Simple course from new coach Cameron Ciraldo — and a State of Origin dream — are behind the reinvigorated Tevita Pangai Junior that Bulldogs followers will see this season.
The 27-year-old has spent most of his 121-game profession switching between prop, second row and lock however has been assured by Ciraldo that he can deal with only one place in 2023.
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“Front row is my position,” Pangai Junior informed foxsports.com.au.
“I know that’s where Cam wants me to play and has given me a simple role — he knows what works for me.
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“I think that’s the best thing about our coaching staff. They know how their players work and they try and make it as simple as they can for us to just go out and know our role.
“I just have to lead with my actions… carry the ball and keep it simple.”
Pangai Junior was one of many Bulldogs’ star recruits for 2022 however failed to satisfy expectations — and was even dropped to order grade at one stage.
When reflecting on his first season in Belmore, a “disappointed” Pangai Junior declared “it’s time for growth and to learn from my mistakes.”
That began with shedding 12 kilos through the low season whereas coaching for his second skilled struggle — which he gained.
He then made a promise to Ciraldo that he’d return to pre-season beneath 110kg — and stored it.
Now he has his sights set on a beginning spot.
“I’m looking to start this year off the back of what I did in the off-season and in the pre-season,” Pangai Junior stated.
Beyond that, Pangai Junior desires to be “more consistent” and make the highest eight as a result of “anything under that is a failure.”
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He’s additionally set the aim of “hopefully getting an Origin game” this 12 months.
“It’s a pretty hard team to get into when they’re winning and with the forwards we have for NSW but it’s a good challenge for me,” Pangai Junior stated.
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The Bulldogs kicked off their new period beneath Ciraldo with a 34-18 win over the Raiders within the first week of the Pre-season Challenge.
Pangai Junior didn’t play however is anticipated to function in Sunday’s conflict with the Sharks at Belmore.
The competitors’s main offloader for 2022 will carry that very same second-phase play this season, but in addition hopes so as to add one thing he’s taken from his all-time favorite participant.
“I loved Sonny Bill Williams as a forward because he knew how to bring that aggression but also had that skill set that not many forwards have with his passing and offloads,” Pangai stated of his shut buddy and mentor Williams.
“He had that grunt in him but he also has the skills of a halfback.
“It’d be good to add his pre-line pass into my game.”
Source web site: www.foxsports.com.au