Dyldam Parramatta Eels halfback Corey Norman has credited the Blue and Gold with stepping up in tough circumstances to post three straight wins from their past three matches.
With half Kieran Foran undergoing surgery that has ruled him out for the remainder of 2016, and back up playmaker Brad Takairangi sidelined with a hamstring injury, Kenny Edwards pulled on the number 6 jersey against the Gold Coast Titans in Round 14, and against the Rabbitohs in Round 15 for a 30-12 win.
“He’s doing a great job,” Norman said of his new halves partner.
“He’s making my job easier. I just said to him [before the game] be confident and the rest of the boys will be confident, too.”
With centre Michael Jennings also absent on Origin duties, new recruit Clint Gutherson moved into the centres with Vai Toutai, and Norman was quick to praise the young centre’s natural game.
“He’s a good talent and he’s only - I think - 21 years old,” Norman said.
“He’s a real footballer, he plays what he sees.”
The Round 15 win saw some scrappy passages of play as the two sides clashed at ANZ Stadium, and Norman said composure was the key to staying in the contest and securing the two points.
“We just knew we had to complete and we weren’t doing that [at stages],” Norman said.
“We were shooting ourselves in the foot, turning the ball over too easy when we were down in their half. We’ve got to fix that up moving forward.”
“It got a bit heated [close to full time], but at the end of the game we still all shake hands and are mates.”