St George Illawarra Dragons winger Brett Morris is excited to compete for the Monty Porter Cup in the local derby against the Sutherland-Cronulla Sharks at Remondis Stadium, Cronulla on Saturday.
The Australia international, who is one try from notching 100 tries, is ecstatic that the Red-and-Whites have started the 2014 season on a positive note but believes they cannot underestimate the Sharks by their results.
The 27-year-old is elated by the performance of the new recruits in the squad and is eager to show consistency over the coming weeks and prove the Red V is a quality side.
“We always had the belief that we were a quality football side; our performance during trials wasn’t the best but we knew exactly what we needed to work on,” said Morris.
“We’ve gone out there the last two weeks and have been great; we’ve improved on what we needed to, two from two is a good start but we want to keep it going.
“The playing conditions in New Zealand put a lot of pressure on us; they had a lot of strong wind behind them and our defense held up well against them.
“In the second half the Warriors really came at us but the boys held strong on the line.
“The Sharks haven’t been playing their best but they always turn it up against us and they’re always tough games to play; they’ll want to go out there and get the win after their loss on Monday night.
“Sometimes the best remedy for a loss like the Sharks had is a short turn around and they have that; we are going to be very wary against them.
“They are a quality side and they went quite far in the competition last season; they have a lot of talent in their side and I don’t think we can look too far into their result on Monday.
“Winning brings confidence and there’s a fair bit of confidence in the squad at the moment but there’s no arrogance; we understand we still need to work hard to try to win footy games.
“Last year we had a fair few losses where we only missed out by four or six points so it’s pleasing that when we are out there playing we are scoring some points and coming out with the win.
“A lot of the new guys are pumped about playing in the local derby, they’ve always watched the games on TV and they know the significance of the game; they’re all jumping out of their skin ready to play on the weekend.
“Gareth Widdop has been an outstanding addition to the side, he came here to get the halves firing and he’s doing that; he’s playing with a lot of confidence and calmness which exactly how we need him to play.
“We had a pretty long off season because we weren’t a part of the finals so we had a fair bit of time to work on those combinations; they usually do take a bit of time to work out but everyone has gelled really well together.
“Josh Dugan is coming along well; he’s always doing rehab so he can get back out on the paddock early, we’re not quite sure when he’ll be back but he’s looking fit and strong at the moment.
“Duges just wants to get out there and start playing again; when you’re a footballer one of the hardest things to do is to sit on the sideline and watch your team, you just want to go out there and be a part of it.
“He’s smashing it at rehab and doing all he can to get back out on the park; he’s very excited for all the boys with how were going at the moment but he wants to be a part of it.
“There’s a lot of depth at the club at the moment which is something we haven’t had in a couple of years and the blokes who are filling the positions are playing some really good footy.
“There has been a lot of change over the past few years with guys retiring and moving on so that has been a bit of a challenge; it felt like a different club with all the new signings at the beginning of preseason.
“All that change has brought excitement to the guys who’ve been at the club for a long time and it brings enjoyment to training; we’re getting the best out of every day and there’s a lot of competition for positions.
“I’m very excited about this year; we’re off to a great start, the new combinations in the side and gelling together has been enjoyable.”