No Suncorp scars for Woods
Wests Tigers prop Aaron Woods says he's already forgotten about the battering NSW copped at Suncorp Stadium in Origin III last week ahead of his return to the venue this weekend to face the Broncos.
Woods was one of the Blues' better performers on a forgettable night with 91 metres and 34 tackles, and says he hasn't given a thought to rematch with some of NSW's tormenters from that night including Corey Parker, Sam Thaiday, Justin Hodges and Darius Boyd.
"It’s out of my head now. I couldn’t really care less what happened last week. I’m with the Tigers now," Woods said.
"It’s just one of those things, it was a bad night of footy and they took the opportunity when it came.
"Hopefully we’ll go up there this week and change the outcome, get a win for the boys."
Woods believes there was no mental scarring from the game although he expected Brisbane's Queensland representatives to be on a high from that win.
"They’ll be excited and keen to play [because] they are coming first as well. We will have to be on our toes from the get go and be ready to rip and tear."
Woods was able to get away from footy after the Origin loss after being given five days off by his club, and stayed away from football during Round 18 with his club on the bye.
"I was lucky enough to get five days off at the club so I could get away from it. I didn’t watch any footy, to be honest with you, so I was excited to come back to training [on Wednesday]. It was a happy place to come to."
With the Tigers now sharing the bottom rung of the ladder with Newcastle, Woods said aside from the lack of wins the most frustrating part of the season had been an inability to put teams away from winning positions.
"We had two [games] where we were up by 20 and got rolled," he said, in reference to an early-season loss to the Bulldogs after having led 24-6 with 15 to go, and a loss to the Raiders at Leichhardt after going up 22-0 then conceding 30 unanswered points.
"For me, you get those two wins and you’re right up next to the eight," Woods said.
"That’s how close the comp is, when teams get their opportunity they need to take it and we haven’t taken it this year."
He said the side hadn't yet contemplated finishing the season with the wooden spoon, nor his own prospects of finishing with the Dally M Medal – a realistic prospect with Woods in second behind short-priced favourite Johnathan Thurston when voting went behind closed doors.
"We just want to take it game by game and get as many wins as we can before the end of the year. We want to finish the season on a high, there’s still a lot of goals we’ve set for ourselves and we’re going alright with them, but this is the time where we fell off the last couple of years. This is a big period for us at the moment," Woods said.
"What we want to do with our goals is progress those in the last eight weeks and if we stick to that there’s no chance – we won’t get the spoon. No one wants the spoon on their names."
Woods afforded himself a laugh when reminded of comments from former Tigers teammate Adam Blair, who said he has found the Brisbane set-up more professional since his move to Red Hill this year.
"Ah, Blairy. No one is really worried about him, we’re just worried about our job," Woods said.
"It’s up to him I suppose if he didn’t prepare well, that’s probably down to him. The standards we’ve got here are really high that we set for ourselves. We’ve got a new coach now, there’s a lot of change since he was here. That’s his opinion, good luck to him."