After missing several weeks due to injury, North Queensland Toyota Cowboys centre Justin O'Neill is pleased that his performances have improved after two games, and is hopeful that he will continue to gain confidence as he gets more game time under his belt.
MATCH STATS – ROUND 8: JUSTIN O'NEILL
Minutes: 80 / Runs: 7 (62m) / Tackles: 11 / Offloads: 1 / Line breaks: 1 / Errors: 1
Speaking to the media after the Cowboys defeated the Newcastle Knights on Saturday night, O'Neill acknowledged that his return the previous week had not been ideal.
"Definitely blew a lot of cobwebs out last week," O'Neill said.
"There's still some improvements to make, obviously our right edge hasn't been as it has been in the last couple of years."
Despite the improvements the Cowboys still struggled offensively on their right side, and O'Neill is patiently waiting for the game time to allow him to gel with his outside man, Kyle Feldt.
"It's not something that I'm thinking about, I think it will come," he said.
"If we're playing well as a team I think the tries will come and I think if we're all working well as a team I think our edges are going to be firing.
"Our focus… is to be playing as one team and connecting as a team and really putting together some good performances."
Consistency seems to be the key word for the Cowboys, who have struggled to put together 80 solid minutes in the last two weeks.
"We've been a bit choppy, good in areas but bad in areas as well," the Queensland State of Origin centre said.
"I think when we can get an 80-minute performance together and really be in sync with each other and playing more freely, I think that's when we'll start to see some tries on the edges."
Despite being the incumbent Maroons and Kangaroos centre, representative duties are far from O'Neill's mind, as he focuses on performing week to week. His only comment when asked if he thought Mal Meninga would stay loyal to his Four Nations team was, "fingers crossed".
First published on NRL.com.