Woods happy for former Tigers teammates
Aaron Woods says he has marveled at the giant-killing run of the Wests Tigers like every other fan in the game.
And while Woods has only tasted victory once with his new Canterbury Bulldogs teammates, he is pleased his former Tigers comrades sit in the top four after five rounds of the Telstra Premiership.
The Tigers are flying with a 4-1 record, which is in stark contrast to the Bulldogs who have only managed a tense two-point victory over Penrith in round three.
The 27-year-old grew frustrated by inconsistency and off-field distractions at his old club and departed in emotional circumstances after 146 games at the end of last season.
''It's disappointing that we're struggling but I'm happy for the boys, I've got some of my best mates there,'' Woods told NRL.com on Monday.
''I was under [Tigers coach] Ivan [Cleary] last year and he slowly changed things throughout the year. We got better as a unit there. I hate seeing them lose. I love them and hope they go well, just not against us.
''To move on in the circumstances that all three of us [James Tedesco and Mitchell Moses] did, people were always going to watch us. I'm not disappointed [with the move], I just want to get wins for us. I'm more focused on the Bulldogs.''
Woods' form at his new club has come under criticism from media personalities and Bulldogs fans in recent weeks.
The Australian representative was signed by Canterbury midway through 2017, effectively at the expense of former skipper James Graham, who joined St George Illawarra in the off-season and has played well.
Woods' statistics are down in both attack and defence compared to his 2017 numbers but he's not concerned.
''It's a part of footy,'' Woods said.
''I don't read into it. I used to be a bloke watching all the TV shows but in the last 18 months they haven't been too nice.
''Everyone's got their own opinion, each team plays differently. I don't really care what people say to be honest. People get paid for opinions [but] the game is different to when they played.
''I'm still finding my way at the club and need to find it a lot quicker. I've tried to fit in and learn how to play. The way everyone plays it's hard to adapt straight away.
''People think it's going to happen straight away but we've got to build. I've still got a lot of improvement, it's going to be a week-to-week thing.''
The Bulldogs face a Cowboys outfit in the same predicament with one win from five games.
While the rumblings are not as severe on the Cowboys south of the border, another loss for the Bulldogs could bring Dean Pay's side under the spotlight for the wrong reasons after a pre-season of hope.
''When you lose you're always looking at ways as to why we're losing and it can be frustrating,'' Woods said.
''But I tell you one thing about this group, they've been really upbeat. There's no sugar-coating it, we haven't been playing the good footy we want to be playing.
''But to everyone's credit we've been open and honest in our discussion, no one has been hiding. If someone stuffs up we reassess what we've done wrong and where we can get better.
''It's only five rounds in. If you string a couple of wins together it boosts everyone with confidence.''