Corey Norman is in the unfamiliar position of having to play for his long-term future with the Dragons but the former Queensland Origin representative knows that the best way to secure a new deal is to keep performing.
Norman, who is off contract at the end of the season, returned from a one-match ban for an off-field incident to help St George Illawarra to a 25-18 win in North Queensland last weekend and is looking to repeat the effort against Manly on Friday night.
The 30-year-old five-eighth played alongside halfback Ben Hunt and hooker Andrew McCullough at Brisbane and their combination was evident as St George Illawarra overcame a poor start to pile on four tries with a number of others disallowed.
Yet Norman said his future had not been discussed with new Dragons coach Anthony Griffin and he was focused on continuing to play well, with Adam Clune and Jayden Sullivan ensuring there is competition for places in the halves.
“It's probably the first time I have ever been off contract in my career, so it's a different feeling but I know what I need to do and I know I need a good year,” Norman said.
Every try from round 2
“Me and Hook haven't even spoke about contracts. I'm old enough to know what goes on and how it goes so I will worry about my football and if I'm playing good enough football I’m sure a deal will come up.
“I just worry about that each week and it doesn't really play on my mind. I have known about it for a while, since last year, that I was coming off contract and obviously through pre-season so I don't really worry about it now. Playing good footy will sort it out.”
Norman combined well with centre Jack Bird and winger Cody Ramsey on the left edge against the Cowboys last week and he threw a long pass to put Ramsey over for a try – only for it travel forward.
The former Broncos and Eels star also kicked a long-range field goal just before half-time that raised questions about whether he had been attempting to become the first player to earn two points from a drop kick.
“I didn’t realise how close I was [to the 40 metre line],” Norman said. “I got it and thought I would have a crack, the boys were yelling out to go for one point so I just had a crack.”
It was noticeable how animated Norman was after the full-time siren sounded in Townsville and Norman said that was because the Dragons had managed to scrap for their first win of the season after losing 32-18 to Cronulla the previous weekend.
“It was an ugly win and you need to win them early. I think that is what I was most pumped about,” he said. “It wasn’t our best performance but we stayed in it and got the win. That only builds confidence so it was good.
Norman slots a field goal before the break
“Last week was disappointing. I thought we were the better team and we didn’t get the win.”
Norman had missed the clash with the Sharks in the opening round after being stood down by the NRL and fined $10,000 over his involvement in a fight at Cronulla on Australia Day.
He said missing the match had been disappointing but the incident was now firmly behind him.
“You train for three months and train hard and not to play round one, it hurts,” Norman said. “But I am back now and we got the win so I'm happy. It has been dealt with, it is in the past and we have all moved on.”
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