https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/coach- ... 4z30g.html
Coach Cronk already paying off for Chooks
By Matt Encarnacion6 March 2018 — 10:33am
Cooper Cronk's lucrative signing may already be paying dividends, with young centre Joseph Manu set to regain his starting spot for the Sydney Roosters' NRL season-opener against Wests Tigers.
Despite appearing in 16 games last year, Manu was overlooked for last year's finals series as coach Trent Robinson gambled on playing second-rower Ryan Matterson in the three-quarter line.
"I finished playing for Wyong and yeah it was a little bit frustrating. I was all over the place, but that was up to me. I didn't play consistent," Manu told AAP.
"My defence wasn't good, most of my tackling. It's something I've tried to work on in the pre-season. Obviously in the centres it's important to make your tackles."
With the help of former Kangaroos and Queensland staple in Cronk, Manu is confident he has addressed some of the defensive issues that resulted in his axing last year.
The pair will line-up alongside each other on a dangerous right edge that includes incumbent NSW representative Blake Ferguson.
"He's pretty much like a coach, or at least he sounds like one. He knows everything, we've pretty much got two coaches now with him and 'Robbo' (Trent Robinson)," Manu said.
"He's the best halfback in the world and playing with the best half is pretty crazy. I watched him a lot when I was young. He teaches me heaps of stuff, he teaches lots of players."
The 21-year-old has also taken inspiration from centre partner Latrell Mitchell, who was also dropped midway through last year due to poor form before bouncing back late in the season.
He was arguably the Roosters' best in the finals.
"I always knew he was going to bounce back. It's just what's inside you, what your mind's like. It's tough getting dropped, it's tough in the NRL in general," Manu said.
"But I learnt you've got to be strong, have the belief in yourself and know that you're a good player. I'm feeling a lot better about my defence this year so I'm looking forward to a good season."