Shillington's response to 'shock' axing
Titans prop David Shillington has vowed to deliver on a more consistent basis after he went from first grade discard to being voted his team's best player ahead of Sunday's clash with the Panthers in Penrith.
Shillington's omission from the team that went down 38-0 to the Storm in Round 9 was as much of a shock to the eight-time Origin representative as it was to his teammates but the response from the veteran of 212 games was a predictable one.
In 48 minutes of game time Shillington ran for 132 metres and had two offloads that his peers voted the best performance of the night as he and the other Titans forwards kept the highly-credentialed Roosters forward pack at bay.
In Round 4 against the Raiders he ran for 154m and scored a crucial try so to be dropped a month later was a reminder for one of the club's most significant off-season recruits that those types of performances were expected on a more consistent basis.
"I was pretty disappointed to miss out on that Melbourne game," Shillington said.
"It was a little bit of a shock but I just had to cop it on the chin and have the right attitude that I was going to train hard and fight my way back up into the team. Then when I got my next opportunity prove my worth to the team.
"Hopefully I've done that and now I've just got to be consistent with it.
"I was happy to play better on the weekend. The team needs me at my best and I knew I had another level in me to play a bit better than I had been playing this year.
"I was a bit inconsistent before this so now I want to play some consistent footy and maintain that standard."
Fellow Titans prop Luke Douglas said Monday's performance from Shillington was an indicator of just how destructive he can be and the important role he plays in setting the platform for the halves to take control of the game.
"He's devastating. I think he ended up with players' player on the weekend and really got us going over the advantage line," Douglas said.
"Really strong carries and he was trying to shoot out in defence too, really whack and stick and connect.
"When he's on his game he's one of the best in the comp."
Playing a Penrith team that has gone down to the wire in virtually all of their games this season, the Titans can take confidence from the fact that they stood toe-to-toe with the Roosters before running away with the game late.
After dominating the early periods the Titans were actually the ones to concede the first try but Shillington said their composure will hold them in good stead against the Panthers.
"The pleasing thing about Monday night was that the tries didn't come thick and fast early," said the 32-year-old.
"We had to work really hard for them and the score only blew out in the last 15 or 20 minutes. To stick to the game-plan and keep grinding away, that's one of the most pleasing things of the win.
"Many times this year if there has been one try there's been another quick one. We've had to fight our way back in and then there might be two quick tries again.
"We handled setbacks a lot better [against the Roosters]. We still dropped balls and we still missed tackles up the middle but our next effort was quite positive, getting to a kick or saving the next tackle.
"Being able to recover from those things is very important. We've struggled to do that in some games but we did it a lot better on the weekend."