Press conference: Connor Watson on Round 9
Out with injury since Round 3, five-eighth Connor Watson said he was glad to be back in the side last week and it was even better to get the win against the Manly Sea Eagles, with a try to top off the night.
"It was good to be out there and get another win with the boys, I have been missing my footy," smiled Watson.
"I was lucky there with the try, it was a close one... but I just got it down and it was a good way to start the game."
Watson admits it was a sweet victory at Brookvale Oval, where it has historically been a difficult venue to come up with the points.
"I haven't won at Brookvale... Chris Heighington has played for 15 years and it was his first win there as well," added Watson.
"It's a fortress... it was a really tight game the other night and I was happy to come away with the two points."
The 21-year-old teamed up with Jack Cogger in the halves and revealed that they used to play junior sport together.
"Jack is a really great player and is similar to Mitchell (Pearce) in a lot of ways, he's a great talker and he's got great leadership," Watson commented.
"I thought it was a good start... obviously, we can get a lot better but in the coming weeks I think that partnership will get stronger and stronger.
"I have known Jack since I was 14, we played a lot of Oztag and touch when we were little, so we've been mates for a long time.
"I used to play fullback when I was growing up, so Jack was my halfback... it's a bit of a different role playing five-eighth with him and it's good to have that combination there."
With key man Mitchell Pearce out for an extended period, Watson admits they have a very young spine leading the squad.
"Myself, Jack, Slade (Griffin) and Kalyn (Ponga) can do a bit more game management, and try to get some more repeat sets, that would be good," Watson said.
"Mitch is out for a while and we need to accept that responsibility.
"As a spine there was a fair bit of talk about losing Mitchell's leadership which is pretty tough, because he's a world class player and is one of the best halfbacks in the comp and has won a few games for us this year."
That being said, Watson admits having a player like Kalyn in the team has been rather handy.
"Kalyn has come up with big plays all year, he just keeps doing it... he's a freak and we just need to give him the ball, sit back and watch him do his thing," he laughed.
"I think he knows he's a really important part of this team and if he keeps getting the ball in those big moments, we'll win more games than we lose."
Watson is also excited to be back at home against the South Sydney Rabbitohs this week to hopefully get another win on home soil in front of a roaring red and blue crowd.
He maintains the Bunnies will be hard to stop, having been impressive in their attack this year.
"They've got a really big pack which will be something that we have to contain, but I'm looking forward to it," Watson added.
"I think we're definitely up for it and they're coming off a close loss as well, so I think it's going to be a pretty intense game."
Meanwhile, Watson has pledged his support to fellow Novocastrian side, the Jets, who are in the A League grand final this weekend, played at McDonald Jones Stadium.
"It's awesome to see, hopefully I'll be out at the grand final myself.
"It's pretty cool they came last, last year and they have turned it right around to be in the finals, so it will be awesome to see and hopefully they win.
"We can take some inspiration because we're in a similar position."
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