By Jack Brady (NRL.com)
After stringing together weeks and weeks of dominant performances for the Dragons, prop Leeson Ah Mau has earned the praise of St George Illawarra captain Ben Creagh who labelled him one of their best this season.
Sitting high on the Dragons' Players' Player tally being just one of two individuals to have played in every game for the Red V in 2015, Creagh described Ah Mau as the cornerstone of the club's engine room.
Recently making his 100th NRL appearance, the former Cowboy and Warrior has come a long way this season to be currently averaging 102.3 metres and 25.9 tackles per game.
One of the Dragons' best in their first win in two months over Newcastle last weekend – earning the nickname 'Head Hunter' for a shot produced on prop Kade Snowden – the softly spoken Ah Mau has finally realised how good he can be, according to Creagh.
"He's easily in career-best form at the moment for us and he's playing some wonderful football at the moment," Creagh told NRL.com.
"He's a very reserved type of guy, he is very shy. But I think he's gained plenty of confidence with the way he's playing at the moment.
"He's been our best player by far in the last three or four weeks. He's also very hard to handle and he's starting to realise how big, strong, fast and agile he is which is causing problems for opposition teams.
"He's still only young too and he's very important to our team. I haven't been surprised by his form though either."
Blown away by the faith coach Paul McGregor has shown him and the confidence instilled in him by Creagh, the 25-year-old said the Dragons' simplistic game plan is helping him shine.
"I've enjoyed playing this year, and I feel I have to repay the faith Mary has shown in me as a player," Ah Mau told NRL.com.
"It's pretty simple with Mary. He keeps it basic for me and I enjoy that. Every time I take that field I try and do my best for the boys. I'm enjoying leading the boys and playing my best for the team."
Ah Mau said he is also looking forward to hitting the road with his teammates over a 10 day period, following their confidence-building win over the Knights.
"We a tight-knit group – all of us boys get along well and we always want to put in for each other," Ah Mau said.
"The win was good for our confidence and now we just have to build on that. Everyone was pretty happy coming to training after the win but we know we have a few big weeks ahead of us."