Widdop admits captaincy took its toll
St George Illawarra five-eighth Gareth Widdop has opened up on the impact the team captaincy is having on his own personal performances.
Widdop admitted there had been times in 2016 when he was more focused on his teammates rather than himself and it had taken a toll on his performances.
Only seven games into his tenure as skipper, and with club captain Ben Creagh currently out injured, a greater responsibility has fallen on to the 27-year-old's shoulders this season.
"Certainly the last few weeks I probably haven't played the way I'd like to play which is to do my role to the best of my ability. It's something that I pride myself on doing," Widdop told NRL.com.
"Everyone has a role to do but you can't worry about anyone else's job and it's probably something that I have been doing – worrying about other people and how they're going rather than myself. I suppose as captain sometimes that's what you do.
"I said from the beginning that being captain was a huge honour and something I really looked forward to. But there always going to be challenges and I was always going to learn along the way.
"I am still learning along the way but I'm enjoying it and I certainly won't shy away from it."
Not helping Widdop's cause is the stop-start season his halves partner Benji Marshall (hamstring) is having.
"It's certainly been a bit of an inconsistent start. Our halves combination is a little bit difficult when you're swapping and changing all the time," Widdop said.
"We all have a role to play though so whoever comes in has to do that to the best of their ability. That's the way we're looking at things and Josh [McCrone] has been good the last couple of weeks."
Ahead of the Dragons' annual Anzac Day showdown with the Roosters, the English international said he certainly still gets a kick out of the occasion it represents.
"It's one of the most exciting games out of the year and it's a massive honour. It's a great occasion these games. When they play the last post it's quite emotional and something very special," Widdop said.
"Obviously Anzac Day is extra special and it's a huge occasion for everyone. Both teams are always fired up and they're always close, tough encounters."