Riddell revelling under mellow man Smith - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Riddell revelling under mellow man Smith

By Ian McCullough 04/04/2011 06:27:07 PM Comments (0)

The sprays are not as common as they used to be from Brian Smith, and Mark Riddell says he's loving life at the Sydney Roosters under the veteran coach.

The former St George Illawarra and Parramatta rake returned from a two-year stint with English side Wigan at the start of the year to link with his former mentor.

And Riddell said he's more than happy to play a role for the team off the bench as he re-adapts to life in the NRL.

"It is not so much the speed, it is the game itself, I had a bit of a different role yesterday against the Tigers playing the last 20 minutes instead of the first 20," Riddell said on Monday.

"It's how my role is going to be, with the 10 interchanges, it just makes it easier to make just one change instead of two in the hooking department.

"I am happy with that role, my job is to make a difference and I was pretty happy with that yesterday."

Riddell had a hand in Todd Carney's sizzling try on Sunday in the 24-6 win over Wests Tigers and has been impressed by the five-eighth and halfback Mitchell Pearce since his arrival at the club.

"It makes it easier for me and Jakey Friend to have Pearcey and Toddy in the halves, we work hard at training together on our plays with them," he said.

"As long as there is no injuries to them they should definitely be the NSW halves this year, they know each others games so well."

Smith let his players know in no uncertain terms that he was upset at the manner of their performance in the round two defeat by Manly, but Riddell said the veteran coach's sprays are not as bad as he remembers.

"I've seen a few over my Parramatta days, but he seems to have mellowed out now, the boys reckon they are few and far between nowadays, but when he wants to get going he can!," he said.

"I have to say I don't actually remember that far back (against Manly) to be honest.

"All of the players knew our attitude was poor that day, we talked all week about how physical Manly would be and we didn't turn up on the day.

"But it's better to have those sort of performances now than in a finals series."

Riddell has formed a burgeoning partnership with fellow rake Jake Friend and said despite being 10 years his senior, he is learning from the young Queenslander.

"I wouldn't say I help him out or mentor him, I am not one of the blokes who bombards people with bucketloads of information," he said.

"I try to help him out a little bit and he helps me with his enthusiasm for training.

"He will become a really good kid ... and he's only going to better the older he gets."

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