Townsend turns off the grand final noise

Chad Townsend shunned the outside world as his bounced back from his playoffs sacking to play a lead role in Cronulla’s preliminary final win.

And the Sharks halfback will do the same in the lead up to Sunday’s NRL grand final against Melbourne.

Townsend was dragged by Sharks coach Shane Flanagan in the qualifying win over Canberra.

For the two weeks in the lead-up to the preliminary final clash with North Queensland the Sharks junior tuned out of social media, turned off the TV, shunned the internet and ignored the newspapers.

It enabled Townsend to take a clear head into the clash with the Cowboys and he will take the same approach to avoid the hype of grand final week.

“I’ve cut out the social media, I’ve cut out the news and everything like that for a couple of weeks now. It’s cleared my head. Mentally and physically, I’ve felt pretty good ever since,” Townsend said.

“I’ll continue to do that until the end of the season. It’s an exciting time of the year but it’s also very easy to be distracted by the hype I guess.

“I can change that by focusing on what I do with the training and the time I put in.”

Townsend paid credit to halves partner James Maloney, who will play in his third decider in six years on Sunday, for helping him regain his confidence.

“Jimmy has a lot of big game experience and that’s something I’ve drawn off him,” Townsend said.

“He’s played Origin and grand finals and to me – at the clutch moments – he’s really been there for me.

“I’m really trying to learn off him in those moments. 100 per cent he helps ease the pressure on me – that’s been a key factor in my season.”

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