Tigers buoyed by new Mr Fix-It
The arrival of Elijah Taylor at the Wests Tigers is already paying massive dividends following his Man of the Match performance in his new side's 20-12 win over the Knights.
Named at lock, Taylor shifted to hooker in the second half when Matt Ballin (concussion) was ruled out of the game and certainly made an impact.
Taylor set up two of the Tigers' three tries including Luke Brooks' match-winner in the 69th minute – earning the team's Players' Player as a result in just his second game with the club.
As veteran utility Dene Halatau reaches the twilight of his career – a player who the Tigers have depended on for the most part since 2003 – they will certainly find comfort in Taylor's arrival following his show-stealing performance.
Taylor remained level-headed when offered compliments over his performance by NRL.com however.
"It's going to take a while to settle in but as long as I do the little things right and the one percenters right then the rest will take care of itself," Taylor said.
"It's all a work in progress. That's me, I'm always out to improve. I have to earn the boys respect and keep trying to earn it every week. The boys have been very welcoming, supportive and have shown me the ropes since I arrived here.
"In my eyes that's the biggest reward a player can get, to get the boys respect and that's what I have to keep improving on," a shocked Taylor added when informed of his Players' Player award.
Coach Jason Taylor was more than happy to open up on why Taylor has already earned the respect of his new Tigers' teammates.
"Elijah played lots of minutes and when he was off I sent him back on to play dummy-half and he just said 'Okay, if that's my job then that'll be my job'. He was pushing people out of the way to get to dummy half because he took pride in his job," coach Taylor said.
"Some of his creativity too. The pass he threw to push for Brooksy for Brooksy's try was class, absolute class and he's a great addition to our roster."
Tigers skipper Aaron Woods shared his coach's sentiment.
"He's been enormous," Woods said.
"It's a credit to the player he is because he's been really good for our defensive line as well. Just the amount of talk he brings. He's a player I'm really glad we picked him up."
Humble as ever, Taylor scoffed at talk of he being the Tigers' Mr Fix-It and talked down his influential performance again when pressed about it.
"I'm ready to play whatever the team wants and I'll do whatever the team needs. I'm ready to put my hand up all the time," Taylor said.
"But hooker was pretty simple too – all I had to do was pass," he added with a laugh.