."

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