Tupou ready to fire for Sharks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tupou ready to fire for Sharks

By Ben Horne 10/04/2010 02:41:04 PM Comments (0)

Cronulla second rower Anthony Tupou admits he has a lot more to offer his NRL team than what he's been showing this season and declared he's ready to return to his dynamic best.

Tupou said the Sharks' grinding style of play had limited his opportunities of late but he predicted halfback Tim Smith's injection into the side would open things up for him.

His damaging running and excellent ball skills regularly propelled him into Australian and NSW jumpers in past seasons, and the 27-year-old has received fresh inspiration to return to those heights.

Tupou said playing in the pre-season All-Stars fixture was one of the highlights of his career and made him miss playing on the game's elite stage.

Cronulla need Tupou to fire if they're to add to last week's drought-breaking win over Parramatta with victory over Manly at Brookvale oval on Sunday.

Tupou knows the time has come for him to re-emerge as a weapon.

"That's definitely what I'm going to try to do," he said.

"I know at the moment it's more of a grind for us with the way we're going to play teams which is good, but I'm also going to bring what I can to the table and work on that.

"I have a lot more to offer the team and I think that's going to come if we give ourselves opportunity with the football."

Poor ball-handling quashed Cronulla's chances of being better than 1-3 to start 2010, but Tupou believes that minimising their mistake rate along with Smith's inclusion will boost his own individual impact.

"I think so (Smith's arrival), that's what I was thinking. Just how sharp he is around No.7, he can hold up a lot of defenders for me and I think it will be pretty good for me too. I'm happy," he said.

"I don't think (previous inconsistency at half) was the reason (for his lack of opportunity). It was the drop balls that were killing us and that's why I wasn't really getting the ball, because our team didn't have the ball.

"I think (Smith) is just going to help. I can't put any blame on anyone else that was there doing the job, because no-one had the opportunity because we didn't have the ball.

"I have learnt a lot off the coaching staff ... just under pressure, how to manage it.

"Us as players look to them and we see them being so strong. We see that and gain strength from it.

"I learnt not to do anything drastic and keep working hard and it'll work out."

Tupou said the Sharks weren't getting ahead of themselves after last week's relieving win, and know they face a huge task to beat the Sea Eagles at Brookvale, where they have won just five times from 34 starts.

"Everyone's still focused and we know we've got to work hard," he said.

"Last week was good for our confidence and reminded us that hard work can pay off.

"We didn't really write ourselves off. Probably a lot of people outside the club did but we tried not to look at that or let it affect us.

"That's why we've come out of it pretty good and we're pretty strong I think."

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