Townsend to tackle his mentor
CHAD Townsend will need to use every bit of what he learnt from James Maloney if he is to help turn around Cronulla’s inconsistent start to the season.
After combining to end Cronulla’s premiership drought in 2016, the pair will go head-tohead in the No.7 jersey when the Sharks host Penrith today.
Townsend’s game flourished under Maloney’s guidance during the two seasons they spent together.
“I’ve been i n contact with him the l ast few weeks and he said he is enjoying it out there with his family,” Townsend said.
“In the 70th minute, when you’re behind by two, that’s when Jimmy (Maloney) helped me stay calm and made sure he put the team first and gave us the best opportunity to win.
“That has rubbed off on me and my game. I do enjoy watching Jimmy. He is a different player and a bit of a larrikin.’’
While the Townsend-Maloney combination was a settled halves pairing for Cronulla, this season has been anything but for Townsend. Only he and hooker Jayden Brailey have been constants in the spine with Josh Dugan, Matt Moylan and Valentine Holmes sharing the fullback role and Matt Moylan and Trent Hodkinson in the No.6 jersey.
Moylan returns to the halves to partner Townsend against his former club today.
“It’s disruptive but we don’t want to make excuses,’’ Townsend said.