Sydney Roosters star Aidan Guerra is hoping he’s got some deep pockets, because he’s got a lot of repaying to do.
Just one week after proving why Queensland selectors stuck solid with the second-rower despite a sub-par opening to the NRL season, Guerra has now set his sights on paying back his club, with interest.
“To have that faith put in me by the side up there in Queensland by the selectors and coaches, I wanted to repay that,” Guerra said.
“Now that I’ve got that first game out of the way, I want to repay the Roosters and that’s always been my focus to play well here.”
The 28-year-old Guerra admits he was severely down on form entering the State of Origin series.
“There was no secret that I wasn’t going that well,” he said.
“I’m my harshest critic, and out of 11 games, I’d be happy with three or four. That wasn’t good enough from me and it was tough to take.”
Guerra wasn’t the only player with question marks over his head heading into the series-opener, with fellow forward Nate Myles also under-fire for a fall from grace at Manly.
But the all-conquering Queensland team have long been renowned for sprinkling magic Maroons dust over their ageing warriors at this time of the year, and now Guerra wants to bring some of it back to Bondi.
“There’s no secret the Origin camp and that whole arena is something special and it’s something I was privileged to be a part of,” he said.
“One of my focuses was to come back to the Roosters and bring some of that positivity with me.
“When I left, things weren’t really going the way we planned here. When I was away, the side worked on things here at the Roosters and I wanted to come back and add to what they had already changed.”
Not having to fill in at five-eighth has helped, but Guerra also revealed a change in mindset also contributed to what was arguably his best performance of the year in last week’s win over the Wests Tigers.
He finished the game with 122 metres, 27 tackles, a try, try assist and line break assist.
“At the end of the day you run hard, tackle hard and don’t stop, and that’s pretty much all you need to do,” he said.
“I got away from that and started focusing on ‘how am I going to win this game for the boys?’ and then I just kept digging myself into a hole. As a side, you come out of things like that together.”