Warriors' Tomkins knows heat is on to perform
No pressure, Sam Tomkins, but the league nation is watching you.
The Wigan kid who joined the Warriors from their Super League namesakes for a tidy $750,000, three-year deal, will be expected to step up to the mark this evening against the Cowboys in Townsville.
Tomkins, 24, who was heralded in the Super League and known for his try scoring exploits, has yet to shine for his new team.
Tonight, he faces a rookie in comparison in Cowboys fullback Michael Morgan.
Morgan has been a utility player in his 30 previous appearances but looks likely to make a more permanent move to fullback after a season-ending injury to regular last line of defence, Lachlan Coote.
Tomkins has shown signs of brilliance but has also literally dropped the ball on occasions – especially when he fumbled a high ball against the Dragons last week which led to a try.
He admitted his game needed to improve "the same as the team's".
"We have all got to improve and pick up a little bit and that will be the difference between winning and losing."
Tomkins said he wasn't feeling more targeted than other players on the field after two rounds of the NRL.
"I have experienced play like that in England. Any halfback or fullback gets a bit of pressure on them so I don't think it's any different for me."
Townsville is no happy stomping ground for the Warriors.
The team won in Townsville four times in their first six visits between 1995 and 2002 but have since fallen to eight straight defeats.
To give you an idea of how long ago it was since their last victory, Stacey Jones, Awen Guttenbeil, Logan Swann and the likes were in the team.
The Warriors did beat the Cowboys last year but that was at home at Mt Smart.
Tomkins was tongue in cheek when asked how the Warriors could win in Townsville.
"Score more points than the Cowboys.
"But seriously, defence is a big one. We have leaked too many points so defence has been a big focus. If we can get that right we will not be far off."
Tomkins said Warriors fans had been "brilliant" despite the less than ideal start to the season.
"As you would expect the fans are disappointed, the same as the players are. We have a tough preseason and then we lose the first two games, it's not ideal.
"The fans that I spoke to are backing us and we are confident that we are going to get much better."
- Fairfax Media
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