Cornish holding his own in two new worlds
Identified by many as the Raiders' great hope for the future as he continues his development in the NRL, Canberra's 10-game halfback Mitch Cornish is managing to hold his own on the field while still adapting to life as a father.
Welcoming Noah into the world in December, Cornish said the presence of his son inspires him to do everything possible for the Raiders, for the greater good of his career and young family.
"He's keeping me on my toes, mate. You can have a bad game and you get down on yourself but you have to pick yourself up and realise it's not all about you and you have a little family now and that in itself motivates you for next week," Cornish told NRL.com.
"We were all hurting pretty hard after last week, the game was ours to be won really, and I was feeling really sorry for myself. But when I get home and see my little one there smiling at me, you just can't help it – it's a breath of fresh air really."
It is the disappointment of losing – as exhibited in the Raiders' 18-6 defeat to the Warriors last weekend – which demonstrates how Ricky Stuart is on to a good thing in Cornish.
Vying to do what's best for baby Noah and partner Abbey off the field, on the field Cornish is focused on doing his best for the Green Machine and isn't daunted by the veteran halves who oppose him.
"It is funny. I don't look at other teams and see blokes as opposition players. I'm just more focused on doing my own job and doing better than who I'm playing against really," Cornish said.
"Even last weekend, there was a big thing on 'Me v Shaun Johnson' which I didn't realise was going on around me. I was just concentrating on doing right by my team."
With a heavy focus on his own game, Cornish isn't content with facets of his playing style, adding his kicking game definitely needs work if the Raiders are going to be successful in 2015.
"[My kicking is] rusty. It's something that I pride myself on," Cornish said.
"Even when I'm a little bit off I'm filthy on myself because that's my role in the team but obviously being only the first two games I'm still searching for combinations to get things going."
Coming up against Benji Marshall and Gareth Widdop's struggling St George Illawarra outfit on Saturday afternoon, Cornish also believed a win was vital if they are to build GIO Stadium up as a fortress in the nation's capital.
"It's massive to be able to play at home and put on a good show," Cornish said. "That's what we try and do each week because the crowd gets behind you then. We want to get growth in our fan base and that starts by playing well in Canberra."