North Queensland Toyota Cowboys prop Sam Hoare is hoping to make the most of his recent return to the top grade.
Hoare, who admits his form in 2017 was disappointing, says he's relishing his opportunity at the NRL level with the Cowboys.
Having averaged 110 metres in 11 performances for the Mackay Cutters in the Queensland Cup this season, Hoare has found himself in Paul Green's side the last two weeks.
"Last year was pretty disappointing for me personally at the Queensland Cup level, or when I came into the NRL," Hoare said.
"I knew it was going to be a long road back to get into this position, but now that I'm here, I'm trying to make the most of it."
As one of the more experienced members of the Mackay Cutters, the 26-year-old says he's taken more of a leadership role at the club in 2018.
"I suppose going down to Mackay, I have had to take a bit more of a leadership role and playing bigger minutes, which has probably helped my match fitness," Hoare said.
"I've been getting through a lot more work [in Queensland Cup], and all my stats are up.
"I suppose playing well down there has given me a lot of confidence."
While Hoare says he was happy with his first game in the top grade against the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles a fortnight ago, he admits last week wasn't his best performance.
"I thought for my first game in the NRL in a while, I played pretty well against Manly," Hoare said.
"Obviously it was a bit disappointing in the Parramatta game, both personally, and as a team.
"I probably took a back step against Parramatta."