James looks to shake 'most-penalised' tag
Gold Coast forward Ryan James says he's yet to produce his best footy in 2015 and is desperate to shake off the stat of the NRL's most-penalised player.
James had conceded 11 penalties in five games heading into Round 5 – four clear of the second-most penalised player, Rabbitoh Ben Lowe – before feeling the referee's wrath a further three times in this side's big win at Pirtek Stadium on Saturday.
"I'm still a long way from my best," James told NRL.com after the game.
"I'm still getting used to the position [of second row], I just need to tuck the ball under and run hard. I got a couple of offloads today but it's just the penalties [that are a problem], I need to start working on those.
"I'm the most penalised player in the game. It's not a good stat to have next to your name. Two [in the Eels game] were unfortunate ones where they were near the ground and just tucked the arm out [to concede a ruck penalty] and another one was offside.
"There's not much you can do about those ones so I just have to work on my game."
James said the shift to second row, where he's started every game this year despite never having started there in his previous 47 games (most of which were off the bench with the rest in the front row and one at lock) requires a significant change to his game.
"Second row's a lot different to front row – you sort of have to add a jumping game and a kick chase game and all those other little effort things like staying square on halves. It is a different ball game out there and I just have to work on those things.
"I feel pretty good out there, it is a lot easier on the body, you're not always running at massive blokes and you feel like you get in more space and it's easier to get a quick play the ball so I just have to work on those things and getting a combination with my half Kane Elgey, who played excellent today."
James's name is one that tends to come up in Origin conversations when he is fit but the three-time Indigenous All Star said while it is a goal to get his Country Origin jersey back (he played one game for Country in 2013) it was more important to help the Titans add to their two wins so far this year.
"It is a goal but my main goal's just trying to get wins for the Titans. It will be better for the Titans and the club if we can start winning – we're lacking sponsors and we need to start winning so we can get sponsors on board. The more we win the more we get together as a team and play better as a team.
"It is good to finally get a good win. We've been playing pretty well over the last five weeks. It's good to get a runaway win and the boys played well, stuck to the game plan."