Sam Tomkins adjusting to new pace of NRL life

SARAH HARVEY
Last updated 05:00 04/04/2014
Sam Tomkins
MAARTEN HOLL/ Fairfax NZ
WARRIORS WAY: Sam Tomkins says it's taking him time to settle in to life in the NRL.

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Warriors' star recruit Sam Tomkins says people want him to fail, but it is his own high standards he is trying to live up to.

If you saw Tomkins reprimand himself after he fluffed a ball in the ingoal which led to a Tigers try in Wellington last weekend, you would understand.

''It was anger more than anything. It was a very stupid error. I pride myself on not doing things like that,'' Tomkins said this week.

There is no-one who wants to succeed more than this man.

Tomkins said in a newspaper column this week he felt like he was representing the UK Super League, from which he moved this season, each time he played for the Warriors.

It ''adds to the pressure because there are many people who want me to fail in the NRL''.

This, though, is not new territory.

''I got that before I moved over before I had decided where I was going to play. It's human nature, as well. People want others to fail.

''I set my own standards. If I achieve my own goals then I'm happy. I don't look at other people's expectations or opinions -  what they want me to do, what they don't want me to do.''

Tomorrow night, as the Warriors play the wounded Sharks in Cronulla, he comes up against experienced NRL fullback Michael Gordon.

Tomkins said he was aware the Sharks were not in great form, having failed to win a single game so far this year, but that meant they were ''due a great performance''.

''I think if you are in camp at Cronulla this week you would be thinking this is the week we have got to step up. We are fully expecting they will come out with their best performance of the year.''

Tomkins said he was adjusting to the speed of the NRL, which is thought to be faster than ever this year. It should suit a player like Tomkins, who has speed rather than size.

''There are still areas I would like to improve on. But I am certainly thinking I am getting used to it a little bit more.''

Tomkins said the rule change which meant the third man into the tackle could not attack the legs of the player had seen a lot of quick play of the ball.

''Even the lads who have played 10 years of NRL say it is quick this year. Everyone is adjusting.''

He said he had been practicing under the high ball, an area which had let him down.

''I want to get better and better. I don't want to drop any more.''

Warriors's coach Matt Elliott said Tomkins held himself to the highest standards possible

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''I am more than happy with his progress and when you are fullback it is about learning about the people you are playing with, to get the best out of yourself.

''Defensively he has been outstanding, he saved the game for us [against the Cowboys]. And I think we are starting to see his best attacking play emerge as well.''

- Stuff

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