Petero a pin-up for ageing props: Ryles - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Petero a pin-up for ageing props: Ryles

Will Knight 09/02/2011 07:50:50 PM Comments (0)

Sydney Roosters prop Jason Ryles says the nerves he's feeling ahead of this weekend's trial match, is a sure sign he's in a good frame of mind leading into his eleventh NRL season.

The 31-year-old admitted summer training has taken a toll on his 115kg body, but declared he's looking forward to the chance to go one better with the Roosters, after last year's grand final loss to his former club St George Illawarra.

"I've actually racked up a few (off-seasons) now, they don't get any easier that's for sure," said Ryles, who will line-up against Canterbury at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday.

"Leading into a trial, you still get nervous so the expectation on yourself is always still there, so I guess while it's still there I'm still keen to play."

Ryles comes off contract with the Bondi club at the end of this year and says he's likely to wait until the middle of the season before discussing his future with coach Brian Smith.

"I've got a bit of an agreement with Smithy that if I'm feeling OK and playing OK then we'll talk about it then," he said.

"I'm still trying to chase that elusive premiership and I think we're certainly building to something here."

Ryles, who played 156 games for the Dragons from 2000-2008, before a stint with Catalans in the English Super League, is inspired by the durability of 34-year-old Penrith prop Petero Civoniceva.

"Petero's a pretty exceptional athlete but it certainly does give me a little bit of hope that I can play for maybe one or two more seasons.

"But we'll cross that bridge midway through the season.

"Everyone says when you turn 30, you're on the downward slide about the way you feel and everything starts creaking.

"A few things creak, but that's been happening since I was about 22.

"So touch-wood, I'm feeling OK at the moment ... and hopefully it translates into a few good games for the Roosters early in the season.

Ryles said the Roosters have already talked about avoiding the struggle that afflicted Parramatta last season after their comparable golden run to the grand final against Melbourne in 2009.

"Smithy's touched on it so far. Last year we weren't expected to do anything and we sort of flew under the radar a little bit," he said.

"But teams are going to be ready for us now and they're going to be ready for the (Todd) Carneys and (Mitchell) Pearces and those sorts of guys.

"We're certainly ready for the fact that teams will be expecting a hard game when they play us so we're certainly going to have to lift on what we showed last year."

Ryles says the Roosters haven't bothered reflecting on the disappointment of last season's grand final loss.

"It was terrible getting beaten. It was hard.

"I personally haven't watched the grand final from last year - it hasn't really been spoken about and we've just sort of been focussing on how we can improve this year."

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