By Mary Maidiotis
St George Illawarra Dragons five-eighth Gareth Widdop is looking forward to playing on hallowed ground in the Heritage Round fixture against the South Sydney Rabbitohs at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Moore Park on Saturday.
The England Lions international admits the recent loss against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, in which he was paired alongside debutant Drew Hutchison, was disappointing but is hopeful his side can turn things around.
Widdop, 26, believes the Red V can make a strong charge towards the finals with several players returning from injury, in addition to working harder on the little things which brought success earlier in the year.
“It was an extremely tough game against Cronulla, our start to the game was very poor, we started the second half quite positively but it was disappointing we didn’t do the same in the first half and we’ve got to turn things around quickly,” said Widdop.
“Obviously it’s very difficult when you have 6-7 of your starting line-up out and it will be great when we get our players back but we have to put in a better effort than we did on the weekend.
“I’m very happy for Drew to get a shot at playing first-grade, he’s a great young talent and he did well backing-up from U20s State of Origin, he’s got a bright future ahead of himself.
“I have watched a fair bit of cricket at the SCG and it was a great experience getting to play on that surface last year, it’s a great atmosphere and ground to play at so I’m really looking forward to the weekend’s game.
“The Rabbitohs are a difficult team, we’ve just got to focus on ourselves again and we need to knuckle down on the little things which are really important.
“When we were winning games, that’s what we were doing really well, and we’ve got a full week of training, we’re getting a few of our boys back and we’re just going to have to work hard.
“The last month hasn’t been ideal with five losses in a row, it’s certainly disappointing but you have to move on from that through hard work and working really hard at training for each other.
“We’ve got a good group of players here and we can certainly turn things around.”