It was great to catch-up with some old faces at our Legends Night in Sydney.
It was a bit strange because there was a real spectrum of the club’s former Australian players, from different eras.
Some of them were before my time who I’ve seen on Youtube, some I watched growing up, like Trent Barrett, and then there were those who I played alongside, such as Pat Richards, Phil Bailey and Amos Roberts.
It was pretty special to have them all together and you could see the impact the club has had on them.
That’s the thing about this game - you can go years between seeing them but when you do, it’s as if nothing has changed.
Finchy is still the same character, cracking jokes and telling stories.
Paddy came down to Wollongong last week and Piggy Riddell was down there, too.
The whole week in Wollongong was an experience I’ll never forget.
I liked it there - it’s more relaxed and chilled out than Sydney, and they really made us feel welcome.
I don’t think anyone would doubt the event was outstanding, and the fans created a great atmosphere.
To do what the club did, not only getting the players and coaches over, but with the marketing side of it and even getting the sponsors’ ad hoardings over, I’m not sure many Super League clubs could have done that.
It was a risk by the owner to take a game Down Under, and to put two points at stake, but everyone performed and I think it has paid off.
During the game, we put on some nice plays, we defended well and we dealt with the conditions well.
On the left edge, we probably blew more chances than we finished, and that’s a scary thing - this week we’ve looked at what we did wrong, more than what we did right, and it’s something we want to address.
Saturday’s game against Souths is not for two competition points or silverware, but we’ll be turning up to play.
We’ve already been told there’ll be a few interchanges, and 26 players will be stripped. For the people who haven’t been in the 17, it’s a chance to put a marker down for spots in the team when they become available.
We’ve got a couple of youngsters over here, who are likely to play a part. For them to come over here for two weeks, be looked after the way they have been and get a run-out against Souths, it must be pretty special. It’s certainly better than my first year in the team, when we spent three days freezing at an army camp!
I know Tom and George Burgess from my time in the England squad. I’ve played against Tom before, when he was at Bradford, so it’ll be interesting.
We’re looking forward to showing how we can perform. We want to leave Australia in a good frame of mind, knowing we’ve played how we can.
Good luck to Leeds in their World Club Challenge game against Melbourne. I definitely want them to win it.
We won it last year against Cronulla, it was a great achievement, and for them to do it over here would be something special.
But they’ve got a really tough challenge in front of them.
In the NRL, you often see teams going up and down from year to year, but Melbourne are consistent and perform well year in, year out.
They’ve lost Cooper Cronk but they’ve still got quite a settled side and Ryan Hoffman has returned to the Storm – they will be tough opposition.
With Leeds playing on the Friday and Hull playing St George Illawarra before our game, I do feel like we’re flying the Super League flag.