Pritchard thrives in new NRL surrounds - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pritchard thrives in new NRL surrounds

Steve Jancetic 15/03/2011 10:17:10 PM Comments (0)

If a change is a good as a holiday, new Canterbury recruit Frank Pritchard must feel like he's sailing through the Maldives.

After eight inconsistent years with Penrith, Pritchard made an impressive start to life as a Bulldog as he combined with the plethora of new faces in the blue and white to conjure up a 24-14 win over Wests Tigers on Monday night.

Looking fitter than he has at any time over the last few seasons, Pritchard was all smiles at the team's recovery session on Tuesday, the new surrounds obviously agreeing with the Kiwi international.

"I'm happy man - the boys (have) been good," Pritchard said of his new teammates.

"New change is as good as a holiday ... (the) transition has been awesome.

"The move has been really good for me and my family.

"Mixing it up with the new boys, being in different colour.

"I've been in black the last 10 years, I thought I was colour-blind on Monday."

While he started slowly when he came off the bench against the Tigers as he produced a fumble and gave away a penalty midway through the first half, the 27-year-old rebounded to produce a powerful second stanza capped by a strong charge for a 51st minute try.

Pritchard said he was happy to keep working his way back to fitness and form, with keeping a spot in the 17-man squad more of a priority than forcing his way into the run-on side.

The Bulldogs have a mountain of options in the backrow, with David Stagg and rookie Jake Foster joining skipper Andrew Ryan in the starting 13.

Then there's Corey Payne - who started alongside Pritchard on the bench against the Tigers - and injured Kiwi Test star Greg Eastwood.

The club's NSW Cup team also features an NRL-calibre backrow, with Den Halatau, Gary Warburton and former Cronulla forward Grant Millington all striving for a top grade call-up.

"(There are a) lot of boys in reserve grade fighting to get back into the top squad, so they're keeping me on my heels," Pritchard said.

"(I'm) happy with whatever, if it's off bench, (it's) off the bench, I'm happy to be anywhere in the team."

On Tuesday night the Bulldogs received the bad news that they were expecting when former NSW centre Josh Morris was ruled out for between 6-8 weeks. Scans on Tuesday confirmed the worst - that Morris sustained a torn posterior cruciate ligament against the Tigers.

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