Crichton follows Trbojevic-style freedom

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Stephen Crichton has revealed how he wants to go from NRL wingman to emulating Tom Trbojevic after being given the freedom to roam by Penrith coach Ivan Cleary.

Crichton will remain on the right wing for the NRL's finals, with Paul Momirovski the final piece to the Panthers' backline puzzle at centre.

But having played most of his career at centre, Crichton has been told by Cleary not to feel as if he has to spend all his time on the right extremity.

Instead, the 20-year-old wants to become more involved in the middle of the field as he adjusts to time out wide, with Trbojevic's stunning State of Origin series his inspiration.

"I watch a lot of just the way Tommy moves around the field and just following up the middle," Crichton said.

"When the coach told me I had the licence to do that as well, that came straight to my head.

"While he's in the centres he ends up on the other side of the field and just wanting to play footy and get the ball in his hands.

"It's something I want to do for our team."

Crichton has so far proved a safe bet for Penrith on the wing, with the 193cm Mt Druitt junior good under the high ball despite spending much time there previously.

He has also been peppered with bombs from five-eighth Jarome Luai at training, while a third Mt Druitt boy in Brian To'o has talked him through defensive aspects of the position.

In attack, the Samoan star is also getting more involvement on the wing, running the ball far more on kick returns and early in sets.

But it's knowing when to best inject himself which is the next crucial step, after having been teased with some time playing in the centre of the field at fullback this year.

"The only time I have played back-to-back games on the wing before was my first year in grade," Crichton said.

"I've been talking to Bizza (To'o) a lot on defensive reads and knowing when to drop back and things like that.

"I'm just getting the hang of it now, week in week out."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting