He’s only 21, but Angus Crichton is shaping up to be a leader at the Rabbitohs as he focuses his energy on developing and encouraging the many youth prospects at Redfern.
Crichton, who debuted last year and has played 28 games for Souths, has found himself at home in Maguire’s line-up this year and feels his experience can help guide the Rabbitohs young and promising playing group.
A Rugby Union convert, Crichton played a role in our 2015 Auckland Nines victory, has overcome injuries and has been a damaging edge player this season – cross for seven tries, including a hat-trick against the Titans.
“I guess now that I’ve strung a few games together I’m feeling a bit more confident in myself and in my position in the squad,” said Crichton.
“I think the biggest thing for me being a young player, and having experienced what I have this year, it’s a good opportunity for me to help other young players. We’ve got a really young squad here with a lot of great fellas – Cam Murray, Tyrell Fuimaono, Jack Goseiwski, AJ, Brayden Burns.
“This season, we might not be able to make the finals, but it’s a great opportunity for us younger players to better ourselves and to learn and grow. There’s certainly still a lot left to play for.”
Starting from the bench this week, Crichton went on to run the second most metres for the Red and Green while Cameron Murray, starting his first game, showed what he could do in a full 80 minutes - notching up the most tackles for his side with 39.
“Cam Murray has been unreal for us. Last week I thought he was unbelievable,” said Crichton.
A Junior Kangaroo and NSW U20s Blues Captain, Murray has a head start on most juniors to make it to the big stage. Playing his share of games off the bench this season for the Rabbitohs, a chance to start has given the 19-year-old a boost in confidence.
“There was a bit of nerves there, but I thought I handled it well. The boys helped me out a lot too and we completed well and got the win, which is good,” said Murray.
“You don’t get your feel for the game like you do when you start, so I love starting. After your first tackle, your first run, all of your nerves are gone and you’re into the game. That’s probably the main difference for me.”
Going into next season, Murray’s focus will be on consistency, as he looks to cement his position in the team and back up a solid debut season.
“I guess it’s just a mindset thing not to get too distracted with all the hype that comes with playing in the NRL,” said Murray.
“(My goal is) staying grounded, training hard, doing what I did at the start of this year pretty much and taking the experiences that I’ve had over the last couple of weeks into pre-season next year and come Round One next year.”