Sandow puts axing behind him

Beleaguered Parramatta halfback Chris Sandow says he has put his most recent NRL axing behind him and is eager to make the most of his latest opportunity in first grade.

Sandow played a leading hand in his side’s breakthrough 26-20 win over Penrith on Friday night, sparking an early assault on the home side with his lethal passing and kicking game.

It came just a fortnight after the 26-year-old was dumped to NSW Cup by coach Brad Arthur, before getting a recall at fullback in a defeat to South Sydney the following week.

Earlier in the week Arthur admitted the club’s salary cap woes forced him to select Sandow ahead of Luke Kelly for Friday night’s match, but the off-contract playmaker repaid his coach with an inspired performance.

“I had a rough few weeks but it’s behind me now,” Sandow said.

“I’m just enjoying my footy. When the boys work hard in the middle, I love that and I just play off the back of that.

The former South Sydney halfback described Arthur as a good coach and that his axing was a wake up call.

“I just took that on the chin like a man should,” he said.

“I didn’t let it get me down. I know what I’m capable of, whatever’s good for the team I’ll do.

“Brad put me back there to take control of the side and I did that.

“He gave me an opportunity tonight and I didn’t let him down.”

He also had a perfect night with the boot, nailing a perfect four from four against the Panthers including a couple of sideline pearlers.

Poor goalkicking had been a major in their two most recent losses, but Sandow paid tribute to his work with club legend Luke Burt.

“Me and Burty have been working really hard,” he said.

“He’s got the record there so me and Burty have been working really hard and it paid off tonight.”

Off-contract at the end of the year, Sandow was non-committal on his long-term future at the club.

“It’s in the back of my head, you know,” he said.

“The boys there are pretty much like family. They’re not my teammates, they’re like family.

“We’ve just got to stick together like we have been all year. Hopefully tonight is a turning point for us.”

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