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One down: Crichton relieved after passing first fullback test since school

Stand-in fullback Stephen Crichton reckons he hasn't played a full game in the No.1 jersey since high school but will draw plenty out of a winning start to his stint covering for an injured Dylan Edwards.

Crichton did little wrong in the custodian role and the dominance of his side's 46-6 win over Manly at Lottoland on Thursday helped mask a few stuttering defensive moments, but the 20-year-old is simply looking to improve after getting the first one out of the way.

"It's a new challenge for me to play a full game at fullback but it was a challenge I was happy to take on for the team," Crichton said.

"Year 12 was the last time I played a full game there. I played a few games last year coming off the bench but it's a bit different playing a full game there, I learned a lot this time.

"This week's game, we've got a lot of learning curves to go throughout the week with our attack and D coaches to make my game a bit better.

Match Highlights: Sea Eagles v Panthers

"Having one fullback game under my belt, I'll be really confident going into next week's game."

His coach was content with his work at the back, although that didn't stop Ivan Cleary giving rookie Charlie Staines the final few minutes of the rout at the back – which was long enough for him to set up a try for Paul Momirovski.

"He put a lot of work into his line organisation in terms of defence," Cleary said of Crichton.

"It's just totally different fitness playing fullback, but he was OK. I thought he got better as the game went on. He'll be better for the run for sure."

Momirovski gets in on the act

Crichton welcomed the help from his teammates when it came to the finer points like getting the line set.

"It doesn't just fall on me, the line organisation and things like that," he said.

"Especially throughout the week the boys helped me heaps, even today the boys were talking about who they want on their side and if they don't want anyone but it's more like a team effort.

"They got around me once I was playing fullback and told me they had my back.

"I felt heaps comfortable, especially the boys were talking to me and I was responding and things like that."

Undefeated after four rounds, a sterner test awaits Penrith next Friday against the Raiders at BlueBet Stadium.

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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