Blair keeping things simple at Wests
02/07/2013 4:43 PM
Resurgent Wests Tigers forward Adam Blair has credited a change of position and effort to cut back on his rugby league intake as the key to his return to form in recent weeks.
It seems Blair has come in for constant criticism since his move from Melbourne to the Tigers in 2012, with many feeling the Kiwi international hasn’t lived up to his big-money price tag.
The Tigers have had to shed the likes of NSW star Andrew Fifita, Bryce Gibbs and Chris Heighington since Blair has arrived at the club and by his own admission he has yet to fully repay the club with his best form.
But there have been glimpses in recent weeks of the form that made the 27-year-old one of the most destructive forwards in the game while at the Storm and it’s coincided with the Tigers’ winning streak.
Coach Michael Potter has switched Blair to prop over the last weeks and the statistic tell the story, with the hard-running forward making more tackles and metres than he has in some time.
“It’s a completely different position playing in the front row, a simpler job,” Blair said on Tuesday.
"In this team you just carry the ball forward and work hard in defence.
"I’ve never been really big on stats, even when I was in Melbourne.
"I do everything I can for the team, if that means putting kick pressure on or a quick play the ball, that’s what I’m about.
“I’m a big team player and sometimes people don’t see that on the outside. Maybe I don’t get that much credit for it but I know myself I do everything I can for my mates.”
While it’s taken longer than he would have liked, Blair feels he is starting to feel like he is performing well and contributing strongly to his side’s fortunes.
And he believes making an effort to take his mind off football away from training and playing matches has helped his cause.
“When the times were tough I just got away from thinking about footy, just to clear my mind of watching footy, reading papers,” Blair said.
"Even having footy apps on my phone I got rid of all that stuff, even got rid of Twitter.
“Those things get to you and as soon as I got rid of all those things I switched back on to what I need to do for myself.”
After just two wins from their opening 10 games this season, the Tigers are suddenly just two points out of the top eight after four wins from their last five games.
They get a tough test of their revival on Friday night when they take on Cronulla at Sharks Stadium.
Former Tigers Fifita, Heighington, Beau Ryan, John Morris and Isaac De Gois are all in the Sharks side, who also won the previous encounter between the sides this season 30-6.
Doesnt sound like he’s enjoying playing at prop but just doing it for the team & coach.
Who cares if he isn’t enjoying it. He’s there cos he’s sucked everywhere else. It was play well at prop or play in Reggie’s I believe.
He’s been playing well and I hope he keeps it up or that’s exactly where he’ll end up once we get some players back from injury.
Posted using RoarFEED 2013
He’s massively overpaid as a competent but unspectacular prop, but then again he’s not as overpaid as he was as a complete waste of space back rower. After a season and a half of the latter I’d say the former is pretty clearly the least worst option at this stage. Shove him up there to extract at least some value till we can get the contract off the books.