Cory Paterson: I'll be Hull KR's Mr Consistent
IF HULL KR need a leader to step forward and inspire them to victory in the absence of skipper Michael Dobson, they need look no further than Cory Paterson.
The former Newcastle Knights and North Queensland forward has already led by example in the opening seven rounds of Super League, and has proved the Robins' outstanding player so far.
Without Dobson to face Castleford Tigers tomorrow, coach Craig Sandercock will no doubt ask for a skipper's contribution from Paterson.
But rather than take it as an opportunity to bark orders to his team-mates, Paterson will do as he has since day one at KR, and lead through his actions.
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"I try to take a little bit of extra responsibility, but I try and make my actions do the talking more," Paterson told the Mail.
"Sometimes, if you talk too much it doesn't mean as much. I try and let my actions do the talking to help the young fellows out.
"Overall I am not too disappointed with the start I have made here, but obviously there are lots of things I can improve on to try and keep getting better as an individual."
It is that attitude brought from the NRL which Sandercock will be keen to harness and spread across his young squad.
Looking back at how the season has unfolded so far, Paterson knows there is no great mystery over where KR have gone wrong.
And he insists recurring problems over handling errors and ill-discipline can only be stopped through hard work and dedication.
"It comes down to us shooting ourselves in the foot a lot," he said, reflecting on last weekend's 34-12 loss at Bradford.
"When we shoot ourselves in the foot, we don't give ourselves the best chance to win.
"When we are on form, we hold on to the ball and don't give away silly penalties and our defence is squeaky clean. When we do those things we can beat anyone.
"At the minute, we are not consistently playing as well as we should.
"To be honest, I think we have to just keep training hard in the week and learning individually and as a team from previous performances, about where we went right and where we went wrong.
"If we can keep improving our consistency we will be all right."
If Rovers are not consistent enough, Castleford are inconsistency personified. On their day, the Tigers can beat the very best, as they proved when taking the scalp of Leeds Rhinos earlier in the season.
Castleford's worst though is arguably the worst in Super League – but with Rangi Chase in their ranks, Paterson knows they are always a dangerous opponent.
"Rangi is a quality player and he definitely deserves the respect and the accolades he receives," he said.
"We have spoken about him this week and hopefully we can come up with a few ways which nullify his involvement in the game.
"Sometimes, though, quality players do things you simply can't stop.
"We will do our very best, but we will have to wait and see how it goes."
It all points towards the most unpredictable of games tomorrow at Craven Park.
However, Paterson insists one thing is guaranteed – Rovers will enter the contest full of confidence.
"We definitely believe in ourselves," he said.
"Last week was disappointing but our attitude is that it is done and we move on.
"The beauty of this game is you always get another crack at getting it right the following week.
"Its' a simple game. You keep hold of the ball, you kick long, you chase and you tackle hard. If you do that, you give yourself every opportunity to win.
"We can compete with the best, we just have to find the consistency and give ourselves every opportunity to win matches.
"When you are dropping the ball and giving away penalties, you are not giving yourself every chance to win. If we can do that, we are confident we can get the two points."