By STEVE MASCORD
QUALIFYING Final star Aiden Tolman says Des Hasler’s style of forward coaching doesn’t really suit him – even though his performance on Friday night against Manly would suggest otherwise.
Tolman won several man of the match awards in the 16-10 win over Manly with a try- and possibly game-saving tackle on Steve Matai in the 70th minutes one of several personal highlights at ANZ Stadium.
“The way Des is playing, it probably suits me not as much as some other players,” the hard-toiling Tolman said, in reference to Hasler’s penchant this year for forward ball-play.
“I’m trying to work really hard on that, with my ball-play and things like that. I’m trying to mix it up because I think that’s the way the game is going.
“I’ve really got to work hard on that.
“That’s what it comes back to, working hard at training so when you do it in the game, it’s second nature.
“There’s plenty of guys who can pass the ball and there always have been. James Graham and Sam Kasiano are two guys who can really play like that. I just try and do my job week-in and week-out. Front rowers, their main job is to make sure you win the ruck in both attack and defence and try to get quick play-the-balls.”
Tolman, from Hat Head on the NSW north coast, was tipped to become a Blues regular when he transferred from Melbourne at the start of 2011 but the transition has been somewhat slower than expected.
“I love it up here, I love it at the Bulldogs,” he said.
Jorg Taufua would probably have scored had Matai not dummied to him with 10 left but Tolman said: “You’ve got to put yourself in the position to make those tackles. I was lucky enough to be there.
“We’ve got plenty of improvement in us.
“The next side we play, there’s going to be a grand final place up for grabs. Anyone we play is going to be fierce and intense.”
Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK