Grand Final winner Adam Cuthbertson says moving to Featherstone has been like being back at Manly in the NRL.
The veteran forward delayed retirement to move to Post Office Road as player-coach under his old Leeds boss. The pair have forged a key partnership as the ambitious club have moved top of the Championship.
The 37-year-old won two Grand Finals and two Challenge Cups under McDermott at Leeds, but says his final career move to Featherstone actually reminds him of where it all started in his NRL career at hometown club Manly Sea Eagles.
“It feels like home,” Cuthbertson told Rovers TV.
“I feel like I’ve walked into a place that’s very similar to my time at Manly where I grew up. Just a love for the sport, passion for rugby league, everyone in the area. That has inspired me to kick on and want to have a successful year as a player and coach.
“The community passion gives this team an edge. Everyone is quite close and we all stick together after a game. I’ve been at an number of clubs and you don’t get that everywhere. It’s a beautiful thing to see every week that we can put our bodies on the line and then turn around and have that companionship after the game and in training”.
Cuthbertson on past experiences with Brian McDermott
Cuthbertson played 54 times for Manly followed by spells at Cronulla, St George and a stint with Newcastle before moving to the UK to enjoy rich success with the Rhinos.
And he believes those experiences, especially within Leeds sides who managed to win Grand Finals from low qualifying positions, have served both he and McDermott well for this season’s project to secure Super League promotion at Featherstone for the first time.
“You can’t build towards Super League by blowing teams off the park every week. You need to learn and grow and find a bit of character amongst the team and make changes to find the best fit.
“That’s the beauty of having Mac as coach. He’s a professional who understands that it’s more than gameplans. It’s a structure, philosophy and mindset. You can be the most skilful team in the world but if you can’t handle the pressure of a finals then what’s the point?”.