Crichton brings out his best against Dragons
South Sydney back-rower Angus Crichton turned in his best 80 minutes of the season against the Dragons on Sunday in a match he and his fellow forwards viewed as personal challenges.
The St George Illawarra pack - widely viewed as the best in the Telstra Premiership - was taken down a notch by Crichton, the Burgess brothers and a handful of other willing helpers.
"Their pack has had a lot of hype and we took it personally this week, we met up earlier this week and said this game is going to be won in the pack and our pack v their pack which has been on a bit of a roll," Crichton said.
"The boys really aimed up [on Sunday] and I couldn't be prouder of all the forwards."
Asked if it was about not getting run over the top of – as has happened to a few other teams against the Dragons this year – Crichton added with a cheeky grin: "It's not so much we don't want to be run over the top of, it's more we want to run over the top of them!"
Souths certainly ran over their opponents early in a strong start and Crichton's 196 metres were the second-best of any player behind Dragon Tyson Frizell, whose 208 metres were aided by a 90-metre try.
The win over the competition leaders was special for a few reasons but particularly so as it came in Indigenous Round, which is close to Crichton's heart.
It is well-publicised Crichton took two Indigenous boys – Leon and Delwyn Wunungmurra – under his wing when the trio were all boarders at Sydney's Scot's College.
Last year Crichton played Indigenous Round wearing boots the pair helped design. This year, he said he is just proud of how far they have come.
"Indigenous Round is one of my favourite rounds of the year and the two boys that I've been mentoring, they're back home in Arnhem Land, I spoke to them last week and they're back home doing well," Crichton said.
"[Leon] is hoping to come down to Sydney and start an apprenticeship next year so I think it's a really good round to just bring awareness to Indigenous culture which is essentially Australian culture.
"Shedding any light and trying to close the gap between Indigenous culture and I guess white Australian culture is a big one because it's all of our past and it's us as a country and it's something to be very proud of.
"We've got a lot of Indigenous players in our game, a lot of Indigenous fans and I guess there's no better environment for me to try and make that change and try and shed a bit of light about how beautiful the Indigenous culture really is."
Prompted further about the Wunungmurras, Crichton doesn't attempt to conceal his pride.
"Big Delly's got a girlfriend back home," he laughed.
"He's working as a police liaison so he's kind of a liaison officer between all the Indigenous community up there and the white police officers and Leon's working in health care up there.
"He was meant to come back this year and do his apprenticeship as a plumber but he chose to stay up home just because he'd been away for six years and I guess he missed home a fair bit.
"I spoke to him last week and he's planning to come down next year and do his plumbing apprenticeship which will be really good for him.
''They're both really great boys and really great role models for their community and the program at Scots where I went to school is unreal helping and giving opportunities for young boys so I try and stay involved in that as much as I can."