‘Felt like quicksand’: How Edwards rebounded from horror evening to develop into NRL’s ‘best fullback’

His teammates have dubbed him one of the best fullback within the sport proper now, nevertheless it was solely 4 years in the past when Dylan Edwards’ future on the Panthers was up within the air following a horror present towards the Storm.

While Sydney is within the midst of a September heatwave, Edwards will always remember a freezing evening in Bathurst when Penrith was pumped 32-2 by a rampant Storm facet that made his life a residing hell.

Edwards made his common 168 metres with the ball however he struggled within the slick situations, making six errors with two of these main on to Storm tries.

The fullback was in simply his twenty eighth NRL sport and was stricken by Cameron Munster who stripped the ball off him twice and put in two kicks which had been fumbled and led on to tries for the star five-eighth and halves associate Brodie Croft.

Brodie Croft pounced on a Dylan Edwards error to attain on a horror evening for the Panthers fullback in Bathurst.Source: Supplied

“It was a tough night and it was a night I hadn’t ever experienced on a footy field,” mentioned Edwards whose profession has shot up since that evening within the Central West.

“It gave me the tools to be able to handle those sorts of setbacks and it made me a more mentally tough football player which was really important for my career moving forward.

“It was one of those nights where the harder you tried, the more it felt like quicksand.

“It was a tough game, but it was important for me.”

Edwards performed fullback the next week however was shifted to the wing in Round 5 earlier than he was dumped to order grade the place he performed a sport at halfback after which moved to fullback for 2 matches the place he did the goal-kicking.

That was the final time he ever performed NSW Cup nevertheless it got here at a time when he was linked with a transfer to the Cowboys with Caleb Aekins the popular No.1 at Penrith earlier than he was ultimately recalled a number of weeks later.

Edwards says issues solely bought more durable as he tried to make amends throughout that sport 4 years in the past. Picture; Mark Kolbe/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

It’s onerous to think about Edwards ever falling out of favour given he has developed into one in every of Penrith’s most essential gamers and the most important metre eater within the NRL, however that tough interval threatened to finish a particular profession earlier than it even began.

The 27-year-old has gone on to win two comps, claimed the Clive Churchill Medal final 12 months and not too long ago inked a contract extension, which is a far cry from the shattered fullback who had one off evening 4 years in the past.

“You feel for anyone when they go through a night like tonight,” Panthers coach Ivan Cleary mentioned after that sport.

“He never shied away from the game, but it certainly wasn’t his night.

“He’s pretty disappointed, but we’ve all had days like that.”

Edwards has developed into among the best fullbacks on the earth since then and was rewarded with the 2022 Clive Churchill Medal. Picture; Cameron Spencer/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

What Cleary mentioned to Edwards that evening within the sheds stays a thriller, however the fullback hasn’t forgotten his coach’s message forward of Friday’s showdown with the Storm for a spot in subsequent week’s grand ultimate.

“He was really good with me,” mentioned Edwards, who fronted the media within the old-school sheds at Carrington Park after the sport.

“What he said that night actually instilled more confidence in me even though I didn’t really repay it because the next few weeks weren’t kind to me and I wasn’t really kind to my team with my performances.

“Ivan was a fullback so he knew what to say and he believed in me. That was important.”

Panthers gamers now look again on that evening and mirror on how far Edwards and the workforce have come, with the mountain males dropping to the Storm the next 12 months within the grand ultimate earlier than they bought their revenge in a heated 2021 prelim.

Back-rower Liam Martin will all the time do not forget that evening as a result of it was his NRL debut, however he additionally sees that sport as an enormous turning level in Edwards’ profession, with the fullback now in line to make his Kangaroos debut subsequent month.

“It was a tough night for him,” Martin mentioned.

“We joke about it now that he couldn’t catch a cold, but look at him now.

“It shows his mentality and his resolve to bounce back from that.

“What he’s done over the past couple of years, in my opinion he’s the best fullback in the game.

“He’s incredible and he doesn’t stop. What he’s doing now after that night shows his character and what kind of person he is.”

Source web site: www.foxsports.com.au

( No ratings yet )