It’s the consolation try that will keep NSW Blues-hopeful Stephen Crichton striving to work harder every day.
With three minutes remaining — and the Panthers' 10th victory well in hand against the Roosters — Crichton let Paul Momirovski slice through to score a consolation try for the Roosters. Ironically, it was Momirovski who played right centre for the Panthers in their grand final win with Crichton on the wing.
Panther coach Ivan Cleary suggested post-match that Crichton "would be a little bit disappointed” in that final try.
And he was right.
“I need to try to stay ruthless,” Crichton said after the game in reference to letting in that last try.
“The performance was alright, but personally there are a few things to work on. The culture the coach has built here is really good and it comes from training; [there] is good energy at training and the boys connect well and it is good we can put it out on the paddock come game time.”
Defence into attack in a blink of an eye
Crichton, who showcased his talent with a runaway try against the Roosters, has come firmly into NSW calculations with injuries to incumbent centres Latrell Mitchell and Tom Trbojevic.
But the 21-year-old is not looking too far ahead.
“It’s [Origin] at the back of my head but I’m not trying to force things. I’m just trying to play my normal game and trying to better myself each day and each week,” he said.
“I don’t really look at the Origin opportunity too much. I know that it is there but I don’t want to look too far ahead and get ahead of myself.”
Crichton picks off a Walker pass and gets the Panthers into the lead
Cleary praised Crichton’s consistency and ability to play both sides of the field.
“He’s a big-game guy and can come up with big plays; obviously we have all seen that,” he said in relation to the intercept try in last year’s grand final.
“He’s got a good temperament and he’s going to have a few mates with him if he gets picked so that should help too.”
Crichton could get an early taste of Origin in Friday night’s blockbuster against the North Queensland Cowboys, with Crichton and Brian To’o squaring off against Cowboys and Queensland hopefuls Valentine Holmes and Murray Taulagi.
“They [Cowboys] have been a contender since the year started…they are playing good footy,” Crichton said.
Match: Panthers v Cowboys
Round 12 -
Venue: BlueBet Stadium, Penrith