Respected Wests Tigers prop Todd Payten says the front-row depth of the
club is looking strong but his main concern is getting back onto the
field to lend his experience.
Currently sidelined with a knee injury, Payten is confident the team can
break free from its indifferent form and make a serious challenge for
the Telstra Premiership finals. He is hoping to return to the field next
"I know we can play. We have had plenty of experience out for quite some
time in Lote, Gareth, Chris Lawrence and myself,‘’ Payten said.
"The young guys in Aaron Woods and Andrew Fifita can play and have done
a good job but as a front-rower, you don’t really sort of get a grasp on
the game until you are 25 or 26, so they are ages away.
"Tim (Sheens) often says you are not a first grade footballer until you
play 50 games. In the front-row, you are not a first grader until you
play 100 games. Everyone is bigger and stronger than you are and you are
still coming to terms with the pace of the game.
"This is why Keith Galloway is starting to come good now. He is 25 and
it feels like has been around forever. He has been the leader of our
pack this year.
"The future in the front row looks good for us but we have to worry
about this year. Hopefully by the time I come back it is not too late to
make the finals.
"With the injuries we’ve had, if we can stay in the eight or around the
bottom of the eight until we get everyone back, we can then build
something from there.
"We are going to have to fight and scrape. We won ugly against Penrith
but that’s the way its going to have to be. We are not going to be as
fluent as we have been at times with that many players out.
"A sign of a good side is when you can win while you are playing
ordinary. We have done that on a few occasions and been beaten on
others. The big positive we can take out of all of this is we are in
eighth place and haven’t dropped too far away.
“I’m sure we will come good.”
Source: Wests Tigers (by Wayne Cousins)