Townsend's goal is to keep kicking on with new role
Cronulla Sharks halfback Chad Townsend is comfortably shouldering his team's goal-kicking duties with the off-season departure of James Maloney to the Penrith Panthers.
Boasting an impeccable 12 from 12 success rate on conversions and penalty goals over the first three rounds, the 27-year-old playmaker's emergence as the Sharks' No.1 goal-kicker has been seamless.
Townsend and Valentine Holmes shared the all-important goal-kicking responsibilities at the Sharks whenever Maloney was injured or on rep duty.
He admired Maloney's kicking ability but never considered copying his style. Townsend has established his own tried and true routine and is becoming increasingly confident as the Sharks' designated goal-kicker.
''I use to watch Jimmy kick so I know how he goes about his business. But if I learnt anything off him, probably not,'' he said.
''I think every kicker has got their own routine and mine's a little bit different to Jimmy's.
''It was an area I was quite comfortable doing. I stopped doing it a few years ago at the Warriors when I tore my groin and I really wanted to give that the rest.
''It's something I've been practising all through the summer and obviously losing James Maloney who's an 80% goal kicker every day of the week, I went back to my old routine and I've been working close with our goal-kicking coach.
''It's something that is going really well for me. I know that if I give myself every chance and go through the same routine I truly believe I can kick every goal.''
Sharks newcomer Trent Hodkinson took the place of injured Matt Moylan in their round-three clash against the Parramatta Eels after Moylan suffered a midweek hamstring injury, but coach Shane Flanagan is confident he will return in round four.
''Hokko [Hodkinson] did a great job,'' Townsend said. ''We had one training session together during the week so a little bit different circumstances, but he's been around for a long time.
''In our whole 30-man squad I think we've got great depth across all positions and it's just unfortunate that some people have to miss out.
''I think it's good for our 17. We've got pressure on everyone to play and it's hopefully going to bring out the best in everyone over the course of the whole season.''
A test for the Sharks will be clinching their second win for the season as they face premiers Melbourne at home on Friday night.
''If you're not at that game and you support the Sharks then I don't know what you'll be doing,'' he said.
''We have high expectations to go out and play well. It's going to be a huge game for us.
''Hopefully, we get a massive crowd on Friday night. We always play well against Melbourne and enjoy playing against Melbourne so it’s going to be an important one for us.''