I can get better, says Lockyer - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

I can get better, says Lockyer

By Wayne Heming 16/04/2009 02:26:45 PM Comments (0)

They were six words Penrith coach Matt Elliott would rather not hear but music to the ears of Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak ahead of their NRL meeting at CUA Stadium on Friday night.

"I know I can play better".

With those few words, champion Broncos five-eighth Darren Lockyer admitted his form wasn't on song - yet.

And with his very next breath, the news got even worse for Penrith with Lockyer declaring he wanted to rectify his shortcomings this weekend.

Lockyer has copped some criticism in recent weeks for making some uncharacteristic mistakes.

The Broncos veteran, currently re-negotiating his final contract, has been guilty of kicking out on the full, having his bullet-like passes plucked from the air and missing tackles.

Henjak is not concerned by his star playmaker's lapses given he played just one pre-season trial and is breaking in a new backline.

Lockyer conceded he wasn't at the top of his game after Brisbane completed preparations for Friday night.

"Myself personally ... the last few weeks there's been a few errors in my game defensively and with the footy so I want to cut those out," he said.

"I know I can play better but my priority right now is making sure the team is going well."

Confronting former long-time teammate Petero Civoniceva, who this week re-committed to Penrith - killing off speculation of a swansong with the Broncos - would be quite a challenge.

"I hope I don't have to run into Petero too many times," smiled Lockyer.

"Penrith have been going quite well. They only just went down to the Storm.

"They're playing some good footy and they're having a go and Petero's been a big part of that.

"I'm sure Petero will take it up another notch against his old club."

Henjak acknowledged Civoniceva could be a "brutal" defender at times and also that Penrith's offloading and spark out wide made them "very dangerous".

"The big thing Petero brings to the team is the confidence his gives everyone else," said Henjak.

"He's a strong ball runner and he can be a pretty brutal defender at times as well and he's got some offloads in him.

"They're a very good offloading team. They play a good second-phase game and they've got some very dangerous players when they get that sort of ball in the Jennings's and Cootes and Luke Lewis's."

Brisbane collapsed in the final 10 minutes last weekend before clinging on to beat a fast-finishing Roosters 28-24.

While disappointed with the fadeout, Henjak defended his players coming off a tough opening four games against the Cowboys, Melbourne, Warriors and Dragons.

"You've got to be realistic and understand that our players just can't do that week in, week out for 80 minutes," he said.

"I doubt whether any team in the NRL can do that.

"We certainly don't want to get into the habit of doing what we did last week, but it's difficult to stay on top for so long."

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