Idris asks fans to be patient
Ahead of Penrith's crunch match against the Bulldogs, strike centre Jamal Idris has asked his new fans to give him "six to seven games" for him to reach Origin-level form.
Despite his side going down in a thriller against Melbourne last Saturday, the former NSW representative turned in a vintage performance in his club debut, running 155 metres and having a hand in two tries.
But Idris admitted he was still far from his best, and only hoped to build on last week's outing in front of his new home fans.
"It was good for my first game in nine months," Idris described of his game last week.
"I started cramping up there around the 60-minute mark. It was awesome to be out on the field, that's where I'm at my happiest. It's been a while, I was counting [the months] actually, because I was wondering why I'm so sore."
The23-year-old hadn't played in a competitive fixture since his 2013 campaign with the Titans was brought to a premature end by a horrific ankle injury against Newcastle in Round 16 last season.
He was also forced to miss the club's season-opening victory over the Knights with a hamstring problem he picked up in a trial game.
"I'm not too bad with match fitness, it's the other kind of fitness, just the general running on the training paddock that kills me. But match fitness I'm with," Idris said.
"I don't know how long until you see me at my best, give me about six to seven games... I was just glad I didn't get any injuries [last Saturday]. It's always in the back of my mind, thinking about the hamstring. But it held up fine and it was good to get through the game."
Idris coincidentally faces his former club in his home debut, and said he was looking forward to the clash.
"We've got the Bulldogs this week, which should be really good at home. I'm sure their fans will come and support me," he said.
"You always want to play well no matter who you're playing, but I think the only difference is the little remarks you get from people who still remember when you were at the Bulldogs in Sydney going, 'Why'd you leave?'
"And I'm like 'Really? That was three years ago!'
"We've got to watch their forwards, they've got a great forward pack and they tend to go through the middle of teams. If we can get through that, we'll be alright."
Marking the ex-Bulldog will be newly re-signed centre Josh Morris, in what will be their first clash since Idris left Belmore at the end of 2011.
"I've played alongside him, I've never had a chance to play against him [because] he's always been out injured," Morris said.
"He'll be looking to have a big game against us no doubt and I think I'm marking up on him so it's going to be a good contest and one that I'm looking forward to.
"He's not getting any smaller that's for sure, but he's a very dangerous player. He's got the offload, the big bump and the big fend so I'm going to have to be on my toes all game.
"He's obviously had a few injuries along the way, and it seems like all those worries are behind him now and he can just focus on his footy. He is a damaging ball runner when he gets some space, so it's going to be a good tussle."