Nick Meaney's first emotion was concern when Canterbury-Bankstown signed Dallin Watene-Zelezniak from Penrith in June.
"I was there playing fullback and I was a bit worried he was going to take my spot," Meaney told NRL.com.
Meaney's anxiety proved well-founded as the New Zealand captain's arrival shunted him onto the wing.
Rather than whinge about losing his preferred position, Meaney is choosing to make the best of the situation by learning from Watene-Zelezniak.
"In rugby league, that's what happens. You've got to think about the positives and what I can do to better myself," Meaney said.
"Maybe one day if I get thrown back in at fullback I'll do the job ... As a winger now, I do what I can to help the fullback out. [Watene-Zelezniak] runs hard so I try to run hard with him."
Meaney is most comfortable at fullback; he hardly played on the flank coming through the ranks except on a few occasions in the Ballina local league.
As such, he's been forced to develop his wing skill-set on the go.
"The first couple weeks I got caught out in defence. That's probably the hardest area – I didn't realise how hard it was on the wing. I've worked hard [to improve]," Meaney said.
"I've had different centre combinations as well. Marcelo [Montoya] got injured and now I have Dutchy [Kerrod Holland] there. I think we work well together – we do a lot of video and find out what the opposition does and go off the back of that."
One positive is less fatigue, with Meaney able to preserve energy out wide.
"Your legs aren't as sore. As a winger you go up and back in the defensive line whereas fullback you're sort of going side to side," he said.
"I definitely feel a lot less gassed at the end of the game."
The 21-year-old's leading attribute is his blinding speed, which he showcased during a 90-metre intercept try in last week's 18-16 win over the Wests Tigers.
But Meaney was hesitant to crown himself the fastest bloke at the Bulldogs.
"Reimis [Smith] is pretty quick, so we'll have to have a race to find out," he laughed.
Spirits are high around the 15th-placed Canterbury club after four wins from their past six games. The stark turnaround in form has Meaney wondering why they couldn't do it earlier in the year.
"It's just belief that we can compete against good sides. We've just got to put that into a 25-round season now," he said.
"Our defence has definitely stepped up in the last six games or whatever, but I think defence is definitely an attitude thing. You can put it down to that or just a complete team effort to want to win."
Bulldogs coach Dean Pay's job has been questioned despite re-signing for next season in May. Meaney lauded the mentor's approach with Canterbury starting to reap some rewards.
"It's only his second year as head coach so it's a new chapter for him. He's taught us well," Meaney said.
"Just the little things about the game, about being hard and the little efforts he's driven into us at training as well. We can only get better from here."