During the Weekender‘s six-minute one-on-one interview with under siege Panthers forward Reagan Campbell-Gillard on Monday morning, the 25-year-old uttered the word ‘fix’ on not one or two occasions but an incredible seven times.
On a personal front, Campbell-Gillard has endured a shocking start to the 2019 season and it’s not hard to figure out why he has the word ‘fix’ on his mind.
The man, simply known as “Reg”, admits he needs to fix plenty about his game in order to give his side the best possible chance of making four consecutive Finals series’.
Last week against the bottomed-placed Titans, Campbell-Gillard dished up his worst performance of the year – running just 47 metres in 51 minutes of action. He also missed three tackles in the six-point defeat.
The Origin-winning prop put his hand up and took ownership of his performances of late.
“I know personally I’m pretty frustrated with my performances and being inconsistent,” Campbell-Gillard said.
“I hold a very high standard of how I like to play. I’ve probably played a couple of games this season where I’ve thought I’ve done OK but, quite frankly, the last few weeks have been inconsistent.”
It’s often rare for players to admit they aren’t performing well, so it’s a testament to Campbell-Gillard’s character for admitting he is doing it tough on the field.
“I’ll happily take ownership of that, I know I’m not personally hitting the standards I want to be playing at and my standards are very, very high,” he said.
“Even if I do have a good game, I know there’s always more room for improvement and not getting comfortable. I’ll definitely put my hand up and admit I’ve been inconsistent there.”
The Windsor Wolves junior isn’t the sole blame for Penrith’s terrible start to the season, with the whole side struggling to find their feet under coach Ivan Cleary.
Campbell-Gillard said each video review session sounds like a broken record.
“We are still addressing the same stuff. We are trying to figure out what is wrong and only we hold the answer,” he said.
“It’s not an attitude thing, it’s probably just the way we’ve been playing. We’re unable to get on a roll and get in the groove of things.
“On the weekend I gave away two poor penalties and let some tries in – and that doesn’t help. It’s an easy fix and something that I and we can control as a team.”
With this year’s State of Origin series not too far away, Campbell-Gillard would be at long odds to make Brad Fittler’s side on current form.
Campbell-Gillard said he hasn’t even thought about wearing the sky blue jersey this year.
“I’m not even thinking about Origin, my main focus is right here, right now. I’m honestly not even thinking about that and in the current form I’m in, I wouldn’t be in that team,” he admitted.
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for nearly a decade.