Peachey gives new Sharks caretaker a rap
In-form Penrith ball-runner Tyrone Peachey says caretaker Cronulla coach James Shepherd played a huge part in his 'overnight' success as a Panther.
As Shepherd begins his NRL coaching career tasked with handling a playing squad still reeling from the loss of two coaches and star five-eighth Todd Carney, the ex-Shark is just one example of what the former Roosters first-grader is capable of when grasping a clipboard.
Already brimming with confidence and an attacking game many rate as Origin-worthy, Peachey said his former mentor not only took his repertoire to another level, but also ensured his weakness became a strength.
"He taught me so much, he added so much to my game," Peachey told NRL.com.
"The main thing was he didn't want me to take all the hit-ups. He just wanted me to tip it on and when the opportunity came, to go for it.
"He made me work on my defence a lot and he just helped out so much. He's a good coach. I think everyone respects him down there. Hopefully they can better themselves."
Peachey, 22, has remained in contact with a number of his old teammates after winning the 2013 NSW Cup premiership last year. And while the nephew of Sharks legend David Peachey sympathised for their current plight, he expressed no regrets regarding his move to the foot of the mountains.
"I love it here. It was the best move I could've ever made. It's sad where Cronulla are, but to see where we are, I suppose I can say it's a pretty good move. I'm happy with what I've done," he said.
"It's sad what's happened with Toddy. Toddy's a good bloke. He taught me a lot when I was down there. [And] with Sharpie leaving as well, that's pretty sad that he quit. Hopefully everything goes well and it all works out, but it's sad."
The diminutive second-rower has been a revelation at Penrith this year, providing the Panthers plenty of footwork and speed in the middle third of the field. And while he was quick to credit the coach currently in Cronulla hot seat on Monday, he also said his present coach has been a big reason for helping him establish a spot in the NRL.
"'Shep' started when I was in -20s. He kind of got me on a roll and then when I went up to first grade, he helped out a lot with [Shane Flanagan] and Sharpie," Peachey said.
"And last year with [NSW Cup coach] Tony Herman in premier league, he helped out so much. He gave me my confidence and told me to do what I do.
"But then coming here, under Ivan, says my main emphasis is defence that I need to work on. I know that and I have been trying to work on that a lot."