Costigan ready to upsize for Dragons - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Costigan ready to upsize for Dragons

By Ben Horne 12/08/2010 10:41:20 PM Comments (0)

St George Illawarra hardman Neville Costigan was worried the jersey wouldn't fit, but after filling out his No.8 shirt nicely against the Roosters, he's embraced his new challenge as an NRL front rower.

"I've never worn a front row jersey before," he admits.

"I'm lucky they get you your own fitted size at the start of the year!"

Costigan concedes he'd rather be at the back of the scrum, but no stranger to the tough stuff, the Queenslander is keen to turn another Wayne Bennett gamble into a masterstroke.

If the Dragons scrum lapses a little to one side against Manly on Monday night, it's because Costigan gives away 14kg to his prop partner Michael Weyman and more than 20kg to his Sea Eagles opposites.

Throughout his career the 25-year-old's barrel frame has been suited to running on the edges, but Costigan revealed he's enjoying the chance to give his brain a rest on the field.

"It does suit me a bit more, I don't have to think about stuff too much, so it's good," he quipped.

"I like playing up front and in the ruck. Wayne brings the best out of everyone and he knows where to put people in their right places.

"It didn't really worry me, I just said whatever's best for the team."

St George Illawarra have been heavily criticised for their attack in recent weeks, but there's been a common link between their points-shortage and injuries to starting props Weyman and Dan Hunt.

Weyman is back on deck now, but Hunt is gone for the season after doing his Achilles.

Jamie Soward, Darius Boyd and Ben Hornby rely on their big men going forward, and Costigan said it's his role now for the rest of the season to help ensure his playmakers have space.

"I think so, (Mark) Gasnier needs to start and I think we're going to stick to that combination for the rest of the year," said Costigan, who has been forced to join Newcastle next season as a result of salary cap pressures.

"They (playmakers) haven't been (as effective) for the last few weeks because our forwards haven't created that much ground for them. But last weekend against the Roosters, the forwards all stepped up and gave them good room to move and that's what we need to work on the next few weeks."

Costigan has been receiving a crash course on being a prop from Weyman, but no text book will help him this week up against Manly's monster pack.

Although an injury to Josh Perry takes away one of their big men, Brent Kite, Jason King and George Rose still present one of the most intimidating front rows in the NRL.

Costigan's philosophy might seem simple, but for a bookend, it's a game plan which speaks volumes.

"I don't know, just smash 'em," he said.

"Just wear them out and hurt them in tackles is the main thing."

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