Despite labelling it a “cool experience”, Panthers prop James Fisher-Harris will probably never get over Penrith’s 2020 Grand Final loss, but he also won’t let it get the better of him either.
“It is what it is,” he bluntly told the Weekender on Monday.
“Losing, it’s got to happen to somebody. You just have to learn from it and be better.”
And with that, the 25-year-old Kiwi wrecking ball is ready to rip and tear into his sixth season in the NRL.
Over the past two years, Fisher-Harris’ game has gone to another level. He’s now regarded as one of the best props in the world and that was evident in the recent NRL All Stars match where he won the Preston Campbell Medal for Player of the Game.
“The All Stars match pretty much set me up for that tough trial against Parra last weekend. It was a good game and I’m feeling confident heading into the new season,” he said.
“I believe I can go to another level again. I’m just going to go hard and help the team in any way that I can – try and keep it simple, do my job and try and get us there again.
“I’m ready to go!” Fisher-Harris declared.
If Penrith are to return to the grandest of stages this year, Fisher-Harris will need to be at his absolute best. With the Panthers losing big name forwards James Tamou and Zane Tetevano in the off-season, the Kohukonu product will have to shoulder even more responsibility in the pack.
Fisher-Harris believes Penrith have enough reinforcements in the forwards as long as everyone, including the youngsters coming through, buy in like they did last season.
“We are all just trying to make each other better, we aren’t afraid to fail,” he said.
“I think the boys on the weekend did a good job, I didn’t play much but, watching the middle players closely, I thought they were really good.
“At the end of the day, we’re just trying to help each other out and make each other better.”
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 a decade.