By STEVE MASCORD
PENRITH centre Jamal Idris has declared his return to Sydney a qualified success but admits he needs a break to decompress and prevent himself going ‘walkabout’ in games.
Idris joined Penrith from Gold Coast nine games ago and although his form has started to nudge in the direction of the year he played his only Test for Australia, 2011, he says the Panthers’ round 11 bye can’t come soon enough.
“It’s been awesome being back in Sydney, especially with my family and stuff,” Idris tells League Week after Sunday’s 26-20 win over Canberra.
“I’ve kept my head down a bit. For me, I need this break. I’m not your typical football player. Most of them live and breath football. If I think about too much football, I get a little bit too flustered, then I go walkabout.
“Yeah, I’ll be better for the break.”
Idris says he wants to be at his best when he returns to the State of Origin era but won’t go as far as admitting he’s not ready. “‘If I’m going to play, I’ve got to be ready in my own head,” he said.
Discussing the fiery GIO Stadium clash in which Raiders captain Terry Campese accused an un-named Raider of a head-butt, Irdis said: “Everyone was pretty amped. I went in to settle Campo down. You can’t stay mad at him.
“I heard ‘headbutt’. I came in from the centres. I was out there looking at the crowd.
“It would be stressful for them, coming off two defeats like that. They came out there and performed. To pull out a game like that, when all odds were against them … a lot of teams would have rolled over.
“That’s probably why it was fiery – they wanted to win.”
Penrith go into the bye in third place with six wins and four lossts.
“I think we’re good at the moment.” the centre reckons. “We haven’t had back-to-back wins and a lot of critics have been on our backs about it as well.
“For us to come down to Canberra and pull out a victory heading into a bye – that’s a 10 day turn-around.
“That’s major for us.”
Note: Since this story appeared, Jamal Idris has been granted indefinite leave by Penrith
Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK