Mellow Peats wants more game time
Don't be too concerned Eels fans, but your angry little hooker in Nathan Peats is mellowing out.
The aggressive No.9 was back in a big way in last Friday night's boisterous season-opening win over rivals Manly, but there was a little fella who partner Jade gave birth to last week that has suddenly changed the way Peats is living life.
"I drive a bit slower now, the road rage has calmed down when he's in the car. So there's a positive to start off with," Peats said this week.
"I'm just looking to mellow out a bit, relax with my family. I've got a family to look after now.
"I've obviously got big decisions to make and I'm not just making decisions for myself now. People rely on me."
But that doesn't nearly suggest that he's ready to soften up on the field. Not when he's eyeing off the opportunity to tear into a rather sizeable Bulldogs forward pack in the Bandaged Bear Cup clash this weekend.
"I didn't get to play them last year," Peats said of the Bulldogs.
"I'm looking forward to a big challenge in the forward pack. They're a massive side. And coming off a loss, they're going to be ready to go."
In fact, while Peats is softening up in his car and at home, the former Rabbitohs rake is even willing to take out his frustration on the similarly personable Brad Arthur.
In his first NRL outing since twin surgeries on his knee and shoulder midway through last season, Peats had to be dragged off for interchange hooker Isaac De Gois late in the first half to ensure he wasn't doing too much too soon.
He eventually returned, spending time at lock, before finishing the game back at dummy-half.
"I knew I was only going to play 50 minutes this week. That was the plan, obviously because I hadn't played for a while. I was a bit disappointed when I came off," Peats explained.
And now the plan is to unleash his fury for the whole 80 minutes.
"I'm looking to play 80 this week. If not this week, then the week after. So it's just about building me back up to it," he said.
"It's not my fitness, my fitness is good. It's just looking after the body and not throwing me into an 80-minute game straight up. He's [Arthur] looking out for me, I appreciate that, so hopefully I can play some good footy this week and try and make him not take me off."
Peats, 24, says he has no problems blowing up at his own coach – a man who also owns a short fuse – and expressing his desire to play the entire match.
"That's why we get along. We're very similar. We hate to lose. We've got the same personality. We clash at times, but most of the time we're pretty good. He's a good coach and we have a good relationship," he said.
"He just said first week, probably play 50-60 minutes. Then maybe even week two the same thing. I'm not too sure yet what his plans are, but I'll be aiming to play 80. I'm an 80-minute player and that's what I want to do.
"I've just got to let my form do the talking instead of talking to you guys now. Try and play some good footy and repay the faith that he showed me."