Fensom excited by roads less travelled
The NRL should explore the idea of playing more regularly at different venues across regional Australia according to Shaun Fensom, whose Raiders team travel to Albury this Saturday afternoon to play the Sea Eagles.
The inspirational lock, who hails from the small mid-north coast town of Bellingen, believes it would only be beneficial for the NRL to explore other untried areas when it comes to hosting games in the future.
Already in 2015 the Penrith Panthers have taken a game to Bathurst, with other sides to play in Albury, Perth, Cairns, Darwin and Wagga Wagga – for the annual Country v City fixture – set to take place later this season.
"It's hard for country folk to get to get games and see NRL players perform so we have to take the game to them and you can see by the numbers they always get fair crowds there and have a good time," Fensom told NRL.com.
"I love getting out of Canberra and going back to the country. We have played trials there before and they always turned out to be pretty good crowds so I'm very excited to get there and I'd really love to see more NRL games played in the country."
With the Raiders ready to bounce back from a three-game losing streak in Albury, Fensom remains wary of his Sea Eagles opponents.
While much has been said about the Sea Eagles' indifferent start to the season, Fensom said he doesn't getting caught up in any discussion over Manly's supposed decline.
This despite the absence of Feleti Mateo, Josh Starling and captain Jamie Lyon for this weekend's clash, adding to an injury list already including long-term casualties in Brenton Lawrence, Jorge Taufua and Clinton Gutherson.
"I don't even read the papers or anything like that. I just get to training, do my vision, work with the coaches and team and work out what needs to be done," Fensom said.
"I don't get caught up with the media stuff. They have three high quality players there in Stewart, Foran and Cherry-Evans who have played together for a number of years so it's going to be a really tough game."
Fensom is more concerned by his own side's issues, especially following successive defeats to the Warriors, Dragons and Roosters.
After losing 34-6 to the Tricolours last week, where they completed at 62.2 per cent and made 13 errors, Fensom added it was the simple things letting Canberra down, not a lack of effort.
"We had video on Tuesday morning and all the vision there showed was the simple stuff was what we needed to fix because really all the simple facets makes up a fair chunk of the way you play," Fensom said.
"We can't expect to make as many mistakes, as we did against the Roosters, and try to defend it. Our effort has been there each week but it's frustrating not coming away with the two points, so we have lots to work on."