After re-signing with the North Queensland Cowboys for three years, winger Kyle Feldt is happy to have contract negotiations out of the way and attributes the weight off his shoulders to his improved performance last Thursday night.
According to Feldt the contract was finalised before Thursday's game against the Canterbury Bulldogs, and having it done and dusted was a weight off his mind ahead of the game.
The winger will need to put in another strong performance again this Thursday if the Cowboys are to beat the second-placed Sharks and leap into the top four.
"They're the defending premiers, everyone's going to step up and want to play their best footy… we'll have to step our game up against them," Feldt said.
While Feldt had been on a try-scoring drought in 2017, he was always confident that the floodgates would eventually break, and when they did it couldn't have been an easier try.
"It was always going to come, it was just a matter of time, I sat there biding time and was able to get the ball and score. I was lucky enough 'Morgo' (Michael Morgan) put the kick on the money all I had to do was catch it and put it down," the winger said.
While the Cowboys' attack was excellent on Thursday night, their defence on the edges also improved by leaps and bounds since the beginning of the season.
"It's something we've really worked on throughout the week and the last couple of weeks we've been trying hard to get back to our right-edge standard that we had last year and the weekend was a good step forward so hopefully we can take another step forward this week against Cronulla," Feldt said.
It will need to improve against the Sharks, with the likes of Valentine Holmes, Sosaia Feki and Jack Bird all running off James Maloney and Chad Townsend in an effort to draw the Sharks level with the Melbourne Storm at the top of the ladder.
Feldt is looking forward to meeting Holmes on the field, but both players will be looking to make it an unhappy night for the other.
"We’ve played against Val a fair few times being a Townsville boy as well and an Ignatius Park College boy which is always good to go up against him, see him and catch up with him. He's playing really good footy at the moment so hopefully we can keep him under control," Feldt said.