Roosters forward Angus Crichton feels primed to hit top gear after enduring a "tough" period on the bench to reclaim his starting spot.
Used as an interchange prop for the previous five rounds, Crichton played 80 minutes in his preferred second-row position in Sunday's ominous 58-6 thumping of the Titans with captain Boyd Cordner injured.
The marquee off-season recruit ran for 160 metres, made 20 tackles and busted the line to assist the match's opening try during a damaging display.
Crichton, who lost his NSW Origin jersey after game one this year, said the adversity of being demoted to the pine and his unexpected foray in the middle helped him grow professionally and personally.
"I wouldn't change anything that went on in the last month and the last little bit because I'm all the more better for having played that time in the middle," Crichton said.
"I learned a heap about my role on the edge having done that time in the middle and learning the way that back-rowers play at the Roosters.
"Now I've got a far greater understanding of it and I feel like I can play my best footy. It was a challenging time but something I wouldn't change. I learned a heap about rugby league as a whole, about playing at the Roosters and myself as a person."
Crichton has fine-tuned some "micro" defensive aspects and his spacing, timing and support play in attack as he adjusts to life on the edge in the Roosters system.
He closely studies the ever-reliable Cordner, who he considers the NRL's "textbook" second-rower, to improve his performances.
"For me, coming in from the outside and not knowing what it was about to play as a Roosters back-rower, all you've got to do is watch some of his games and what he does," Crichton said.
"He's exactly what a Roosters back-rower is – he defines that. I watch a lot of his game footage and how he goes about his business as a true leader through his actions. Boydo is a massive inspiration for me."
Despite his impressive showing in the No.11 jersey against cellar-dwelling Gold Coast, Crichton accepts he is no guarantee to stay in the run-on side long term with Cordner set to return from a calf injury in round 22.
Crichton, Mitchell Aubusson and Nat Butcher will be left to scrap for the right second-row spot once the NSW and Australian skipper is back.
But Crichton's immediate focus is on this Sunday's blockbuster clash with the third-placed Raiders at GIO Stadium as the defending premiers attempt to solidify second rank on the ladder.
Crichton and Tedesco combine
"[Canberra] have got some good players in their team, a lot of X-factor, and there's a lot of competitive players – and that's what makes a good team," he said.
"They've got some good dudes that have come in and Sticky [Ricky Stuart] is a good coach. They've got a good fan base down there in Canberra, so it should be a good one."
Crichton reiterated his commitment to the Roosters after recent reports speculated he was restless at the club and wanted to jump codes to rugby union, which he played as a schoolboy.
Match Highlights: Roosters v Titans
"I haven't spoken to any union clubs and I'm not planning to go to union any time soon at all. I'm really happy here and I'm really happy with this coaching staff, this playing group and the club I grew up supporting," he said.
"I'm really loving learning to become a better player and a person here in these colours and I don't want to go anywhere. [I'll] just put that to bed there."