Jamie Soward admires the way Johnathan Thurston plays – so much so he’ll frequently stop whatever he’s doing just to watch the North Queensland maestro in action.
Soward knows there’ll be no time to marvel when Penrith and the Cowboys collide at Pepper Stadium on Saturday night but that didn’t stop him gushing over the Queensland and Australian pivot.
The 31-year-old said he was relishing the challenge of coming up against the best in the NRL, placing last year’s Dally M winner in the rarest of company.
“He’s the best,” Soward said of Thurston.
“I like playing against JT, I’ve got a lot of respect for him.
“He’s the only player I watch every week. Regardless of where I am, I make time to watch JT play.”
The Panthers have their tails up after their last-play 20-18 win over Parramatta but Soward warned they faced crashing back to earth if they gave Thurston an inch on Saturday night.
“Come Saturday, I’ve just got to go out there and compete and steer the team around as best I can, concentrate on my own game,” Soward said.
“And hopefully if I do that we’ll be on the right end of the result.”