Courteous Sironen: Curtis proud of Bayley despite little brother beating him

At least someone in the Sironen household was thrilled with the 21-20 cliffhanger won by South Sydney over Manly at ANZ Stadium.

"Well, it wasn't me but I'm glad for my Bayley," Curtis Sironen, the Sea Eagles second-rower, said of his younger brother, who came off the bench to play in the Rabbitohs' forwards.

"But I'm very proud of him. It's the first time I've played him and only his fourth NRL game.

"When he left the Tigers for Souths we had a look when these games were. He didn't make it earlier [when Manly played Souths in round four] as they have such a strong side – it was hard for him to get a crack.

"So he was in reserve grade that weekend but through a few injuries he got an opportunity. He called me the day before the game he was that excited to say he was playing.

"It's a bittersweet day. If you're going to get beaten after 80 minutes by just one point then I'm glad it's to my younger brother. I'm really proud of him for hanging in so well in reserve grade and getting his shot.

"He won't be bragging. He's the complete opposite to me," he said of his 23-year-old sibling. "I was always the louder one, the out-there one. He's really humble and just a good person."

Curtis Sironen tries to stop Bayley Sironen.
Curtis Sironen tries to stop Bayley Sironen. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

Not that 25-year-old Curtis is any slouch when it comes to his football.

He did everything he could to try to get a fourth win in a row for the Sea Eagles. Sironen ran for 196 metres off 18 runs, made seven tackle breaks, two line breaks, four offloads and scored a try – his fourth for the season but his third in two matches after his brace against the Titans in his 100th NRL game.

"I'm going good. I got a bit more confidence after that 100th game. We got a good win there and then we had a bye so I could really rest up and look after myself.

"I feel like I'm gaining confidence through good back-to-back games and stringing those together.

"I am proud of my performance against the Rabbitohs but I would have traded it for a win.

"That's now two games against them this year decided by one point. I hope we meet them again in the finals."

The round-four game was a 13-12 win at Lottoland via a Daly Cherry-Evans field goal. Thirteen weeks later and it was his opposite No.7 Adam Reynolds kicking the one-pointer.

"We all got through this game healthy but [coach] Des [Hasler] will have a few things for us to work on ahead of the Eels next Sunday," he said.

"We got rolled too much in the first half. And at this time of the year you can't let that happen. You don't want to lose back-to-back games as that could be lethal.

"We're hurting after this one but we have a good turnaround for facing Parramatta at home and we get Tommy Turbo [Trbojevic] back.

"We were after a semi-finals style of performance against Souths but we just started flat." 

Manly are one win outside the top four, with the Eels directly below them in sixth spot as they jostle for finals berths.

Tom was rested for the clash with Souths but Jake Trbojevic was alongside Sironen in the pack, yet again leaving his teammates in disbelief at his efforts to back up after starring for NSW three days earlier.

"Jake is just a freak. I honestly don't know he does it," Sironen said.

"With his body shape you wouldn't think he's the toughest, most competitive bloke out on the field each week. But he is.

"I look up to him. He's such a good teammate. I wouldn't trade him for anyone."