New Toyota Cowboys No.13 Tariq Sims says there’s no doubt his workload has increased now that he’s playing predominantly in the centre of North Queensland’s attacking and defensive structures.
After being a back-rower who took up a role on the edge for his first three seasons at the Cowboys, Sims is settling into a new life where he has to make most of his metres down the middle of the park and he’s called on to make more tackles in the heart of his team’s defence.
He thrived in the No.13 jersey against the Warriors last Saturday night, winning the coaches’ player of the match award, along with two Dally M Medal points, for a performance that featured 138 metres in attack – the most by any NQ forward – to go with 35 tackles.
“Lock’s alright. Greeny’s chucked me in there and it’s a bit different than the edge. You do a lot more work,” Sims said today.
“It’s an opportunity and a challenge that I’m relishing.
“I’m loving every minute of it and learning a lot off Joely Riethmuller and those boys who play lock.
“They’ve helped me out and given me a lot of tips. Hopefully I don’t let the boys down.
“It’s still a new position for me and there’s lots of things I need to be able to do on the field.
“I’ll just be chipping away at it every week.”
Sims became the Cowboys’ third starting lock in three weeks when he started in round three following on from Riethmuller (round one v Canberra) and Glenn Hall (round two v Brisbane).
He’s hoping to make it a long-term role, taking over from the Cowboys’ almost permanent No.13 from the last three seasons, Dallas Johnson, who retired at the end of 2013.
“He does drop a couple of little pointers for me,” the 24-year-old said of his former roommate.
“But for the most part, it’s just off Joely.
“Dallas is more focused on working on our defence these days.”
The North Queensland forward pack is unchanged for Monday night’s round four meeting against the Gold Coast Titans at Robina.
“We’ve got to go down there with the mentality that we’re not going to be overrun in the middle,” Sims said.
“We’ve got a big job ahead of us because they’ve got some blokes who can really do some damage in the forward pack.”