Former Titan Paul Carter is relishing his second NRL chance at South Sydney and is determined to repay the club and its coach for the faith they have shown in him so far.
Speaking to NRL.com after a strong performance in his side's opening round win over the Roosters – a match in which he started for the first time in his Rabbitohs career, playing almost 80 minutes and registering team highs in tackles (37) and offloads (three) while scoring an impressive try, Carter said he was looking to make a home at Redfern.
"It felt awesome, I felt really good and comfortable out there. I thought our defence was very good and we completed at a high completion rate. We've still got a lot of improvement in us so I think that's a good thing," Carter said of the 42-10 win.
"I got an opportunity [to start] and I was happy with how I played and we played really well as a team. If we keep doing that each week we'll get the rewards."
Carter knows he is on a second NRL chance after being let go by the Titans following two alcohol-related infringements and said he just wants to repay the faith of the club and coach Michael Maguire.
"I'm enjoying my time here and really enjoying the opportunity they've provided me and I guess a second chance. I'm just loving playing again, it's been awesome," he said.
"[Maguire] has been awesome. 'Madge' is just saying to everyone, you work hard you'll get your opportunities at this club and if you take those opportunities then that's what this club's all about.
"They've given me an opportunity and hopefully I can repay them. Hopefully I did that [on Sunday] and hopefully I can continue to improve my game and do that for them for the rest of the year."
Carter wouldn't be drawn on the pec injury to senior clubmate and fellow back-rower John Sutton, but the fact remains the strong form of Carter (as well as Kyle Turner) becomes even more important given Sutton's long-term recovery and there will be pressure on him to be able to continue to pump out big minutes.
"I've got a lot to work on still... There are still a few cobwebs to be blown out but the fitness felt pretty good. I'll keep working on my game and improving," he said.
Carter did however praise the way the team adapted to a slightly revamped attacking structure with debutant Cody Walker filling in for Luke Keary in the halves and a new-look hooking rotation of Cam McInnes and Damien Cook.
"We've been training for three or four months together now, those combinations we've been working on in the pre-season and I think it showed pretty well," he said.
"We've been working a lot on our energy, how to bring it up, how to control our energy in the pre-season so I think the energy was there [against the Roosters] and we controlled it pretty well."
Carter will again start in Maguire's side when the Rabbitohs host the Knights on Saturday.