Thursday, 9 August 2012
Stepping into Darren Lockyer's No.6 Brisbane jumper was never going to be easy for Broncos backline utility Corey Norman.
But he hasn't been damaged by critics questioning his form at the tough end of the NRL season.
After quickly winning over the doubters as Brisbane headed the ladder through eight games of the season, Norman has been struggling for confidence along with halfback Peter Wallace.
They copped most of the blame for the Broncos going off the boil and losing five of their past seven games.
Club legend Andrew Gee attempted to fire them up a few weeks ago by bagging their form publicly.
"We all like to take the good (comments) when they come but when the bad comes, you've got to cop it on the chin and get over it," Norman told AAP.
"As a football player, that's always going to come so you have to expect it and keep rolling on."
Norman, who lost his five-eighth spot to Ben Hunt last weekend after battling a niggling groin injury for several weeks, will have a new challenge on Sunday.
He will take over the fullback job from Josh Hoffman, banished to the Queensland Cup with Redcliffe for turning up late to training on Wednesday.
Hoffman beat Norman to the fullback job vacated by Karmichael Hunt in 2010.
But Norman made an eye-catching man-of-the-match debut at No.1 in the first game of season against North Queensland before Hoffman returned from injury to claim the position.
While fullback isn't Norman's favourite position, he said it gave him the freedom in attack to "pop up anywhere".
"You're a bit fresher too because you're not defending so I'm looking forward to bringing a bit of energy there in attack," he said.
"Hopefully I can help Wally (Peter Wallace) and Hunty (Ben Hunt) by being an extra set of eyes which will make life easier for them."
While Norman feels for Hoffman, he says he is not approaching his job on Sunday as a "fill-in".
"I have to go out there and give it 100 per cent and have the players confident I will get the job done," he said.
Griffin was relaxed about Norman playing fullback against the Bulldogs, who score a lot of tries off kicks and have the two best line-break specialists in the game in Ben Barba and Josh Morris.
"Corey's done a job there before," he said.
"He's a ball player and he's got a kicking game as well which will help us out."