Head down. Eyes on the prize. More often than not this season have we seen the success of Wests Tigers winger Pat Richards kicking flair, and it could be paying dividends elsewhere in the rugby league world. Credit: Shane Wenzlick. Copyright: NRL Photos.
Experienced Wests Tigers winger Pat Richards has let his actions do the talking in an effort to secure a possible New South Wales Origin berth.
While the 32-year-old believes he is next to no chance of replacing injured Dragons winger Brett Morris, his impressive array of kicks is making those that matter take notice following his difference-making 30-metre field goal from the sideline, brilliant kick-offs and five goals against the Knights on Sunday afternoon.
While the former Man of Steel (England's answer to the Dally M medal) was renowned for his incredible kicking finesse during his time with Wigan, he didn't seem all that impressed with his miraculous one-pointer against Newcastle.
"I was obviously aware of the time and the score and all that sort of thing. At the end of the day, if you miss it isn't the worse thing in the world – it's just that extra point. It was an ugly last play option for us," Richards told reporters after the game.
"I just sort of got myself into position to have a crack and I think the wind helped it sail over.
"I didn't hit it that great. I hit it to the right and the wind ended up sailing it over so off the boot it wasn't good."
A humble Richards is certainly not one to have tickets on himself and it becomes more than apparent when he is asked whether his kicking flair will have the same effect it does in the NRL in the Origin arena.
"Who knows?" Richards said. "I don't think I'll be selected. No chance at all... I'll just worry about what I'm doing here because I'm enjoying my footy at the moment. I'm not really holding out much hope.
"All you see is a few things in the press, whether you're in the frame or not. You can't really worry about it. If you're in the frame Laurie Daley's going to ring you and tell you and I don't think he will so it doesn't bother me."
While he is clearly concentrating on doing a job for the Tigers, Richards is still looking at ways to improve his kicking game, an unlikely mentality from a winger when all is said and done.
"Over the years I've been working on it. Now I just want to keep on challenging and trying new things. I don't really want the opposition to know what's coming so I just keep practising in different ways."
Whether he secures an Origin debut or not remains to be seen but Richards' return from England to the club he won a premiership with in 2005 is certainly paying dividends.