Segeyaro says Defence will be key in Tigers Showdown
Friday 15 March 2013 8:55 AM
Panthers new recruit James ‘Chicko’ Segeyaro sat down with us and talked about his first match as a Panther, the opening round victory and his thoughts on this Sunday’s match against the Tigers.
James was recruited to the Panthers after spending several seasons playing with the North Queensland Cowboys and he has made an immediate impact, on and off the field. James has been an asset to the club with his community work, visiting several schools spreading the anti-bullying message, helping teach young children the skills of rugby league and is always happy to mingle and spend time with the fans.
On the field James has made just as big an impact. He managed to cross for his first try as a Panther in his debut game, helping the team to their round one victory, and in the process helping him avoid the end of season fate for those who don’t score all year. We started by asking James what it meant to represent the Panthers, “It was good on the weekend, pretty lucky and very grateful to be selected, it was unreal to put on the colours for the first time and this club is full of heritage and has a long list of players that have played before me, so to represent the Panthers it’s a great honour. One of our motives at the club is to respect the past and make our own future, and I’m happy to be here and be a part of that.”
James also made mention of the fact the boys were feeling fit and were primed for the warm conditions. “We worked hard all pre-season, Ronny Palmer got us really fit and ready for the conditions on Sunday, to come away with the two points was great, and personally I got off the nude run just before half time so pretty stoked with that! Now we’ll be looking to continue to play consistent footy and get another win at Campbelltown on Sunday.”
Sunday’s clash will be a tough encounter as the Tigers will be looking to record their first victory of 2013 in front of their home fans. James is all too aware of the Tigers ability and knows that they will pose a serious challenge, “They’re a quality side and can hurt you from anywhere on the park and they will definitely be looking to bounce back from Monday.” When asked about what he thought the keys to winning the match would be he mentioned the importance of sticking to their game plan. “If we continue with the same plan we played against Canberra, turning their big forwards around, getting in behind the ruck there, and open the middle of the park up, it will give more room for Cootey and Walshy out wide . We have quality players throughout our backline and they all played really well last weekend. If we can go through the middle it should open up around the edges for the boys to do their work and hopefully some of the backs will get the tries this week instead of us forwards” Segeyaro said jokingly.
When asked about his role in the team, after playing about an hour last week, he said he was “stoked with the minutes he got and didn’t feel too bad in the hot conditions. I was happy with the game as my first hit out and hopefully I continue to get good game time. I just can’t wait until Sunday to do what I do best and get in behind the ruck and tire them big fellas out.”
Personally, James will face a big challenge when he comes up against incumbent New South Wales hooker Robbie Farah on Sunday. When asked how best to combat him he said, “I think the best way to nullify him is by taking time away from him, if no one shoots up in defence and we really talk to each other and pressure him from marker that should go a long way to containing him. In saying that, they have Benji , Moltzen out the back and players like Lawrence, strike weapons everywhere, even young Koroibete on the wing. The whole of our team have a big job ahead of us coming into Sunday. So I’m not really focusing on one particular player, if we take the same defensive mentality into the match as we did last week and take their time away from them and get up in their faces it will be good.”
Segeyaro told us that defence is something the team has worked hard on during the pre-season. In the match against the Raiders it was evident as the aggressive defence put the Raiders under pressure and the Panthers forced a number of errors from the Raiders. James said that the defensive effort can be attributed to a lot of time spent with assistant and defensive coach Dave Fairleigh, “During the pre-season we worked hard with Dave Fairleigh, every training session we made sure we really put in working as a team defensively. We want to push up and really get off the line and in their faces. If we take this attitude into Sunday’s game I think we will be able to build some defensive pressure.”
Come Sunday look for a strong Panthers display built on the back of their defence and teamwork. James also highlighted the importance of a team performance, “We are all willing to work for each other, and working as a team is the most important thing. I can’t wait until Sunday to put another good team performance in and hopefully get those two points.”